Welterweight/Junior Welterweight prospect, Jessie Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs) will now be facing former world titlist, Steve Forbes (35-10, 11 KOs) on the undercard of the May 5 Mayweather-Cotto pay-per-view.
The previously booked Alfonso Gomez withdrew earlier this week, citing a back injury and Forbes, who was sparring with Saul Alvarez in preparation for Alvarez’s bout with Shane Mosley on the same card, stepped into the open slot.
The 35-year-old Forbes has lost two of his last three and, since 2006, has registered a feeble 3-7 record. However, the experienced and well-traveled veteran briefly held the IBF super featherweight title in 2000-2001 and is a three-time world title challenger.
While Alfonso Gomez was expected to test the 22-year-old Vargas with solid pressure and pure grit, his replacement may offer a different test for the prospect. Forbes is more of a stylist than the one-dimensional Gomez and has learned his craft in the ring with fighters such as Oscar De la Hoya, Andre Berto, Cornelius Bundrage, and Carlos “El Famoso” Hernandez, as well as a score of other prospects and mid-level contenders.
Recently, though, Forbes’ once-solid chin has begun to falter. In his last bout, approximately eleven months ago, the former Contender reality show cast member lost via tenth round TKO to Karim Mayfield . He also sustained punishment in the bout prior to that, a six round technical decision loss to Ionut Dan Ion, four months earlier.
Vargas, whose career high-water marks are a RTD 1 win over Vivian Harris and a split decision victory over Josesito Lopez, would likely have seen a stiffer test against Gomez, but Forbes may prove to be a solid developmental bout for the young fighter.
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