‘New’ Vargas Faces a New Kind of Test
It was supposed to be a fight for the World Boxing Council super-welterweight title, but even with no belt at stake, Fernando Vargas sees tonight’s bout with former champion Javier Castillejo as a chance to re-establish himself as a top 154-pounder.
Vargas’ reputation and his career have been hurt in the last five years by losses to Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya and a positive test for steroid use.
It’s a chance to “show the world the new me,” Vargas, 27, said.
The “new” Vargas, he said, is a stronger, better boxer who bears little resemblance to the one who won International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Assn. junior-middleweight championships.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about boxing,” said Vargas, who is 25-2 with 22 knockouts. “I’m not going to take a guy like Castillejo easy.”
The Vargas-Castillejo bout headlines a card at Allstate Arena that features top contender Rocky Juarez (23-0, 16 KOs) facing No. 2 contender Humberto Soto (36-5-2, 21 KOs) for the WBC interim featherweight championship.
The main event was scheduled to be a 12-round WBC super-welterweight title bout, but the WBC stripped Castillejo (58-5, 40 KOs) of the belt on May 31 for refusing to fight Ricardo Mayorga, reducing this to a 10-round elimination matchup. Mayorga won the vacant belt with a unanimous decision over Michele Piccirillo last Saturday.
Vargas’ promoters filed a lawsuit against the WBC last week in New York for financial damages.
“This was supposed to be a championship fight,” said Rolando Arellano, Vargas’ co-manager.