Kell Brook and Jessie Vargas have agreed to face each other in a welterweight title unification bout this summer in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England.
— BOXING CORNER 24/7 (@boxingcorner247) May 21, 2016
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who represents Brook, broke the news on Friday. According to Hearn, while the contract has yet to be prepared and signed, both sides have already verbally agreed to the terms and conditions of the title unification fight.
Both camps have been in talks for weeks now and with Amir Khan choosing not to take a fight with local rival Brook, Hearn said going for another belt was the next best move for his ward. Brook won the IBF welterweight championship with a 12-round majority decision win over Shawn Porter in August of 2014.
Since then, the unbeaten Briton known as “Special”, has won three straight title defenses and has catapulted to 10th place in the Ring’s mythical Pound for Pound rankings. To say that Brook has been a dominant champion may be an understatement. He’s only needed a total of 12 rounds to dispose of his first three title challengers. In his most recent bout, Brook halted mandatory contender Kevin Bizier in just two rounds last March 26th.
Vargas, meanwhile, is coming off the best performance of his career. In his last outing, Vargas captured the vacant WBO 147-pound title with a 9th round TKO victory over the previously undefeated Sadam Ali. Vargas has lost only once in 27 bouts and that was to Timothy Bradley in June of 2015 during the interim WBO title bout. Bradley later vacated the belt in order to fight Manny Pacquiao a third time last April. Vargas owns notable wins over Wale Otomoso, Khabib Allakhverdiev and Antonio De Marco.
The bout should be interesting because while Brook has been on tear, he’s faced relatively low quality opposition during his title reign. If you take a look at his fight resume, Vargas will be the biggest name he’s ever faced, aside from Shawn Porter.
Vargas, meanwhile, doesn’t back down from any challenge. The former junior welterweight champion gave Timothy Bradley a scare when he hurt and dropped Desert Storm in the closing moments of round 12 of their bout. Behind on points, Vargas surprised Bradley with a big punch but ran out of time to finish him off. Despite the loss, Vargas regrouped and won the same belt against Ali in his next outing.