Welterweight world titleholders Kell Brook and Jessie Vargas are both in search of a major fight this summer. An obvious one would be for them to meet in a unification bout.
So when Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was in New York this week, one of the items on his to-do list was a lunch meeting with Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, which promotes Vargas and former welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr.
Hearn and Moretti met to talk about a number of possible fights the companies might be able to do together, but the welterweights were front and center.
“Had a great meeting with Carl Moretti, and one of the subjects was my desire to make a big fight for Kell,” Hearn told ESPN.com. “I said we would be willing to fight Bradley or Vargas. We are looking at end of July/early August and Carl told me that would be too early for Bradley. We switched our attention to Vargas, and being a belt-holder that's definitely a fight we want.
“We are easy on where the fight is but our preference would be to stage it in the U.K., and we have a lot of money for Mr. Vargas if he wants to make that happen. It's early but I think everyone is interested in this unification fight, and we will see how it progresses next week.”
Moretti said it is a fight the Top Rank/Vargas side is also interested in pursuing.
“We had lunch and had a discussion about a lot of fights. We need to discuss the Brook fight with Vargas, but knowing Vargas he would fight [Gennady] Golovkin for the right deal -- but we would not recommend that he fight Golovkin,” Moretti said with a laugh. “If the deal is right and Jessie likes it, then we’ll see if we can make the fight with Brook.”
Brook (36-0, 25 KOs), 29, of England, won the title from Shawn Porter in August 2014 in Carson, California, and has made three defenses but each against lesser opposition in Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier. Each resulted in an easy knockout win for Brook, who is dying for a bigger fight.
Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, a former junior welterweight titlist, moved up to welterweight last summer and lost a decision to Bradley in a title fight. In Vargas’ next bout, he knocked out then-undefeated Sadam Ali in the ninth round in a superb performance on March 5 to win the world title Bradley vacated ahead of his third fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Vargas told ESPN.com he would very much like to unify titles with Brook -- but only if Brook comes to the United States.
“It would make for a great fight and it’s an opportunity for us to give the fans a great fight,” Vargas said. “My only concern is the location of the fight. The fight would have to be in the U.S. He has fought in the U.S. before and it shouldn't be a problem for him to accept a fight in the U.S. Who doesn't want to fight in Las Vegas? He was treated fair the last fight that he fought here, and I feel that if I were to go fight him in the U.K. they wouldn't treat me with the same respect and it will give him an edge.
“If he came out here once and had no complaints, then there shouldn't be a problem for him to accept the fight in the U.S. I'm not planning on going out to the U.K. for this fight.”