Vargas aims for unification bouts, Miura rematch in 2016
On the night of Nov. 21, much of the focus in the boxing world centered around Miguel Cotto facing Canelo Alvarez in the latest chapter of the Puerto Rico-Mexico rivalry. However, hardcore fans knew that the chief supporting bout featuring WBC 130-pound titleholder Takashi Miura vs. Francisco Vargas had the potential to steal the show.
It didn’t disappoint, both combatants put on a terrific, fast-paced, all-out war of attrition that ultimately saw the title change hands. Vargas who turns 31 on Christmas day upped his record to 23-0-1, with 17 knockouts, whilst going through some rocky moments before coming out the other side victorious.
“Looking back at the fight I knew it was a very tough fight for me,” Vargas told RingTV.com last Thursday through Cecilia Zuniga of Golden Boy Promotions. “It was also a very exciting fight for the fans and I’m very happy I came out victorious that night.”
Vargas was on the canvas in the fourth round, cut over the right eye and on the right cheek bone and hurt badly in the eighth round. It appeared a forlorn conclusion that the end was near for the unbeaten Mexico City native.
“In the eighth round I realized it was my last chance to make a move because of my eye and because they were probably going to stop the fight because of my eye at that point and so I decided I was going to go for it,” he explained.
“El Bandido” came out of the gate swinging for the fences in the ninth inning and caught lightening in a bottle.
Once Vargas hurt Miura and on the canvas in the ninth round he was determined not to let the window of opportunity close. He pounded the ferociously brave Japanese slugger until Tony Weeks jumped in and called a halt to proceedings at 1:31 of the round.
While some fighters don’t have that killer instinct and can’t find that something inside them that turns a desperate situation into a winning situation others are able to find that special something and reverse what seems an impossible situation and win. Vargas is definitely in the latter category.
He went to the hospital after the fight and got seven stitches in each wound that he now wears as a badge of honor.
“It’s healing very well,” Vargas said of his cuts. “It’s no longer swollen, the cuts stitched up. It’s going to take some time for everything to heel but everything looks really good.”
Although Vargas will enjoy some down time and some turkey over Christmas, he’s already looking forward to returning to action.
“I’m looking to do my first defense in April or May,” he said, although chief support to Canelo’s proposed Cinco de Mayo date would appear to make perfect sense, given the parameters of his injuries and his heritage.
While the first go around is one of the leading candidates to be “Fight of the Year,” a rematch is by no means a certainty.
“That’s definitely possibly, but there are other factors that have to be measured into it,” he said. “It would be a discussion with my manager and promotional company and see if that’s the right direction.
“It would be a really good fight, everyone enjoyed it but I already won. I already have the title. I’d actually be interested in unifying titles and going after Rocky Martinez.”
Martinez will face Orlando Salido in a rubber match that is targeted for the first quarter of 2016 on Showtime. Vargas (whose fight with Miura took place on HBO) would be favorite to beat either man but he once again might have to go to that dark place before coming out the other side.