Vargas-Mayorga – Thanksgiving Day Leftovers

20.11.07 - Matthew Hurley On Friday, November 23rd the day after Thanksgiving Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga will engage in a pay per view battle in what amounts to nothing more than tasty leftovers. There’s nothing wrong with this fight, in fact, for as long as it lasts, it should be a lot of fun. But pay per view? A bout between two fighters who have combined to lose five of their last seven fights should not be promoted with a price tag approaching fifty dollars. Still, Vargas and Mayorga both pride themselves on making exciting fights and the two also love to revel in their respective machismo..

Vargas is adamant that this bout will be the final of his career and he is determined to go out like the warrior that his loyal fan base continues to pay homage to. It is that warrior’s code that has made him so popular and has steadily increased his stature in his fans eyes despite losses to Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Shane Mosley. All three fighters represented his greatest rivals in the ring but his performances, particularly the Herculean effort he put forth against Trinidad in which he was knocked down five times solidified forever the love his fans hold for him. Vargas fights as much for them as he does for pride, which he maintains this fight is all about. After losing his last bout to Mosley by a one sided knockout in the sixth round Vargas was ready to retire but that very pride demanded that he enter the ring one more time and go out a winner. He’s convinced that not only will he win but also that he has the perfect opponent to make him look spectacular.

Mayorga has become something of the bully that come backing opponents now like to pick on. He’s volatile, vulgar, reckless, punches hard enough to remain dangerous but is so lacking in defensive skills that he all but begs to be hit. Trinidad and De La Hoya used him to look great in comeback bouts and Mayorga played the villain to the hilt and also provided a few tense moments for both fighters. His reckless abandon would drive any trainer to drink but it also makes him an oddly compelling fighter to watch. He makes fights exciting, even when you’re certain he’s going to lose. In this fight however he has more than a good chance because Vargas’ chin has been so dented in his past several fights that it may as well be held together by masking tape. There is every reason to believe that one wild, winging shot from Mayorga will end the fight and send Vargas into a bitter retirement. There’s also the very real possibility that Vargas will use his skill to wear down Ricardo, just as Trinidad and De La Hoya did, and knock him out in the mid rounds. That’s what makes this fight intriguing.

There is also the apparent animosity between the two fighters. For Mayorga it is all part of his shtick, but for Vargas’ he truly dislikes his opponent. He doesn’t harbor the same animosity for him that he did and probably still does for Oscar De La Hoya but Mayorga has clearly gotten under Fernando’s very thin skin.

“Mayorga is a stupid fighter,” he says. “He’s a jackass. When I knock him down I’m going to tell him to get up. I’m going to tell him to get up and remember what he said to me. How he was going to do this and that to me. I don’t like anything about the guy. It’s about pride.”

Ricardo, never at a loss for words is also a master at saying just the right thing to make his opponent’s blood boil. “I don’t like him. He is going to lose and embarrass himself. He’ll be a coward and run from the very beginning. I am going to knock him out and even his wife is going to come up in the ring and have pictures taken with the real champion and that will be me.”

Ultimately this fight will probably prove to be a very exciting battle between two fighters far past their primes but still desperate to get that one last big victory. And because of all the wear and tear on their bodies and spirits neither fighter will be able to get away from the other. It will be a shootout from he opening bell. The only question is will you, the consumer, be willing to shell out the money to see it.

Article posted on 20.11.2007

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