Liam “Beefy” Smith is set to take on Jessie Vargas at the co-main event slot on 30th April 2022, which will precede Katie Taylor Vs, Amanda Serrano. Both fighters are in a must-win situation as Smith is in the twilight of his career and is looking to earn one last title shot before hanging up the gloves. Where Vargas has not appeared since his last fight over two years ago against Mikey Garcia in February 2020; where the loser of the bout will certainly be facing questions about their boxing career.
The bout is a 12-round super-welterweight fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight will start at approximately 2 am on Sunday morning UK time.
Smith vs Vargas
“Beefy” has fought twice in the last year, fighting Magomed Kurbanov, and was defeated via a harsh points decision. Smith then defeated fellow Liverpool fighter and rival Anthony Fowler by KO, displaying more activity lately compared to Vargas.
It seems Vargas looks to have other things on his mind, as discussed by Smith in an Interview with DAZN. Smith said, “You question if he wants to be here. “I have this thing in my mind; he’s running for Congress, he hasn’t boxed for two years, he’s only got one fight left on his contract, so is this his last hurrah? Give me one more payday, and I’ll move into politics?”.
Smith then followed up with, “He’s very good technically, he’s got that typical Mexican-American style, and he likes to fight, meaning, he’s more of a boxer, but he doesn’t shy away from a fight.
“I know he’s a nice guy, but for some reason, there’s a bit of needle there. I boxed Sam Eggington in March 2019, and Eddie mentioned Jessie’s name in the ring, and I thought, ‘yeah, you promote him, I’d like that’. We jumped on it. He fought Garcia, which was cool — but that was two years ago, and he could have fought me in those two years.
“I met Jessie at MSG at the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz fight when Callum was on the card, and we shook hands on the fight, so it just did my head in a bit, not because I was chasing him, and he’s a big-money fight or a World title fight, I was after him because neither of us was going to get a title shot and it’s a very good fight.
“When I look at the landscape of the 154lb division, I believe I can be World champion again. If I didn’t, I would retire because I’m happy, I’ve got two lovely daughters, I’ve ruled the world – so I could retire a happy man. People would bite your hand off for the career I’ve had, but I am realistic when I look at the champions and contenders and think, ‘I can beat him, him, and him,’ so I am not done yet. I still have that fire in me.
“He’s only lost to Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Mikey Garcia and soon, to Liam Smith. We’re in boxing to be in good fights, and he’s one that I want to get rid of.”
Prediction for Fight Night?
“Ultimately, I’m going to be too big and too strong for him. I’m a fully-fledged 154lber, I’ve been there my whole career, and he’s gone from Light-Welter to Welter and now Super-Welter. If you can make 147lbs, you are not a proper 154lber just yet, and I think that’s going to play a part.
“Jessie – make sure you are ready. If this is your last hurrah, let’s give the fans a great fight and one they can talk about. I do think that you are going to get that. I’m not just saying that. I like to be in good fights, and I don’t come to hold. I don’t come to make it a bore-fest or awkward; I’m coming to fight, and I think he’s got that in him too, so I think you are going to get a good fight but a Liam Smith win.”
There has been the potential to make this fight for a while now, even before it was postponed in February following Vargas catching Covid, as well as plenty of barbs between the two fighters. How do we think the fight will pan out? Will Smith be too big and powerful? Is Vargas looking for a big payday, or will he shock the boxing world? Can imagine everybody is eager to see how this fight pans out. Who have you got?
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images