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Published: Friday, 5/15/2009

Vargas gets chance in main event

A pivotal point in Devin Vargas' boxing career will take place tonight in his most significant bout since turning pro after competing in the 2004 Olympics.

Vargas (17-0, 7 KOs) faces Kevin "Kingpin" Johnson (21-0-1, 8 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight bout in the main event on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

"Last time I fought in Atlantic City it was on ESPN2, and I came out and

destroyed my opponent," said Vargas, referring to a first-round knockout of Dave Brunelli in an undercard bout early in his pro career. "I don't plan on anything different happening this time around."

However, Johnson has done well enough to earn a No. 5 ranking in the WBA, No. 10 in the WBC, and No. 13 in the IBF.

"This is a great opportunity for me and my career," Vargas said. "People say that he is the top American heavyweight, so when I beat him I will take that position."

Vargas will become only the fourth Toledoan to fight in a main event on national TV over the last 45 years. Lindell Holmes, a super-middleweight; Leotis Martin, a heavyweight; and Skeeter McClure, a middleweight, preceded Vargas.

Holmes won a 12-round decision over Scotland's Murray Sutherland to claim a title back in the mid-80s. Martin knocked out former champion Sonny Liston in 1969. McClure lost a 10-round decision to Jose Torres at Madison Square Garden in 1964.



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