A FIGHT FOR `GREATNESS' VARGAS HOPES TO TAKE A BIG STEP FORWARD.Byline: Michael Rosenthal Assistant sports editor Noun 1. sports editor - the newspaper editor responsible for sports news
newspaper editor - the editor of a newspaper
EL PASO El Paso (ĕl pă`sō), city (1990 pop. 515,342), seat of El Paso co., extreme W Tex., on the Rio Grande opposite Juárez, Mex.; inc. 1873. , Texas - Fernando Vargas Fernando Vargas (born December 7, 1977 in Oxnard, California) is an American boxer and two-time world champion, who won a bronze medal as an amateur at the 1995 Pan American Games in Mar del Plata. His nicknames include "Ferocious" and "The Aztec Warrior". is in a rebuilding mode at 23.
The Oxnard resident won fans with his courageous performance in a knockout loss to Felix Trinidad in December. However, he lost more than just a fight that night in Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. ; he also lost his perfect record, his IBF IBF
See: International Banking Facility junior middleweight title and a lot of swagger for which he'd become known.
He can't erase the `1` in the loss column but is determined to reclaim a championship belt and the prestige that goes with it.
Vargas takes the first step in that direction tonight when he faces veteran Wilfredo Rivera in a 10-round bout at the 12,000-seat Don Haskins Center The Don Haskins Center (Capacity 12,222), the home of UTEP Miners basketball, is considered one of the top college basketball facilities in the United States and perhaps the best in Conference USA. that will be filled with fans known for their affection for Mexican-American fighters.
``It's hard to lose,'' said Vargas (20-1, with 18 knockdowns). ``I still feel bad about it sometimes. I'm confident, though. I've seen fighters come back from adversity and be good champions, great champions.
``I want to step into the ring and show that.''
Some have suggested he was too young and perhaps just not good enough to beat a fighter of Trinidad's ability.
However, Vargas dismisses such talk.
Immediately after the loss, in which he went down an embarrassing five times before the fight was finally stopped in the 12th and final round, he blamed low blows delivered by Trinidad that he said weakened his legs.
Later, perhaps uncomfortable with anything that might be construed as an excuse, he said his primary mistake was the wrong mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. . Normally a methodical boxer-puncher, Vargas said he fought as a brawler.
Now, he insists he'll revert to the cautiously aggressive fighter that dazzled fans with victories over Yory ``Boy'' Campas, Raul Marquez and Ike Quartey.
``I want to make an intelligent statement (against Rivera),'' Vargas said. ``... You're going to see a very intelligent fighter. I'm gonna fight, I'll be explosive, but I'll be very intelligent and pick my spots.''
Vargas appears to have taken his resurrection and this fight seriously.
He took a few months off to heal after the Trinidad fight, more emotionally than physically. Then, he went to his training camp in Big Bear an unheard of three months before the fight. He and his handlers say he's in better shape now than he was for Trinidad.
And it's a good thing: Rivera (32-4-1, 20 KOs) is a legitimate opponent.
He hasn't been particularly active - two fights in almost two years - and isn't known as a big puncher. However, he has acquitted himself well against some of the best fighters in the world and he's still relatively young at 32.
Rivera lost two disputed decisions to a still-effective Pernell Whitaker, had to quit against Oscar De La Hoya Oscar de la Hoya (IPA pronunciation: [ˈɑs.kɛɹ dɛ.lɑ.ˈhɔɪ.jɑ]) (born February 4, 1973) — nicknamed the Golden Boy in the eighth round because of a cut and gave Shane Mosley a tough fight before he was stopped in the 10th round.
Rivera was surprised Vargas chose to fight him immediately after such a punishing defeat.
``I think this is a mistake for him,'' Rivera said. ``... I respect him, though. He has heart, he's young. We'll see.''
Vargas could fight for a title as soon as his next fight, assuming he beats Rivera and his assault case - expected to be settled Tuesday - doesn't interfere.
Trinidad has moved up to 160 pounds to fight William Joppy next Saturday. If he wins and gives up his title, Vargas could fight close friend and No. 1 contender Shibata Flores Flores, town, Guatemala
Flores (flōrəs), town (1990 est. pop. 2,200), capital of Petén department, N Guatemala. Flores was built on an island in the southern part of Lake Petén Itzá and on the site of the for the championship. He also would like a shot at Oscar De La Hoya, assuming he takes the WBC WBC white blood cell; see leukocyte.
white blood cell
n stands for white
cell. title from Javier Castillejo next month.
First, he must take care of Rivera.
``He comes to fight,'' Vargas said of his opponent. ``He's been in with tough opponents, he's no slouch slouch
v. slouched, slouch·ing, slouch·es
1. To sit, stand, or walk with an awkward, drooping, excessively relaxed posture.
2. To droop or hang carelessly, as a hat.
v. . I don't want to step into the ring with a nobody. I wanted to fight someone everybody knew.
``I know we did what was necessary in camp to prepare for this fight. I'm ready.''
VARGAS vs. RIVERA
--Who: Fernando Vargas (20-1, 18 KOs) vs. Wilfredo Rivera (32-4-1, 20 KOs) in a 10-round bout
--Where: Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas, El Paso campus
--TV: HBO Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)
A form of oxygen therapy in which the patient breathes oxygen in a pressurized chamber.
Mentioned in: Ozone Therapy After Dark, 10:45 p.m. (delayed)
``You're going to see a very intelligent fighter. I'm gonna fight, I'll be explosive, but I'll be very intelligent and pick my spots.'' - Fernando Vargas
Box: VARGAS vs. RIVERA (see text)