Josue Vargas: Keeping The Hype Train Rolling
By: Hans Themistode
Super Lightweight prospect Josue Vargas (13-1, 8 KOs) has the confidence that is associated with a veteran in the sport of boxing. With four years and 14 professional fights under his belt, he seems ready for the next step in his career.
On Saturday July 13th, at the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey, Vargas will once again have the opportunity to have his skills on full display. Earlier in the year he made it look easy against veteran fighter Adriano Ramirez. His upcoming opponent, Manuel Lopez, will seemingly provide him with a stiff test. Don’t count Vargas amongst those who is expecting Lopez to be the toughest challenge of his young career.
“I’m not overlooking Lopez at all,” said Vargas. “He’s a tough guy but I don’t think he will be the best opponent I’ve ever got in the ring with. I’ve sparred with Floyd Mayweather, Jose Ramirez, Mikey Garcia and Gervonta Davis before so I’ll be well prepared come fight night.”
Vargas is well known for some of his gym wars with the aforementioned Gervonta Davis. Although the two are in different weight classes, it is a fight that intrigues Vargas later down the line.
“He’s a great fighter and a two time world champion. I’m just now getting up there in the rankings but I know that I can hang with him but right now I’m taking my time. I would love that fight sometime in the future if he decides to move up.”
The thought of a showdown between Davis and Vargas is mouth watering. However, with both men campaigning in entirely different weight classes, that fight isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. With so many great fighters already at the Super Lightweight division, the fighter nicknamed “The Prodigy” is hoping for a significant step up in opposition assuming he gets past Lopez.
“Chris Algieri and Hank Lundy are guys that I’m looking at in terms of a step up bout. Those are guys that have either been champion or have fought for the title. They have the sort of name that I want on my resume. I’m ready for that kind of step up.”
Take a look at the record of Vargas and you will notice a blemish. Usually in the sport of boxing, an early loss in the career of a fighter could be an indicator that he might not have what it takes to compete at an elite level. In the case of Vargas, this isn’t the case. In his seventh professional fight, Vargas was matched up with journeyman level fighter Samuel Santana.
It was a contest that “The Prodigy” was dominating. After scoring three knockdowns through the first three rounds, Vargas connected with a punch that saw his man go down once again. The only issue is that the punch was thrown after the referee was trying to break them up.
It was later ruled that Santana was unable to continue. Sure it is a loss on the record of Vargas, but one which would not have occurred if not for an unfortunate set of circumstances. Vargas has since put the loss behind him but would be interested in a rematch sometime down the line.
“When he went down his trainer was telling him don’t get up because they knew that I was going to get disqualified. They knew they weren’t going to win that fight. I just dropped him three times before that.
I do want that fight again but it isn’t necessary. Everybody knows what happens, I was winning the whole fight so yeah I would take that fight but I don’t care about it too much. I don’t consider it a loss.”
Vargas main focus now resides in not only winning his upcoming match against Manuel Lopez, but to also look dominate while doing so.
“I’m going to definitely go in there and break him down. I’m Hoping in the later rounds I can score the stoppage.”
With knockout wins in four of his five contest, it seems that another eye catching performance could be in store come July 13th.
Josue Vargas: “I’m Just Going To Keep Knocking These Guys Out.”
By: Sean Crose
“It’s going great,” Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (12-1) says of training camp in the leadup to his Saint Patrick’s Day clash with Adriano Ramirez (10-2) at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Vargas, a rising super lightweight, has now found himself sharing a card with the likes of Luis Collazo, and Michael Conlon. “I have a lot of fans in New York,” he says, “mainly in the Bronx.” Needless to say, the New Yorker expects to have his supporters on hand come the 17th. “A lot of people bought tickets,” he adds.
Vargas, who has eight KO’s on his record, has stopped all of his last four opponents within the distance. “I’m getting older,” he says, “so my power’s getting there.” Vargas says he’s now shooting for knockouts in the fourth or fifth rounds. “I’m just going to keep knocking these guys out,” he claims. Vargas can take inspiration from Mikey Garcia, who he’s helped train for Garcia’s upcoming superbout with welterweight star Errol Spence Jr. “It was great,actually,” says Vargas of the experience. “I sparred fifteen rounds with him. It was amazing.” Although he trains with the famed Robert Garcia, Vargas is also trained by his own father, which makes boxing a family affair for the Vargas’, just like it does for the Garcia family (Robert, a former champion himself, is Mikey’s brother).
Being part of Top Rank Promotions’ stable of fighters has certainly proved beneficial for the New Yorker, as well. “Everything’s going great,” Vargas says in reference to his relationship with his promoter. With an amateur pedigree that saw him face the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Vargas is being led through the pro ranks in a manner that allows him to steadily rise while appearing on attention getting cards. “I’m getting closer to the world title,” he says. All Vargas has to do is keep winning. Ramirez, who Vargas will be facing on the 17th, is a fighter Vargas has made sure to familiarize himself with. A short, affable seeming individual who fights in a crouched style and likes to hook his shots, Dominican Republic native Ramirez is undoubtedly looking to come back strong after suffering a loss to Matt Conway last December.
Vargas, however, is not only stepping into the ring with strong backing and a strong pedigree. He’s also stepping in with the knowledge that an impressive win can help him climb up the ranks at a rapid pace. After all, the man makes it clear he’s getting closer to a world title. The March 17th Hulu Center card will be aired live on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Josue Vargas: Boxing Is My Passion
By: Sean Crose
“I had a great amateur background,” super lightweight Josue Vargas tells me. “I’m ready for anything right now.” Having recently signed with the prestigious Top Rank Promotions, Vargas is especially ready for John Renteria, his opponent this Saturday night at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. For Vargas will be part of a card that will see pound for pound powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko pitted in the main event against Jose Pedraza. With an amateur career that saw Vargas face off against the likes of Shakur Stevenson, the Bronx native feels like he has the pedigree to rise to the top of the sport himself.
“I feel great about being with Top Rank,” he claims. “I trust them.” Although a New Yorker, Vargas headed west to California in order to train for this weekend’s match. “I was training with Robert Garcia,” claims Vargas, “and also with my dad.” While some fighters like to train close to home, Vargas is willing to travel in order to properly prep for a fight. “I didn’t stay home in New York because the winter started kicking in,” he says. “We fight in the heat…I went to California and took care of business.”
When he steps into the ring back in the east coast on Saturday, Vargas knows he will have supporters as well as detractors. “A lot of people come to support,” he says, adding that “a lot of people do hate and want to see you lose.” There are, after all, those who simply resent success. Yet Vargas is happy to be surrounded by those he feels he can count on. “My father’s my main trainer,” he tells me, “always making sure I’m prepared for every single fight.”
Vargas also has nothing but good to say about the men who guide his career. “Richard Roman,” he says, “one of the main guys who has always been there for me since I was 13 years old.” Vargas likewise has nothing but good to say about Gary Jonas. “He got me signed with Top Rank Promotions,” Vargas points out. “He’s the guy who got me 4 and 5 and 0.” With such support, the 20 year old feels like the future is his. “I see myself with a world title in about two years,” he says, adding that “I will always stay humble.”
“Boxing,” he claims, “is my passion.”