LOS ANGELES-Ferocious Fernando Vargas lived up to his name and drew first blood on crazy Ricardo Mayorga on Wednesday.
Vargas ripped into Nicaragua’s Mayorga for making one derogatory remark too many during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and fired on the out-spoken fighter.
A press conference to announce the fight between the two former junior middleweight champions on Sept. 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was going smoothly until Mayorga insulted Vargas, and included his wife, who was present.
“You don’t talk about my wife,” shouted Vargas, age 29.
Mayorga’s left eye was slightly cut, his left cheek reddened and his lip bloodied from the blows landed by the irate Vargas, who was wearing several rings.
Known as “El Feroz”, the Oxnard fighter announced before the conference that he is retiring from professional prizefighting and wanted to go out a winner.
Vargas (26-4, 22 KOs) last fought almost a year ago on July 15, 2006 against Pomona’s Shane Mosley and was stopped by a left hook in the sixth round.
“I didn’t want to go out like that,” says Vargas who said he had problems making weight and decided to make this next fight against Mayorga at 162 pounds instead of the 154-pound junior middleweight limit. “I fight for pride and I fight for family.”
Mayorga’s last fight was against Oscar De La Hoya on May 6, 2006. During the build up for that fight Mayorga (27-6-1, 22 KOs) ridiculed the East Los Angeles fighter and also mentioned his wife.
But De La Hoya is a gentleman and extracted his revenge in the boxing ring with a riveting sixth round knock out. Vargas, though a millionaire, still considers himself a product of the streets and clings to those street values. He extracted his pound of flesh right there.
With more than 100 media reporters in the Chick Hearn pressroom, Mayorga stepped to the mike and began ridiculing Vargas' eating habits and calling him “fatty” among other things. But when he mentioned the Oxnard fighter’s wife, Vargas jumped up and began firing blows.
“I’m going to retire you,” shouted Mayorga, age 33.
Surprisingly no one else was hurt during the ruckus though chairs spilled out and tables were shoved aside. Promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events covered her head under her arms as the two boxers flailed away at each other above her.
“This fight is for me and for my fans,” said Vargas.
Tickets go on sale on Monday.