Marquez comments fire up Vargas |

Marquez comments fire up Vargas

Even though Fernando Vargas is only hitting plastic mitts worn by trainer Eduardo Garcia, you can’t take your eyes off him. The workout punches are crisp and explosive. What if he somehow misses the mitt? Any one of them are violent enough to land his 11-year trainer in Barton Memorial Hospital for the evening.

Hence, you can see why Vargas has the nickname he has.

“He’s looking very ferocious,” said manager Lou Duva, who played off of Vargas’ nickname “Ferocious.” “He’s getting more and more powerful as we go along. In another five months he will come into his own. You can put him in against anybody, and I’m talking about Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and David Reid.”

The 21-year-old power puncher from Oxnard, Calif., will put his International Boxing Federation junior middleweight championship on the line against Raul Marquez on Saturday night at Caesars Tahoe.

Undefeated and the youngest to ever win a junior middleweight championship, Vargas naturally has few concerns about the once-beaten Marquez of Houston.

“He’s like an awkward fighter, but I’m ready for anything that he comes with. I’ve been working very hard for this fight, and it’s all going to show come this weekend,” Vargas said.

Marquez (30-1, 20 KOs) did his part to promote the fight during a recent teleconference, but at the same time the “cheap shots” will give Vargas more inspiration.

“He’s been talking a lot, but now we’ll see what he has to say in the ring,” said Vargas, who has knocked out all 16 of his pro opponents. “He’s just been disrespecting me. All of a sudden he starts bad-mouthing me and he broke up a phone conference. Now that he has the fight, we’ll see what he does with it.”

Raul Marquez was unavailable for comment and is expected to arrive today in Stateline.

However, Vargas and Garcia have become wary of his knockout prowess. They are working on making him a better all-around fighter.

“We’ve been teaching him how to use more technique in professional boxing, being more calculated and we want him to use all of the advantages he has: the speed, hands, foot movement and waist movement,” Garcia said. “In the beginning of his professional career, he wasn’t using all of his abilities. He was standing still and now he’s making sure he uses his full capabilities.”

Vargas fully understands the need for upgrading his abilities.

“You can’t fight every fighter the same. You always have to sharpen everything … movement and different angles for different fighters,” Vargas said.

Vargas’ relationship with Garcia dates back to when he was a raw 10-year-old fighter. Other trainers have made power plays to supplant Garcia, but Vargas remains firm with his loyalty to a man he considers family.

“There’s been many moves trying to take my trainer out, and they know who they are. I will never have it,” Vargas said. “He’s like a father figure to me. I will never leave my trainer. I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror if I cut him; he’s been there since day one.”

“I love him a lot because I’ve been with him since I was a little kid. He’s always respected me, gotten along with me and we’re both very happy that we’ve reached the world championship together. And we expect to finish our careers together,” Garcia said.

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