Vargas Announces Retirement From Boxing

By Boxing News - 11/26/2007 - Comments

Minutes after Saturday’s bout in which he lost by majority decision to Ricardo Mayorga, Fernando Vargas (26-5, 22 KOs) announced his retirement from boxing after a 10 year career. Though only 29 years-old – relatively young in terms of boxing years – Vargas was a shell of his former excellence, having lost his final three bouts. As Mayorga showed in pounding out a decision victory, Vargas no longer had the had speed, power or ring movement to compete at the high standard he had been accustomed to earlier in his career when he was a light middleweight champion.

Perhaps it was the tough hard losses to Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya, in 2000 and 2002, bouts in which Vargas took a brutal beating and never seemed quite the same fighter afterwards. Certainly, Vargas’ in between fighting diet didn’t help his cause, as he had a tendency to eat fattening foods, quite a lot of them, which made his weight rise. Although many other fighters can do this without it hurting them, such as Ricky Hatton, it seemed to effect Vargas much more, and possibly was his biggest problem as he aged.

As for Vargas’ bout with Mayorga, he fought well after the initial knockdown in the first round of the fight. Obviously, Vargas wasn’t ready for the all out blitz by Mayorga in the first, and without his old handspeed and power to bail him out, Vargas was forced to try and cove-up and weight for Mayorga to finish unloading on him. Vargas was lucky to escape with only a knock down because it could have been much worse had the round not ended, saving him as he was taking serious punishment.

After taking more abuse from Mayorga in rounds two and three, Vargas seemed to have found his way into the fight, showing brief glimpses of his old form as he landed beautiful hooks and uppercuts in the middle rounds. However, his hand speed prevented him from putting enough punches together to take out Mayorga, who seemed ripe for a knockout on a couple of occasions. Vargas was still showing a slight paunch, as he was apparently unable to take off enough weight to rid himself of the excess fat.

As it is, Vargas did a remarkable job of taking off the weight that he did – 100 lbs, according to Vargas, which is both impressive and shocking. If that is indeed the case, it would mean that Vargas had let himself balloon up to 265 lbs, a ghastly number for a professional athlete of his height. Predictably, Vargas faded in the latter part of the fight, letting Mayorga to easily win the last three rounds. In the 11th, Vargas was knocked down when he got hit with a right hand after bending down to throw a body shot. He wasn’t ready for the punch, which knocked him backwards onto the canvas. He wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed and very tired-looking.