24.11.07 – Matthew Hurley: In the aftermath of his exciting, close decision victory over Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga did what he always does – he became a proverbial good guy. The fighter best known for his outlandish behavior and crass remarks in pre-fight press conferences as well as his free-swinging ring style, reveals himself to be nothing more than a marketing master when his check is safely in the bank and the fighting is over..
No wonder Don King loves him and keeps putting him in the ring and on pay per view events. He sells tickets and as far as King is concerned, that’s really all that matters.
Although Mayorga showed greater patience and a skill set he hasn’t previously exhibited in his fight with Vargas he was still fighting way above his natural weight and against a very depleted fighter. But his win will mean that not only will his career go on but King will rely on him to once again turn into his alter ego, that of the raving mad man, when he finds an opponent that will intrigue the public. It will, however, have to be at either welterweight or junior middleweight. Mayorga himself intimated that not only was 166 pounds, the catch weight for the Vargas fight, way too much for him but that Vargas hit much harder than he’d like to experience again.
“The weight was too much,” he said at the post fight press conference. “This gentleman hits way too hard.” It was a bit odd to hear Mayorga refer to Vargas as a “gentleman” considering all the names he called him leading up to the opening bell but it was nothing compared to when he walked across the dais and kissed Fernando on the cheek. But then this is the same guy who begged Oscar De La Hoya’s forgiveness and to get him some more money after having a dispute with Don King over his contract for his bout with the “Golden Boy”. De La Hoya was taken aback considering that Mayorga had the temerity to disrespect his wife as he would to Vargas’s, but again that’s all part of the Mayorga shtick.
Vargas, to his credit, accepted Mayorga’s kind words but it was perhaps more to do with a sense of relief that his career was finally over and he wouldn’t have to suffer through another weight draining training camp.
“He was the better man tonight,” he said quietly.
He then went on to reiterate that his fighting days were over and that he was proud of what he accomplished and thankful to the undying loyalty his fans have shown him through the ups and downs of his career. “I promised my wife and my mother that this fight would be the end and it is. I have my businesses to attend to and I want to be a good father to my kids. I also want to help boxers on the way up and make sure they get the money they deserve because I know how fighters can get cheated. I want to thank all my fans for all they’ve done for me, from the bottom of my heart.”
Although Mayorga said that upon his return to the lower weight classes he would like to fight Floyd Mayweather or Miguel Cotto, it is doubtful that either fighter will entertain a fight with Ricardo any time in the near future. Despite getting the win, and it was a good win for him, his viability as an opponent for either of those two elite fighters is limited, particularly against Cotto who is promoted by Bob Arum while Mayorga is promoted by Don King, Arum’s longstanding nemesis. He is a name brand fighter though and King will undoubtedly get him a title shot, probably in the junior middleweight division by the middle of 2008. A rematch with Cory Spinks is a possibility as is a showdown with Roman Karmazin, who won in spectacular fashion on the undercard. Meanwhile he can content himself with the millions of dollars he is expected to receive from the Vargas showdown after the pay per view buys are tallied up.