Written by Tré Berry III | 10/30/2021
What is that saying “Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it”, and a young fighter who clearly wasn’t ready for the moment was taken care of in very quick fashion. Puerto Rican New York native 🇵🇷Josue Vargas (19-2-0, 9KO) arrogance was on full display in the lead up to the week, to where it finally escalated at the weigh-in, sparking a scuffle between the two entourages, spearheaded by Vargas’s actions. He had an opportunity to prove himself…but he made the big mistake motivating 🇺🇸Jose “Chon” Zepeda (35-2-0, 27KO), who is a naturally hot-and-cold fighter when it comes down to his level of performance, angering the 32 year old veteran, who made sure to put it all together, and make the younger man pay for his insolence, and over the top hubris that was exhibited his way in the last few days.
Truthfully, regardless of what version of Zepeda came to the ring, we expected it to go a few rounds, perhaps with some interesting results. The Mexican-American Zepeda started early, showing no fear, and exhibiting full concentration, as he looked to set up Josue. In the middle of the 1st (and only) round, Zepeda landed a picture perfect lead left cross to the head, as Vargas was leaning in looking to land his left, but dropped his right hand in the process, and dropped head first down to the canvas.
Severely hurt, Josue was extremely wobbly, and discombobulated in his multiple attempts to get up, and he beat the count. Just barely being able to stay standing up, the Referee gave him a break, as on command, Josue stepped to his left, and his momentum continued to take him in that direction…but he was ultimately cleared to continue.
Back in action, Zepeda took it right to him, worked Josue by the turnbuckle, and detonated a barrage of bombs on Vargas that slumped him in the corner, to the point where the Referee stopped the fight, saving the beaten Puerto Rican fighter, in front of an absolutely shocked crowd at Madison Square Garden, in the Hulu theatre section. The pro-Puerto Rican crowd couldn’t believe what had happened to their man, and how it went down.
THIS was the type of performance that Jose Zepeda needed, to show what he is still capable of doing at 32 years old, especially after his war with 🇷🇺🇧🇾Ivan Baranchyk, and his severely lackluster performance against journeyman 🇺🇸Hank Lundy. He still looks the part of a top-4 Junior-Welterweight in the world, and he may get another shot at a world title soon because of this performance.
As for the 23 year old Josue Vargas…he is a solid fighter, but he had to learn a couple of hard lessons tonight…hubris, with lack of awareness will cut you short in the big moments…and you do not poke the bear of a highly acclaimed prizefighter, especially one who runs hot-and-cold, who feeds off of his opponents energy that he exudes through his taunts.