Former boxing world champion Jessie Vargas announces run for US Congress

Former world champion Jessie Vargas is entering the ring for Congress.

Vargas announced on Monday that he had launched his campaign for U.S. Congress in the state of Nevada. He is running to represent District 4.

Vargas wrote in an Instagram post:

"I have an exciting announcement: I am running for United States Congress! (Nevada District 4) Las Vegas has given me so much, and now I am devoting my time to make it better and to fight to keep the American dream alive!"

Vargas is a former Democrat, per his website release, and is running as a Republican out of Las Vegas.

The 32-year-old was formerly the world champion in two weight classes. He was the WBA and IBO super lightweight titleholder in 2014 and the WBO welterweight champion in 2016. He made his debut in professional boxing in September 2008 with a first-round knockout of Joel Gonzalez, who was undefeated heading into the bout.

His last fight was in February 2020 when he lost to four-division champion Mikey Garcia. Garcia won via unanimous decision.

Vargas joins a number of current and former boxers who have decided to run for government seats. Juan Manuel Márquez ran for a congressional seat in Mexico this year.

Manny Pacquiao, who defeated Vargas in November 2016 for his WBO welterweight title, has served as senator of the Philippines since 2016. In September, Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his party to run for president in 2022. He retired from boxing weeks later.

Jessie Vargas
Jessie Vargas announced a congressional run on Monday. (Paul Best/Getty Images for Maddox Gallery)