Jessie Vargas Shakes Off Ring Rust, Ready To Dive Into Deep End of 147-pound Pool

After making a victorious ring return after 13 months away, former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas is ready to take on welterweight world champions Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jr. or former 147-pound titleholders Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto.

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Vargas vs Herrera Highlights: December 15, 2017

After Friday’s victory over journeyman Aaron Herrera, Jessie Vargas expressed a desire to return to the ring as soon as possible. He is targeting welterweight champions Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr., and former titleholders Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto.

Vargas (28-2, 10 knockouts) scored a sixth-round knockdown of Herrera on his way to a dominant unanimous decision win in the main event of the PBC on FS1 card at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California.

The fight—which ended a 13-month ring absence—was Vargas’ first with Las Vegas-based Hall of Famer Mike McCallum as his head trainer.

Vargas has dedicated his career to godfather and renowned cutman Rafael Garcia, who passed away last month at the age of 88.

“My uniform honored Raphael, who I felt is still with us. His picture was a big image on the side of my shorts with his name below and above the image. His name was on my robe and my gloves,” Vargas said.

“We improved defensively, rarely getting touched the whole fight. We were in control with a stiff jab, maintaining perfect distance, counter-punching and combinations. It would have been nice to get the knockout, but that’s the difference being out of the ring for 13 months.”

Vargas has a plethora of opportunities, with unified champion Thurman and Spence being at the top of the list.

“I’m very interested in fighting Thurman or the winner of Spence and (Lamont) Peterson,” Vargas said. “My plan is to be back in February or March, and we all know there’s a long list of potential opponents because the division is stacked.”

My uniform honored Raphael, who I felt is still with us. His picture was a big image on the side of my shorts. His name was on my robe and my gloves. Former world champion Jessie Vargas on honoring his godfather and renowned cutman Rafael Garcia, who passed away last month.

Garcia, like Porter, has not yet announced an opponent or a scheduled return to action, nor have former two-division champs Alexander or Berto.

“We don’t have any bumps and bruises, so after eating some tamales and enjoying the holidays I’ll be back in the gym in January or before ready to resume the path toward regaining a world championship.”

Alexander ended a two-year ring absence with last month’s unanimous decision win over Walter Castillo, scoring a second-round knockdown. Berto was floored three times during a ninth-round TKO loss to Porter in his last fight in April.

“Andre Berto would make for a great fight because he’s a warrior, and you have Danny Garcia as well,” Vargas said. “If they said Devon Alexander then I’d do it. I would leave Shawn Porter low or last on the list because he’s my close friend and buddy.

Another consideration is Jamal James whose left-handed liver shot in Friday night’s co-main event ended former interim champion Diego Chaves’ streak of three straight stoppage wins.

“If it was up to me, I’d have gone after a big fight right away, but my advisors suggested knocking off ring rust with a good, 10-round fight,” Vargas said.

For a complete recap of Vargas vs Herrera, visit our fight page.

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