Neither former world champ was able to add a win to their resume, but a highly-competitive showing on Showtime leaves both fighters with plenty of options.
After hammering one another over 12, action-packed, crowd-pleasing rounds on Saturday, neither four-division world title winner Adrien Broner nor former two-division champion Jessie Vargas agreed with their fight ending in a majority draw at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
But the 28-year-old’s agreed on one thing: They should do it all over once again.
“I gave the fans here in Brooklyn a show and I’d love to come back and do it again,” said Vargas, of Las Vegas, a former titleholder at 140 and 147 pounds.
“I’m willing to run this back again if Adrien Broner wants to. We went at it for 12 rounds. We can do it again. I’m ready to fight right now.”
While Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs) unveiled a vicious body attack that set up his overhand rights as he dictated the first part of the fight, Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) built momentum over the second half behind selective power shots and uppercuts, one of which split Vargas’ guard and badly wobbled him late in the ninth.
A former titleholder at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, Broner opened an 11th-round cut over the left eye of Vargas, who out-landed “The Problem” in overall punches (203-194) and jabs (62-42) but trailed in power shots (152-141).
“I feel great, I look clean as a whistle and don’t have a scratch on me,” said Broner of Cincinnati, whose winning score of 115-113 was overruled by two of 114-114.
“I would love to fight Vargas again, but let’s go back to my town to do it. Let's do it.”
Broner was coming off a nine-month ring absence, having switched trainers to Kevin Cunningham from career-long corner man Mike Stafford following July’s unanimous decision loss to four-division champion Mikey Garcia at 140 pounds— his third setback in nine fights.
“ I gave the fans here in Brooklyn a show ... I’m willing to run this back again if Adrien Broner wants to. We went at it for 12 rounds. We can do it again. ” Former Welterweight Champion Jessie Vargas
Vargas was in his second fight under Las Vegas-based Hall of Famer Mike McCallum, having ended a 13-month ring absence with his last fight in December by scoring a sixth-round knockdown during a unanimous decision over Aaron Herrera.
In his previous three fights, Vargas sandwiched a 147-pound title-winning ninth-round stoppage of current 154-pound world champion Sadam Ali (March 2016) between unanimous decision losses to Tim Bradley (June 2015) and Manny Pacquiao (November 2016) in title bouts.
“My body shots were much better than ever tonight thanks to Coach McCallum,” said Vargas, who mentioned champions Keith Thurman, Errol Spence and former title holders Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, among other possible future opponents.
“I’ll fight anybody in the stacked 147-pound division or do the rematch.”
Dethroned as 147-pound champion following a unanimous decision to Marcos Maidana in December 2013, Broner dropped weight and went 6-2 with two knockouts. “The Problem” rebounded from a 144-pound unanimous decision loss to Porter in June 2015 with a 12th-round stoppage of Russian contender Khabib Allakhverdiev, becoming a four-division champion with a 140-pound title that October.
Broner lost the 140-pound crown at the scales before stopping Ashley Theophane in the ninth round in April 2016, and won a 147-pound split-decision in February 2017 over Adrian Granados before losing to Garcia.
“I performed tonight [against Vargas.] My stock has gone up,” said Broner. “I can go to 140 and snatch another title or go to 147. I’ve got options at either weight class.”
For a complete look at Broner vs Vargas, check out our fight page.