This is a difficult one to call. Both are 5’10” with a 71’’ reach. DeMarco is 28; Vargas is 25. Jesse is 25-0 while Antonio is 31-3-1.
DeMarco has fought better opposition including the likes of Adrien Broner, Jorge Linares (which was a war), and the great Edwin Valero to whom he lost in 2010 in what would be Dinamita’s final fight. Vargas does have some solid notches on his belt including the likes of Josesito Lopez, Wale Omoloso, and to undefeated Russian, Anton Novikov.
In October 2011, southpaw DeMarco came back to stop the gifted and favored Jorge Linares (31-1) in the eleventh round in an amazing and bloody battle to win the Vacant WBC World lightweight title which he defended successfully against Miguel Roman and tough John Molina (24-1)–the later by a shocking 44 second KO. He then lost his title to Broner in 2012 but has since won three in a row. Antonio is a boxer/puncher and fights 180 seconds of each round and does not mind brawling if need be. He has good boxing blood lines as he is the cousin of three division world champion Humberto Soto.
Vargas is a boxer who fights from an orthodox stance but lacks overwhelming power. He works smart using a jab, laser-like focus, and good movement, but has never fought anyone like Linares or Valero. He won the IBO and the WBA World light welterweight title against Russian Khabib Allakhverev (19-0) in April 2014 and defended against another Russian Anton Novikov (29-0) in Las Vegas where the judges seem to favor Vargas somewhat disproportionally. Curiously, Vargas has gone the distance in his last nine outings. That’s 94 tough rounds. That’s a lot of hard work.
Another noteworthy point is that Vargas is now trained by Roy Jones Jr. at his new gym in Henderson, Nevada. Jones is the latest of several trainers and if he can impart some of his knowledge to Jesse, it could provide an additional edge.
The fact this fight is in Macau might give a slight advantage to DeMarco as Vargas does most of his work in his hometown of Las Vegas while Antonio has been more of a road warrior. Nevertheless, this is a classic boxer vs. boxer/puncher affair. If the fight turns on boxing, I would ride the undefeated record of Jesse Vargas. If DeMarco can lure Vargas into a brawl, the odds just might turn in his favor.
Bottom line, this is a ‘Pick’ em ’fight.