Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KO) and Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KO) are contending for the now vacant WBO welterweight title which was stripped from Timothy Bradley, after he had beaten Jessie Vargas, as Bradley prefers a rematch with Manny Pacquiao rather than face Sadam Ali.
Vargas is lucky to have his face on television so soon after his one-sided loss to Timothy Bradley in which he made not-very-publicized racist comments regarding the physical superiority of Mexican boxers at the pre-fight weigh-in. A former Floyd Mayweather protege, Vargas was recently trained by Roy Jones, Jr. In contrast to the opinions of HBO commentators, it is my view that Jones' influence was damaging to Vargas.
For Vargas only became a terrible imitation of Jones while lacking Jones' speed and athletic ability. With a switch to a Mexican trainer, perhaps due to Roy Jones' busy schedule, Vargas' racist pride elevated his confidence.
Sadam Ali has every physical advantage over Vargas – height, reach, speed, and technical acumen. Bradley stood in front of Vargas for twelve rounds without regard for defense, and Vargas could only land anything of note in the last ten seconds – one right hand that Bradley carelessly walked into. Ali should win an easy decision.
Of note, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (24-0, 21 KO) will make an appearance on the card with Tony Thompson (40-6, 27 KO) as his opponent. Ortiz most recently defeated Bryant Jennings by TKO while sick with the flu. The stocky Ortiz displays a good blend of skill and power and is looking to become a major player in the heavyweight division.
The card airs Saturday, March 5, at 10 p.m. US Eastern on HBO.