In early February it was formally announced that former champions Jessie Vargas (29-3-2) and Liam Smith (30-3) will square off on April 30th, as part of the Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano undercard at Madison Square in New York.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place at the Gila River Arena in Phoenix on February 5th. The bout was postponed when Vargas contracted COVID-19.
The fight will be the first fight in two full years for Vargas, who has held titles at 140 and 147 pounds. His last ring appearance was a February 2020 decision loss to Mikey Garcia.
Smith has been more active and is coming off of an 8th round stoppage victory over Anthony Fowler in October. Last May, in his prior bout, he lost a unanimous decision to Magomed Kurbanov.
The 32-year-old Vargas is relieved to finally be returning to action so that he can continue his quest to become a three-division world champion. The fight will be held at the super welterweight limit of 154 pounds.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’m truly happy to be back!” Vargas told BoxingScene.com.
As for the fight itself, Vargas said that Smith is going to be in for a rough night.
“He’s been talking a lot about me and has even gone ahead to provoke me on social media. I’m really looking forward to putting a stop to him and showing him that I am the better fighter,” Vargas stated.
Vargas will be busy both in and out of the ring. In November he announced that he was running for congress in his home state of Nevada.
He first became a world champion in 2014 when he captured the WBA 140 pound title against Khabib Allakhverdiev. He became a two-division champion when he stopped Sadam Ali in 2016 to capture the WBO welterweight strap.
Smith won the WBO super welterweight title in 2015. He successfully defended it twice before being stopped by Canelo Alvarez.