Eddie Hearn says he is expecting a “Mexican war” this weekend when Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas clash for the WBC Welterweight Diamond Belt.
Four-division world champion Garcia takes on two-division champ Vargas on Saturday for the vacant belt in the main event of a stacked card in Frisco, Texas. Former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker fights Shawndell Winters, while Julio Cesar Martinez defends his WBC Flyweight Championship title against Jay Harris in another stand-out fight of the undercard.
But fight promoter Hearn is most looking forward to what he expects to be a memorable main event, with the two American-born fighters of Mexican heritage promising to deliver an absorbing contest.
“We have one of the best nights of boxing we have ever put on from top to bottom,” Hearn said at a pre-fight press conference. “So many great fights, championship fights, and an incredible main event in Garcia v Vargas.
“The main event is breathtaking. As we get closer I could see this being an absolute war, a Mexican war. These two are a credit to the sport, and this is such an incredible fight.”
Garcia is fighting for the first time since suffering his maiden defeat at the hands of Errol Spence Jr in his previous shot at the Diamond Belt title in March 2019. The unanimous points decision ended a run of 39 straight wins to begin his professional career. Vargas, meanwhile, brings a 29-2-2 record into the fight having knocked out Humberto Soto in six rounds last time out.
“I’m here to do one thing and [that is] take over the show,” said Garcia. “There’s a lot more to Mikey Garcia. I’m going to display all my skills and be a contender in the welterweight division. We landed on Vargas because he’s a two-weight champion, solid career, big size, and has height. He’s everything that people have been telling me I shouldn’t be fighting, but I’m going to do everything I can to win this fight.
“I expect the best Jessie Vargas and that will allow me to display all my skills. I don’t want easy fights. This will be a great match-up because Jessie is a warrior. It will push me to get the best out of me. Jessie is a great person, but inside the ring we’re competitors. He’s coming to knock me out, and I’m trying to do the same, but that will make it a memorable night.”
In response, Vargas claimed he’s in the greatest shape of his life, telling the press, “It’s the best training camp I’ve had to date. I know what’s ahead of me and I know the opportunity in front of me. I trained my a**e off for two months, following the game plan. I’ve never looked this good in the ring. I’m feeling good, I know Mikey is a good fighter... I plan on giving a fantastic performance so you acknowledge that I’m the best in the division.”
Hearn added that Parker could use his spot on the undercard to put himself in contention for another world title shot.
“The heavyweight division is so good and it’s great to have Joseph Parker back. He’s ranked number two in the WBO, has a tough opponent in Shawndell Winters, and I look forward to a massive 2020 to regain a world title,” said the promoter.
“We have one of my favourite fighters in Martinez - he’s an animal. I think he can be a Mexican legend in the sport. The co-main event we have [flyweights] Khalid Yafai and Roman Gonzalez - talk about great fighters. Gonzalez is a legend in the sport of boxing. I can’t believe I’ll get to see him live in person. If Roman can win another title it would be historic.
“This is going to be a fantastic night, and a great night of boxing.”
The event will be screened live on Sky Sports Action, with coverage beginning at 1am on Sunday morning.