After making only one appearance in the ring in 2018, WBC Jr. Featherweight champion Rey Vargas (32-0, 22 KOs) will be making his return to take on little known, but hard hitting Franklin Manzanilla (18-4, 17 KOs).
In this day and age, fighting only one time a year is the norm. Vargas on the other hand was not used to that. Until 2018 hit, he had never fought less than three times in a calendar year in his entire career. It was a tough 2018 for the champion physically.
“It was an injury to my knuckle that I suffered,” said Vargas during a phone interview with Round By Round Boxing, translated by Gabriel Rivas. “Thankfully I’m past that now and I’m happy to be back.”
To many fans, Vargas is facing a soft touch. An opponent who stands virtually no chance. But to Vargas, he understands the danger that Manzanilla presents.
“My opponent is an aggressive fighter who comes forward,” said Vargas. “He also hits very hard and has a lot of knockout power but I’m fully prepared for whatever he brings come fight night.”
The knuckle injury that kept Vargas sidelined for nine months has actually been a persistent problem for him throughout his career. However, now that he has fully healed he feels as though he will be better than ever and will have no hesitation when throwing hard punches.
“The knuckle had been a problem for me for quite some time,” said Vargas. “For the past few fights it was something that I had to deal with during fights. It has been difficult for me to throw hard punches but in this fight I won’t have any hesitations throwing the types of punches that I want to throw.”
The statement of Vargas having fully recovered from his injury should be welcomed news to the fans. He has been one of, if not the very best fighter in the Jr. Featherweight division.
Vargas has much respect for the other champions that currently reside in his weight class and assuming he is able to win his match this upcoming weekend he would like to step into the ring with them and stake his claim as the best that the division has two offer.
“I have a lot of respect for the other champions in my division because they are all great fighters,” said Vargas. “I’m hoping that this will be the year that I get the opportunity to unify my title and give the fans a great fight.”
As for who exactly he feels would give him the toughest test of his career, Vargas did not mince words.
“Danny Roman. All of the champions are very good fighters, but I think Danny Roman might be the most difficult challenge. I hope to test myself against him to prove that I am the best.”
After having a year that was slowed down with a hand injury, Vargas seems to have big plans for his 2019 boxing campaign. Those plans however can be derailed if he doesn’t get the job done this Saturday night. To Vargas’ credit he understands that as well and refuses to look past his opponent.
“The fans can expect to see an elegant fight and an explosive Rey Vargas, said Vargas. “I will not look past my opponent. I know that he is very dangerous. No matter what I will get the victory this Saturday night.”