Staff picks: Vargas vs Kameda

900X1600.0 - Staff picks: Vargas vs Kameda

Rey Vargas faces Tomoki Kameda in Saturday’s DAZN main event.

Rey Vargas will face Tomoki Kameda this Saturday night in the DAZN main event from Carson, California, with Vargas defending his WBC 122-pound title.

Our staffers make their picks.

Scott Christ

Vargas is at or near the top of the division at 122 and has been for a bit now, but something about him has never made a particularly great impression. Don’t get me wrong, I have him ranked No. 1 in the division and think he deserves it, but I constantly feel like he’s ripe for an upset, and when you look at his title defenses — Ronny Rios, Oscar Negrete, Avat Hovhannisyan, Franklin Manzanilla — it’s clear he’s bene handled pretty carefully.

So the question is, is Tomoki Kameda really a notably better fighter than those guys? I think he’s better, but is he better by enough to actually beat Vargas? I like Tomoki — the Kameda brothers in general have always entertained me — but I’m not sure he’s got the tools to be the guy to beat Vargas. Even at 118, Tomoki played with fire a couple times before actually losing a pair of fights to Jamie McDonnell. So no, I don’t think he’s better by enough than Vargas’ other opponents, and though he’ll compete and win a few rounds, Vargas should get through this without any real scare. Vargas UD-12

Wil Esco

Kameda enters this fight saying that he wants to avenge his only amateur loss to Vargas in this outing, but I just don’t see it happening. Kameda has been skating over pretty light opposition the last few years, not taking on a real challenge since losing back-to-back fights with Jamie McDonnell in 2015. And speaking of McDonnell, I actually think Vargas’ physical dimensions and style actually resembles his quite a bit, which is obviously something that’s not going to favor Kameda. ‘Styles make fights,’ as they so often say, and I think Vargas is just lanky and schooled enough to give Kameda fits over the distance. Vargas UD-12

Patrick L. Stumberg

Close-quarters bruisers seem to be a recurring theme in Rey Vargas’ title reign. Kameda’s easily the most technically sound of his recent foes, but I feel like that might actually work against “El Mexicanito.” Azat Hovhannisyan and, to a lesser extent, Franklin Manzanilla found success against Vargas through devil-may-care slugging, and Kameda’s extensive use of the jab seems like a liability considering Vargas’ three-inch reach advantage.

Though I’m a fan of Kameda’s and hope he pulls this one out, Vargas can control the fight at range and hold his own on the inside. To make matters worse, it looks as though Kameda’s power hasn’t followed him up to 122 pounds, as he’s gone the distance in four consecutive fights. Vargas takes a comfortable, entertaining decision. Vargas UD-12

Lewis Watson

Rey Vargas has too much over Tomoki Kameda for a changing of the guards in the super bantamweight division this weekend. Not only physically, but Vargas has the edge in a rivalry which saw both guys cross paths in the amateurs; Vargas proving victorious.

Kameda is promising to bring a “true Mexican style” to this fight, but with Vargas looking to prove he is willing to take on anyone at 122lbs, the Mexican is unlikely to get out-worked or out-hustled. This could catch fire in the opening exchanges, with Vargas connecting first with the most venom. Vargas UD-12

And the staff winner is…

1096961288.jpg - Staff picks: Vargas vs KamedaPhoto by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images

Rey Vargas (4-0)!

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Vargas vs Kameda this Saturday, July 13, starting at 9 pm ET on DAZN

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