FORMER two-division world champion and highly-rated pound-for-pound fighter Tim Bradley and undefeated Jessie Vargas will make their long-awaited 2015 debuts when they square off for the vacant WBO welterweight title [formerly held by Manny Pacquiao] on June 27 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Southern California natives’ fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
These two gladiators boast a combined record of 57-1-1 (21 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97%.
“I’m excited to be back in the ring with an undefeated champion,” said Bradley. “I look forward to the challenge and to take his ‘0’ away from him on June 27.”
“I am thrilled to have this fight,” said Vargas. “I will be facing a very talented fighter and when you have two great talents with a lot of heart it always makes for a great fight. I always elevate my game against better competition. I am ready to show and prove that I am one of the best fighters out there. There is not one doubt in my mind that everyone will enjoy this fight. I look forward to giving the fans the best of Jessie Vargas on June 27.”
“Tim Bradley, one of the sport’s elite fighters, will be looking to take another big step toward regaining a world title belt, while Jessie Vargas, a young and hungry [WBA] world champion, will be moving up to a new weight division in the biggest test of his professional career. It’s a great match-up of Southern California natives in a perfect setting for their fans at StubHub Center,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
“The last time Timothy Bradley entered the ring at the StubHub, he left having given the fans the fight of the year,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President of programming, HBO Sports. “Now, he returns for his 2015 debut against one of boxing’s undefeated rising attractions, Jessie Vargas, in a fight that augurs to have great action and impact in the loaded welterweight division.”
Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, a former two-division world champion, from 2008 to 2014, who unified junior welterweight titles twice during his previous four-year reign, returns to the ring following a controversial draw against one-time interim world champion Diego Chaves last December. The judges were taken to task by ringside media who had Bradley winning handily, an argument bolstered by the fact that Bradley landed 73 more punches than Chaves and controlled almost every round. Bradley continues his comeback since suffering his first professional loss, in his welterweight championship rematch against Manny Pacquiao on April 12, 2014. Before the Pacquiao rematch, Bradley posted three consecutive career-best victories. After moving up in weight and beating Pacquiao in 2012 to capture the WBO welterweight crown, Bradley co-starred in the Fight of the Year on March 16, 2013, at StubHub Center, winning a brutal 12-round decision over future world champion Ruslan Provodnikov though Bradley was suffering from a concussion throughout most of the fight. Seven months later, Bradley encored with a virtuoso performance in defeating three-division world champion and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Márquez on October 12, 2013, proving that Bradley is indeed one of boxing’s elite pound-for-pound fighters.
Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs), a native of Los Angeles who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is trained by former four-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jnr. Vargas captured the WBA super lightweight title on April 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over undefeated defending champion Khabib Allakhverdiev. It was a close and competitive fight that proved Vargas’ grit as he bit down hard during the championship rounds to pull away with the victory and the world championship belt. Vargas successfully defended his title twice that same year, winning unanimous decisions over undefeated contender Anton Novikov in Las Vegas and former world champion Antonio DeMarco in Macao, China on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri world welterweight pay-per-view card. Vargas’ impressive resume also includes victories over former world champions Stevie Forbes and Vivian Harris and top contenders Josesito Lopez, Lucky Boy Omotoso, Ray Narh and Lanardo Tyner.