VARGAS: ‘I’M HERE TO ENTERTAIN, AND I ALWAYS DO’
Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs) is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over Lanardo Tyner in February that followed a hard-fought, split decision over fringe contender Josesito Lopez last September.
Against Tyner, Vargas, 22, won all but one round on the three judges’ cards in a brawl that featured two low blows by each of the boxers, exchanges long after the bell following the first, second and fifth rounds, and both combatants tasting the canvas twice — none of which were official knockdowns.
Vargas won for the third straight time since defeating former titleholder Vivian Harris, also scored a second-round knockout of Walter Estrada in July.
“This really is a pleasure and an honor to be fighting alongside Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Sugar Shane Mosley and Canelo Alvarez. I have a man in front of me in Steve Forbes who is a fighter with a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge,” said Vargas.
“But I’m a fighter who is hungry and ready to win. I’m here to fight and I’m here to entertain, and I always do. Come Saturday, it will be another victory. I’m very glad that Steve Forbes is in great shape, because that way, there will be no excuses. He’s definitely going to come to fight.”
FORBES: ‘I HAD PERSOAL PROBLEMS, BUT THANK GOD, SHE MOVED OUT’
Forbes delivered the best line of the day.
“I’ll tell you, I’m glad to be back. I’m glad to be on the big stage,” said Forbes. “The last few years have been hell for me. I had a lot of personal problems, but thank God, she packed up and moved out.”
Forbes (35-10, 11 KOs) has held a major 130-pound title, was the runner up in the second season of The Contender series, challenged ex-beltholder Andre Berto for a welterweight title, and went the 12-round distance with Oscar De La Hoya in a junior middleweight bout in his 16 years in the sport.
“Saturday night, Steve Forbes is back, I’m telling you,” said Forbes. “All of the distractions are gone, and I’m in superb shape right now.”
Forbes, 35, is a Portland native who owns wins over current IBF junior middleweight titleholder Cornelius Bundrage and also Francisco Bojado. Forbes lost his last bout, a 10th-round TKO to welterweight prospect Karim Mayfield, last June.
“I’m just looking forward to a great night of fights. Jessie Vargas is an up and coming whirlwind of a fighter,” said Forbes. “But I’ve been in this position before. I fought Demetrius Hopkins and Francisco Bojado, two talented guys, and I was able to take care of business.”
Forbes said he took note of Vargas’ last fight with Tyner.
“I guy fights dirty when he’s frustrated, and he’s frustrated when he’s mentally challenged, so I plan on doing that to him all night,” said Forbes. “You get a guy that’s fighting dirty, and he’s frustrated because something’s bothering him. I’ve been in this game for 16 years, and I’m aware of what to do.”
Forbes has been trained by Mayweather’s uncles — Jeff and Roger — as well as his father, Floyd Sr., at one time or another. Forbes has served as a sparring partner for Alvarez in preparation for Mosley.
“I’m back, I’m focused. You didn’t catch me sleeping, trust me. I’ve been in camp after camp. I went to camp with Canelo and he’s a kid. I love this kid. I’m excited to be in Vegas. This is where it all started for me. The Mayweather’s marched me to a world championship,” said Forbes.
“I’ve always got respect for the Mayweathers. I think that you’re going to see a good, classic boxing match from me. Let’s just hope that the judges have their contacts in. “That’s all that I care about. I want the right call to be made and the right outcome to happen.”