The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today former light middleweight champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas will make his first visit to Canastota to attend festivities planned for the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend June 11-14th.
“Ferocious” Fernando Vargas
“Every time he fought, Fernando Vargas brought skill, heart and determination into the ring,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame is thrilled about welcoming him to Canastota for 2015 weekend events.”
The fighting pride of Oxnard, CA, Vargas represented the USA at the 1996 Olympic Games before turning pro in 1997. In just his 15th professional bout, he defeated Yori Boy Campas (TKO 7) to capture the IBF light middleweight championship. “El Feroz” successfully defended the title five times over such stars as Raul Marquez (TKO 11), Winky Wright (W 12) and Ike Quartey (W 12) before losing the title to Hall of Famer Felix Trinidad. In 2001 he stopped Jose Flores (KO 7) for the vacant WBA title. Vargas retired in 2007 with a record of 26-5 (22 KOs) that includes wins over Wilfredo Rivera, Fitz Vanderpool, Tony Marshall and Javier Castillejo.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2015. Living inductees include heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed, lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken, manager Rafael Mendoza, referee Steve Smoger, journalist Nigel Collins and broadcaster Jim Lampley. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer and Non-Participant categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing stars from the United States and abroad, including “The Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta, Nino Benvenuti, Michael Spinks, “Irish” Micky Ward, William Joppy, Ray Mercer, George Chuvalo, Peter Manfredo Jr., Pipino Cuevas, Ruben Olivares, Buddy McGirt, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Winky Wright and Sergio Martinez, are scheduled to participate in the weekend.
Grand marshal of the Parade of Champions, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 14th, is Jon Seda, star of the hit NBC drama Chicago P.D.