Fernando Vargas, Jr. is proud to be a chip off the old block.
However, as he creates his own path in the sport the way his father did, Vargas, Jr. is grateful to share that road of success with his family, including his two younger brothers.
Vargas will face late-sub Heber Rendon of Venezuela tonight at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. The six-round bout will be part of the MarvNation Promotions card.
The 26-year-old Vargas (8-0, 8 knockouts), who lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, last fought on February 11, stopping Argentina’s Geronimo Nahuel Sacco in the second round. The win over Sacco took place 11 weeks after Vargas knocked out Alejandro Martinez, also in the second round.
None of Vargas’ eight fights have gone past the third round.
Despite having lost his last eight fights, Rondon (20-4, 13 KOs) will be a significant step-up in opposition for Vargas. Living in Las Vegas has allowed Vargas to spar some of the best fighters in the sport. For this training camp, he was able to spar WBO world welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford.
“I had a great training camp sparring the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing,” Vargas told Boxingscene Wednesday night. “We really worked hard in this camp. Regardless of who we face, I’m going to give it my all and put on the best performance.”
Vargas has had the fortune of training alongside brothers, Amado and Emiliano. All three are unbeaten prospects who are trained by former two-time world junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas.
A lot of times, the father-son dynamic in boxing does not work. Opinions can vary and the relationship between a father-son duo becomes strained. Not with the Vargas family, according to Vargas, Jr.
“The thing with our relationship with our Dad is that we all want to be successful,” said Vargas, Jr. “We’re not reminded when to run. We don’t get told when to show up at the gym. We don’t tell our Dad we will show up, then don’t. We all push each other in the gym. We work hard and we want to be the best. We have that self-motivation, discipline, and drive to succeed. We want to leave our own legacy in the sport. We may have a difference of opinion at times, but we don’t take things personally and we know our Dad wants the best for us.”
Fernando Vargas, Sr. agrees.
“Junior has done great,” Vargas, Sr. told BoxingScene late Wednesday night. “He has really come into the professional game and (is) acting like a professional. He listens to what I tell him to do. I’m very proud of his work, along with my other two boys, Amado and Emiliano. To me, it’s a blessing to be living this. My boys are everything to me. It’s a blessing to be living what I didn’t have in their lives.”
Fernando Vargas, Jr., along with Amado, are promoted by Marv Rodriguez. Emiliano Vargas is promoted by Top Rank.
In the main event, junior lightweight prospect Jonathan Lopez (10-0, 7 KOs) of Orlando, Florida will square off against Eduardo Baez (21-4-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Lopez will also be taking a step-up in class. Baez, who is originally from Mexicali, Mexico and now resides directly across the U.S. border in Calexico, California, lost a close split-decision to once-beaten fringe featherweight contender Arnold Khegai on December 10.
In his previous fight on August 20, Baez was knocked out by then-WBO world featherweight titleholder Emanuel Navarrete in the sixth round in a fight Baez was up on two of the three judges’ scorecards at the time of the knockout.
The 20-year-old Lopez stopped Osvaldo Nunez Medina in the second round of his last bout on May 3.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing