Samuel Vargas takes on veteran Luis Collazo
By Bill Tibbs
Toronto, Ontario, Canada welterweight Samuel Vargas will meet veteran Luis Collazo on March 17 at the Hulu Theatre inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The 10-round bout will be one of the chief support fights on Top Rank Boxing’s St. Patrick’s Day, ESPN card headlined by Northern Ireland’s Michael (Mick) Conlan (10-0-0 with 6 KO’s) who will do battle with Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez (24-3-2, 10 KO’s).
While Vargas has faced some very big names in his 9-year, 36-fight career, this will be the first time he has clocked into work at the most famous arena in the world - Madison Square Garden; the opportunity isn’t lost on the Bogota, Columbia native.
Vargas, who came to Canada as a teenager, has fought most of his career in the Great White North. However, he is very excited to be fighting against a former world champion in New York, on a Top Rank promoted card on ESPN, as the opportunity and exposure that comes with it are huge.
Vargas has faced some of boxing’s best but has come up short against the games biggest names. Vargas lost to undefeated superstar Errol Spence Jr. in 2015, was stopped by unbeaten, world champion Danny Garcia, in Garcia’s hometown of Philadelphia, in 2016 and came up short against Amir Khan in a decision loss in September of last year.
But, to put that in perspective, those 3 losses came against world champions who currently sport a combined record of 90-6 against some of the best fighters in the world.
Vargas had a bit of everything last year, getting a win, a loss and draw in 2018. So, Vargas knows a win over a former world title-holder like Collazo is a huge career boost. And, a victory on a high profile stage like ESPN, at MSG, can only lead to good things later this year.
Vargas hopes to build on the momentum he picked up in his last fight, a win over previously undefeated Gabriel Adrian Pereiro in December in Toronto.
Speaking from a recent card in Edmonton, Canada, where (Vargas promoter) Lee Baxter was watching his undefeated welterweight Kane Heron pick up his 14th win, Baxter said that this is indeed a tough fight, against a crafty veteran, but it is a fight Vargas can win. And, he can do so on boxing’s biggest stage.
"This is definitely a fight that Sam should, and could, win," he said, "there’ll be a lot of people seeing him". “I got the opportunity to put him on this show and he is going to make the most of it. I mean, ESPN, Madison Square Garden, it’s a great spot for him. He has a crafty guy in front of him but the fight is there for him to win and he will beat him (Collazo)” said Baxter.
Baxter knows that Vargas will be in tough against native New Yorker Collazo who sports a resume that includes (Sugar) Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman and Victor Ortiz.
However, Baxter feels that it is a good fight for Vargas and sees him leaving New York with the win.
“This is a great opportunity for Sam”, said Baxter. “He is in with a good, experienced veteran but I think that Sam will be too much for him and he is going to win this fight," he said.