Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas Picks

Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime
Weight Class: Welterweight
Titles: None
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Adrien Broner, 33-3 (24 KOs), Cincinnati, Ohio
Jessie Vargas, 28-2 (10 KOs), Los Angeles, California

Betting Odds: Adrien Broner (-105), Jessie Vargas (-115)

On April 21 in Brooklyn, Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas will duke it out in a 144-pound catchweight bout. These are two good fighters and it’s hard to not like this matchup, as their styles should combine for an entertaining bout. And for the betting man, it’s also a challenging bout to break down, as each fighter appears to have a reasonable route to victory with the odds being relatively even. Action around this weight is heating up and both would like to be players within that mix, making this a crucial fight to win for both men. Both are 28 years old and have enjoyed some strong moments in the ring, but this is big for whoever can win this fight.

The catchweight scenario is a bit perplexing. Broner has been wildly unpredictable at the scales at times in his career, while Vargas has not fought at this low of a weight in over four years. Both have fought capably at welter, so we’ll see how the weight factors in. Sure, it’s only 3 pounds. But Broner has been at 140 recently, making the weight potentially more an issue for the lanky 5’10” Vargas, who might have to sweat off some more weight late in fight-week. Vargas’ recent body of work is pretty strong, though this is only his second fight since November 2016.

Vargas stood out at 140 pounds, scored some good wins, and started to make nice headway. His first really big fight at was against Tim Bradley at welterweight in 2015, a fight were he was soundly outboxed until a final round when he badly hurt Bradley, before seeing the fight end early when the referee mistook the 10-second warning as the final bell. It may have robbed Vargas a shot at a win, but it also showed he had some upside. And he proved it in his next fight with a TKO win over unbeaten Sadam Ali for the WBO Welterweight Title. He lost the belt to Manny Pacquiao in his next fight. A decision win over Aaron Herrera was his only 2017 outing.

Broner, meanwhile, is coming off a tough loss, but to one of the sport’s best in Mikey Garcia. It was a forgivable loss on many levels, but Broner now has three defeats and needs a win such as this to justify more upcoming high-profile appearances. Beginning with Marcos Maidana late in 2013, he’s 6-3. But there’s been enough solid wins in the mix to suggest he can still be a force in the right spots. This might be one of them.


Broner is still young enough and he clearly has the talent. But some results inside the ring, in addition to issues outside of it, make him a fairly unreliable betting proposition. He doesn’t always extract the most of what he has in the ring. His ring IQ isn’t always the best, nor is his overall vision of a fight. And some disturbing headlines outside the ring make one wonder if Broner is living right. There’s a lot to like about Broner, even in this particular matchup, but you’re never sure what you’re going to get with him. The one benefit to Broner’s coming down to earth in the past several years is that the once-overvalued betting proposition can be had at betting windows for a more-reasonable price. Some betting value is certainly present with Broner fetching a -105 quote in this bout.

Making it harder on Broner is that his opponent gets the most of what he has. You don’t have to worry about Vargas running around at late hours. In the ring, Vargas has shown great mental strength. You don’t have to concern yourself about Vargas not leaving it all in the ring and making the most of what he has talent-wise. Again, at 28 and recently inactive, will the weight be an issue? And his tactics aren’t always the best in terms of overall strategy. With a length advantage over most guys he fights, Vargas very often lays on the inside. And for the purposes of this matchup, that could be feeding right into Broner’s hands. While Vargas was able to nearly stop Bradley and TKO the unbeaten Ali, he still has only ten knockouts in thirty pro fights. He might not be able to hurt the durable Broner. Can he maintain a distance and use his physical gifts? Because if he stays in the pocket, he’ll be doing so with a harder-hitting and more-durable fighter who is better in the trenches both offensively and defensively.

After being forced to be on the run against Garcia in his last fight, can Broner re-establish his bread-and-butter, which is his inside-work? Say what you will about Broner, but he’s always been durable. He has more overall girth, which would give him an edge inside. Broner can do a little bit of everything inside and he’s very creative in how he gets there. He hits harder than Vargas and is far-slicker on defense, especially inside. If Vargas spends a lot of time inside on Broner, it’s not particularly hard to picture Broner having a lot of success. Vargas also depends heavily on a right hand—perhaps a little too much. Will he be able to earn Broner’s respect on the outside with his power-game? It can be a bit predictable and with Broner innovatively able to get inside, that poses some concerns for potential Vargas backers.

But again, Broner has a dependability issue. When taking even a marginally-optimistic view of what to expect from Broner in a given fight, he often under-delivers. He’s not always the most-adept at finding the best route to victory and as a result, he has had a handful of really close fights that should have been clearer wins for the Cincinnati slugger. It can be difficult to decide who to pick in his fights and this one is no different. Part of you sides with his greater overall talent and even some matchup components that would seem to favor him. But then, it’s only fair to take into account some things that aren’t always so good—his commitment, whether he can stomach a war like Vargas can, and his overall inability to impose his talent in fights where he’s the more-gifted fighter.

This fight is very difficult to break down for the purposes of determining a winner. And the 144-pound mandated weight doesn’t make it any easier. Broner seems to be a little out of his depth against the elite of the sport. Where does Vargas fall into that equation? Is Broner still at or near his peak, or have outside issues and some punishing losses zapped him of his prime? It’s not an easy pick to make, but Broner’s back is against the wall now and he really needs this one. And I think there are enough aspects of this pairing that favor him, enough to make me take another whirl on “AB” at this price.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Adrien Broner at -105 betting odds. Bet this fight for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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