19.07.06 - By Karen Belford: Hello East Side People. In the aftermath of Fernando Vargas' 6th round knockout loss to Shane Mosley (43-4, 37 KOs, 1 NC) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, there's been quite amount of bleating in the media about how old and slow Vargas looked, saying, in effect, that he needs to retire for "he just doesn't have it anymore." Thankfully, Vargas (26-4-22 KO's) isn't listening to this nonsense, because he's not even close to being finished as fighter, as I'm concerned. True, he lost the fight and didn't appear to be at his best, yet what people are ignoring is that Vargas had to take off over 20 lbs to make weight before the fight, which left him totally drained and weak by the time of the fight. Only loser's quit, and Vargas is far from being a loser.
Article posted on 18.07.2006
Right of the bat, I noticed how emaciated Vargas looked as he entered the ring for the fight, it was so dramatic. Of the 20+ lbs that Vargas was forced to strip off to make the 154 lb weight limit, much of it was muscle weight, unfortunately, for him.
Most people have no idea what it's like to have to lose that much weight, believe me, much less to would they have the faintest idea what it's like to have to compete in an athletic event following such a dramatic drop in weight. Sadly, very few people have taken any of this into consideration, which disappoints me, especially when I consider that some of these views are even spouted by the so-called experts in the sport.
Come on, you've got to do look into the training before a fight, particularly with boxing, where a fighter is often forced to drop weight in order to make the weight class, before coming to conclusions. When you compare how Vargas performed on Saturday night, with how he fought five months ago, it's almost like watching two different fighters. In the first fight, Vargas was fast, landing quick combinations that backed up Mosley, and had him on the defensive. This time, however, Vargas looked like a slug, weak-looking, and pushing his punches rather than snapping them like before. Not only that, Vargas' face had lost muscle in his cheeks, something that is a hallmark for dramatic weight loss, bordering on starvation.
No, People, Vargas isn't "Shot" or "Over-the-hill," as you suggest; He's just outgrown the Junior middleweight division, for, after all, he's 28-years-old and is no longer a boy. Believe me, there's no mystery about any of this, for it happens all the time, but in boxing, it's noticed much easier due the weight limits for the different classes. Clearly, Vargas needs to move up in weight class, possibly all the way to Super Middleweight, the 168 lb. class, where Vargas would be quite effective, as other than Calzaghe and Kessler, there's not many fighters that could match up with Vargas.
Indeed, I would pick Vargas over Calzaghe, for I think he's got the youth and power advantage over Calzaghe, not to mention the ring smarts. For me, those two are probably the best in the Super Middleweight division, and as for the rest, such as, Marcus Beyer and Jeff Lacy, they'd be easy prey for a rejuvenated Vargas. You see, People, it makes a whole lot of difference when you're fighting at your true fighting weight, and aren't forced to strip off 15-20 lbs of muscle to make weight before a fight, just as Roy Jones Jr.
If you expect Vargas to be retiring off this latest loss, you're in for a big disappointment, for he's a proud Mexican Warrior and he knows, himself, the cause for his loss to Mosley, saying "People don't understand what it takes for me to get down to 154 pounds." It must have been terrible for Vargas to have to take off such a huge amount of weight, and then to be attacked afterwards, with people calling him old, makes it even worse for him.
No, Vargas won't retire, and you'll all see when he comes back even better than before. I just hope Vargas doesn't try to fight at middleweight (160 lbs), for I think he's too big for that weight and needs to be at least 168 to 175 lbs, to be at his optimum fighting weight. Even at light heavyweight, I think Vargas would be quite effective, for I think he's better than the current champions, Fabrice Tiozza, Tomasz Adamek, Clinton Woods and Zsolt Erdei. Actually, this might be a better weight for Vargas, seeing that he wouldn't have to drop any weight to make this class, and would have the handspeed advantage over most, if not all, of them. Personally, I would love to see him fight Antonio Tarver, a fighter that was recently beaten by a 40-year-old Bernard Hopkins. This would be so interesting to watch, and I have no doubt that Vargas would win, probably by knockout.
Beyond that, I think Vargas has 4-5 years left in his boxing career, possibly more if he can move up to the correct weight, where he won't have to continue to drop dramatic amounts of weight to just to fight. Why retire, when Vargas can still compete at the highest level? Soon, everyone will see for themselves, when he comes back even better than before. Hopefully, people will give me credit for making the prediction, because Iíll deserve it.
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