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Last Tango At 154 For El Feroz

BY Rick Folstad ON July 11, 2006
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This is his last tango at 154 pounds, his goodbye tour at super-welterweight.

And he‘s not going to miss it, thank you. Not for a second.

It’s like finally saying good-bye to your 8-track player or your old Dodge Dart or your fat uncle who dropped by unannounced and spent the summer in your guest room with his three cats.

It worked out fine for awhile, but it was time to move on.

Sayonara, adios, ciao, so-long. Have a good life.

After next weekend, the only way “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas will see 154 pounds is if he leaves one foot off the scale.

See ya, Oscar. Bye, Floyd.

Helloooo, Winky.

“I was 156 the other day after my run,” Vargas (26-3, 22 KOs) said on a recent conference call promoting his super-welterweight fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley (42-4, 36 KOs) on July 15 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas (PPV). “But this is my last fight at 154 pounds. I feel strong, but it’s time to let my body grow.”

It’s been screaming for the opportunity.

Vargas said his walking around weight is 180, 185 or even 190 pounds after a good chicken burrito. From up there, super-welterweight is a fantasy.

Sure, he’d like to win another title. But it won’t be at 154.

“I’d rather not do this to my body anymore,” he said. “And I love to eat. I’m Mexican and I love Mexican food.”

Vargas said people don’t understand the type of world he lives in when he’s trying to make 154 pounds. He said he fought Winky Wright on three egg whites.

He fought Mosley just five months ago and managed to make 154 for that fight. And he claims he was still strong when they finally stopped it in the tenth round when his eye swelled up so bad, it looked like he stopped a car with his face.

“If I would have seen Shane on the other side of the ring with an eye like that, I would have gone for broke,” Vargas said. “But he respected me. He respected what I carried in my right and left hand. He still respected me with one eye. And I was still winning the fight with one eye. When they stopped it, I was putting pressure on him.”

They had to stop it. People were passing out in their ringside seats. Fight fans in Toledo and Hackensack and Grand Forks were turning off their TVs because of the carnage. It wasn’t a swelling over an eye, it was a softball with somebody’s head attached to it.

But Vargas said he took care of that problem. He quit sparring with headgear that protected him from getting hit around the eye. If you don’t get hit sparring, you’ll show it in a fight. Your face has to get used to taking punishment just like the rest of your body. Sparring toughens everything up, including your skin.

“Your body and your face have to get used to being hit,” Vargas said. “It will be a different fight this time around.”

Still, Vargas said it wasn’t a Mosley right hand that damaged his eye.

“He comes in with his head all the time,” Vargas said. “It wasn’t his fists that swelled my eye up, it was his head.”

Whatever he used, Mosley did a fine job.

As for surviving camp, it can’t be too bad. Vargas – who credits trainer Robert Ferguson for helping him lose the weight while remaining strong – said he was having pizza after the conference call.

“But there’s a certain way I‘m having pizza,” he said.

Tricks of the trade.

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