Former super lightweight world champion Jessie Vargas has expressed his disappointment following the announcement this week that ex-opponent Timothy Bradley will face Brandon Rios next.
Vargas, 26, moved up in weight over the summer to face Bradley for the vacant WBO welterweight title and had a real tear up with the two-weight world title holder over twelve rounds in California.
With just seconds left of the fight, Vargas had Bradley in trouble, not for the first time in the fight, and was landing heavy shots against the ropes when veteran referee Pat Russell apparently stopped the fight.
Amidst heightened confusion, Russell indicated that he was signalling the end of the fight, not a technical knockout victory for Vargas, as the official thought the ten second warning sound was actually the final bell.
Obviously disappointed by the announcement, Vargas was even more downhearted when the cards were read out that Bradley was victorious via 117-111, 116-112 and 115-112 margins with the three ringside judges.
In the immediate aftermath, Bradley promised Vargas a second fight due to the harsh way the first bout ended, although the American has now moved on to a contest with former lightweight champion Brandon Rios instead.
Bradley is all set to trade blows with the rugged Rios at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and Vargas hopes to be next in line once the dust settles on their recently confirmed November 7 bout.
“I thought I won the fight when the referee stepped in with eight seconds left,” Vargas told World Boxing News over the phone on Friday night.
“I mean, the arena wasn’t full so I don’t know how the referee thought the ten second warning was the final bell. Even Bradley came up to me and congratulated me on the win when I was celebrating.
“If the fight would have been allowed to carry on and ended like it should, even if Bradley was given the decision like he was, it would have been fine with me, but I just hope he gives me a rematch.
“He’s not a man of his word. Bradley said after the fight that he would give me a rematch if I contacted his people, so I spoke to his wife but heard nothing after that.
“It’s the only fight I want. I have to keep going with my career and am looking to fight in December, but hopefully he gives me a rematch after his fight with Rios. I think Rios has chances to win the fight, but I think Bradley can come through and then maybe we can fight again.
“Even the referee apologized to me at the end of the fight and said he was retiring, but I just wish the fight could have ended differently. The WBO don’t seem to be interested in giving me the rematch, but I hope to get it after my next fight.”
As mandatory challenger Sadam Ali looks set to step aside for Bradley in order for him to defend against Bradley, Vargas was asked if a final eliminator with the Golden Boy fighter was a possibility.
“I’ll fight anybody. We have different promoters so it might not be likely, but as I said I’ll fight anybody. The one I want is Bradley.”
Seeing how he has only just moved up to 147, Vargas was quizzed as to whether he would consider a move back to 140 for another world title shot at the lower weight in the meantime.
“I feel that welterweight is my division now and I feel good at the weight,” he stated. “Plus, it’s stacked with great fighters that I want to mix with. Going back to 140 would be hard, but if it’s the right fight who knows?”