By Craig Mastendri: Ricardo Mayorga left disappointment at The Staples Center for the predominantly partisan Fernando Vargas crowd. Ricardo Mayorga breathed game saving life back into his Victory with a very late rally. Scoring a knockdown with just seconds left at the end of the 11th round, in a round he appeared to be losing, to re-stake his claim to the Win!
Mayorga got off to an excellent start scoring a late round knockdown that had Vargas “On the Campaign Trail” for “Mayor” of Queer Street! Mayorga landed hooks, straight shots, and forced the relaxed but focused “El Feroz”, into the “Worst-Case Scenario” for the fights beginning. It also sky rocketed the “Bravado” and confidence of Mayorga. Mayorga had looked a little nervous up to that point but then flashed the fiery aggression he’s known for!
Rounds 2-3 had Mayorga pressing forward and tagging Vargas! In round three, a cut was opened, a cut that was later ruled to be caused by a punch. Vargas looked shot and fading fast! But he did find the composure to slip and block just enough to survive and recuperate just enough and make it through the initial onslaught. Mayorga was taunting Vargas in the rounds while playing to the Crowd in between.
Rounds 4-7 of the fight saw Vargas begin to land counter left hooks and straight right hands and begin to mount his attack. They seemed to be alternating rounds, but it appeared as though Mayorga’s brash training methods, which include cigarette smoking and drinking Tequila, were starting to impact his ability. Even though was able to land a couple big shots. Vargas got started.
Rounds 8-10 Fernando Vargas looked as though he found “The Answer!” The jab!! Once he began to use it? He was able to keep Mayorga off balance, not allowing him to get set and deliver his power shots. Vargas then landed his own power shots, with counter left hooks, and clean right hands. In round 9, Vargas had his best round and was in control having Mayorga stunned and looking a bit wobbly. The Vargas jab had turned up the heat.
The fight appeared to possibly be up for grabs in the last two rounds. Vargas started the 11th well and headed towards a remarkable comeback! Mayorga then suddenly and essentially steals a 10-8 round with just seconds remaining. This knockdown didn’t have the same physical effect as the first knockdown, but it’s the definition of “Momentum Changer!” More of a flash knockdown off the referee’s break, but it was the nail in Vargas’s scorecard!
The 12th showed Vargas try to be the aggressor and Mayorga rather uncharacteristically became the boxer. Coasting his way to a close Majority Decision by way of 113-113 for Judge Tito Mendoza, 114-112 for Judge Glenn Trowbridge, 115-111 for Judge Max De Luca.
Neither Mayorga nor Vargas appeared to be anywhere near there best, but at least in Mayorga’s case? He may have something left and may have put himself in position to earn another decent payday and perhaps a 3rd fight with Vernon Forrest can be made. That’s a fight that will still sell and can only lead to bigger things. Both men were respectful towards each other afterwards. That was a mild surprise considering the hatred between these two, but Mayorga respected the effort and competition Vargas gave him.
Vargas officially announced his retirement and that appears to be a wise choice. While his fans saw him give a last effort he fell short. Despite the loss, he did lose 100 pounds prior to this and hopefully he can take the lessons learned and apply them as he moves forward in life health-wise. He had a great career and should always hold his head up. “El Feroz” was once a World Champion and a fighter who never backed down.