Fernando at Boxing.com

On October 29th, 1998 Fernando went Live on the 'Net with Boxing.com.  This is the transcript of that on-line chat conversation between the fans and the Ferocious One.


BOXING.COM: Welcome, BOXING.COM fans!


BOXING.COM Fan: Where did you get that "Ferocious" name from ? Who started
it all?


Fernando Vargas: I got it form a friend of mine who was one of the sports
writers from the Oxnard Star (a newspaper) named Bill Williamson. He works for another paper now. He would
say "Hey you take these guys out ferociously! And you're so intense," so when my name was picked for that, he
said it's got to be "Ferocious" -- so I kept it.

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BOXING.COM Fan: You are a new breed of fighter. A slugger that wins to the
delight of the younger multicultural fans. Is this something that you are aware of and how are you dealing with
the rush of fame - especially with the ladies.


Fernando Vargas: I think it's great that the public is attracted to me and likes to see me fight. I try to keep myself
composed in all areas in my life and I know that boxing is a sport that gets a lot of attention from people and
ladies, so I guess you have to be smart and take care of yourself at all times. I'm really happy about the
multicultural fans too -- lots of nationalities out there are behind me, and I try to please everybody. Brown Pride!
You know that! If you like my style I'm happy about that.

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BOXING.COM Fan: In your short professional career (14 fights) you have risen
into the top ten in the IBF - 1: WBO - 4: WBA - 7: IBC - 8: WBC - 8. Beside the fact that you have knocked
out all 14 of your opponents, what do you attribute this amazing accomplishment to?

Fernando Vargas: I think that I've been working hard as a kid and have always had inspiration\. I had a great
trainer named Eduardo Garcia. He's been a friend and mentor -- his son, a world champion, is IBF champion. I
think that is something that really pushes me to have that want to become a world champion. I have a great
trainer and team behind me.
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BOXING.COM Fan: What gives you that extra push?

Fernando Vargas: I remember wanting to be world champion ever since I was a kid -- I always told myself that
one day I'd be great and I started doing that by winning tournaments and stuff. I have never thought of anything
other than being champion.
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BOXING.COM Fan: How old were you when you started?

Fernando Vargas: 10 years old. I was a roughnick kind of kid, you know...always fightin' and stuff -- as soon as I
found there was a gym, a sport that let you actually fight, I fell in love with it. Boxing was it, man. This was the
sport for me and I wouldn't get in trouble for fighting.
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BOXING.COM Fan: How is that scar over your eye?

Fernando Vargas: It's healing well, I have been putting creme on it so it should be gone by fight time I hope. I've
been sewn up by a plastic surgeon so I'm all better. (laughs)

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BOXING.COM Fan: My girlfriend wants to know what kind of gel you put in your
hair? She really likes your appearance.

Fernando Vargas: (laughs) I use Dep #7 super hold with rave extra hold hair spray and I blow dry it all. No
problem, I'll answer that...bring it on! (laughs)
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BOXING.COM Fan: What is the real deal with the hair?

Fernando Vargas: That's my personal style, I had it when I was young and I've just kept it.
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BOXING.COM Fan: How many rounds have you sparred with David Reid, and how
did you do? Do you think his speed would be a problem for you?


Fernando Vargas: I'm not going to say too much about David Ried. I've sparred with him in the Olympic training
camp. We know what kind of fighters each other is. We're friends, but this is a business where the promoters
get together and make fights. We might have to fight and I'll be ready. I bunked with him before (as an Olympic
athlete), and I like him he's a great guy -- I can't say I was very close to him. I much much closer to David Diaz.
Sometimes it hurts to reminisce a bit because I know if I would have won the gold medal, it would have been
instant recognition. But I'm happy with my accomplishments without the gold medal. I didn't think this would
happen to me in the U.S., getting robbed in my second fight, but what can you do. You have to move on like
Evander "Real Deal" Holyfield did. Him and others have gone on to become great champions after the Olympics.
I want to do the same.
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BOXING.COM Fan: what do you like to eat? Do you eat differently before a fight?


Fernando Vargas: Before I fight I like to eat a little bit of everything because I've pushed my body down to 154
pounds and I'd like to get those extra fluids. I won't lie to you, sometimes it's tough on my body. Meals in that I've
missed. {laughs} It's not hard to maintain the perfect weight but once in a while you miss the foods you used to
eat. Anyone who doesn't work hard to get the weight down, that isn't the weight they should be fighting at. Tonight
for dinner, for instance, I ate well. I had chicken fajitas with brown rice and Crystal light.
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BOXING.COM Fan: What is it like working with Lou Duva and being in the main Events stable? Have you sparred
with everyone like Sweat Pea or Vernon Forrest?


Fernando Vargas: I like working with him and I look forward to fighting more on the west coast., I love the east
coast, lots of fans, but it gets pretty expensive when you're flying your whole family down. (laughs) But God gave
me the power so I'm looking forward to fighting again, and again. I've sparred with Sweet Pea and Vernon and
work well with them. It's great experience to work with those tpes of top-notch fighters. I think that's why I've done
so well as a pro. Lou Duva is like your grandpa -- he might be cranky in the morning, he might be moody at night,
you just have to test the waters. (laughs) but overall he's a great guy.  When he got inducted into the Hall of fame,
he was very happy. One of the people in boxing that deserves it, all right.  He's done a lot for boxing. Main Events
really takes good care of their fighters.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Do you answer all of your own fan mail?

Fernando Vargas: Absolutely! I think it's a must, keeping in touch with your fans because they're the ones that
make you. I think it's great to have fans all over the U.S. and even some from England. I answer them back. With
my web site, I'm very involved. It's a reflection of who I am, so I have to be tuned and informed about any decision
about what gets put up, I owe that to the fans to have a top-notch site.
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BOXING.COM Fan: Your website is cool. How involved are you with it? What's up with the Fernando Vargas
Champion's Club and the "Ferocious" National Beauty Contest?

Fernando Vargas: That's another name for the fan club -- the word "Champion" was picked because I work a lot
with young people and I try to help them be champions in whatever they do like school and sports. The beauty
contest is a way to try to get the girls involved in boxing. One girl from each state joins my fan club then sends a
picture of themselves, what they do, and what their goals are in life. One girl will be selected as a winner and will
receive two tickets to one of my fights, meet me in person, and maybe do an appearance. They can enter this by
going to www.fernandovargas.com and it will soon be www.ferocious.com! Both sites will be interlinked like twin
sites. There are details on the web site on how to get involved and become a contestant. Also on the site I have
merchandise, t-shirts, hats, pictures, polo shirts -- soon to come with posters. The image on my web site is a
tiger because ferocious is a very boastful word, like a lion or tiger. God has given me the power; I think it
characterizes the way I am. The merchandise is driven by that image... pictures of me with tigers , although I
don't actually have a tiger personally! {laughs} I want to have tigers at home, though, running around. The
merchandise can be ordered on the web site.
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BOXING.COM Fan: How many miles do you run a day? Do you focus on distance or
more like sprinting to get the heart rate up?

Fernando Vargas: Both. Long ones -- 5-6 miles each day and sometimes I mix it up. A lot of sprints in between
my long runs or sometimes I run a short distance and I do 10-15-20 sprints.  I try to go a longer distance every
time I do a sprint. When I run, I listen to music -- my friends from Oxnard, Brown Intentions, they have a CD out,
or my good friends Terminal Madness -- they release it Dec 12. They're hip-hop. I also like DMX, JZ, Snoop Dog,
and various others. The best way to run is with music that pumps you up. If you're running without music, you get
bored quickly. I have my dog, Champ, with me when I run -- he is a Champion-breed boxer. {laughs}

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BOXING.COM Fan: What has been your toughest fight to date? Who has hurt you
the most in a fight ?

Fernando Vargas: No-one has hurt me, but my jaw was tested by Anthony Stevens -- he's a tough fighter. He
knocked down Trinidad, who later beat him in the 10th round. I was able to come back and come out with a body
shot. There was some controversy about him claiming it was a low blow, but if people check the fight and you'll
see he was not grabbing his groin at any moment. He was just crawling around the ring. The tape is there for
people to see. It was a clean body shot. I showed that I can take a punch, come back, and take care of business.
Some people say I haven't fought enough but everyone's a critic, and I don't think I'd be ranked this high in all
those organizations because of inexperience. I'm showing that I have experience at the pro-level to deal with
these types of fighters. I've been in the ring with Vernon Forest and those types of fighters get you ready for fights
like that.

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BOXING.COM Fan: How did you hook up with Main Events? Were you sought out be a bunch of different
promoters, American Presents, Cedric Kusner etc....

Fernando Vargas: Yes. All of them. Don King, American Presents, Main Events -- practically everyone. I chose
Main Events because I felt they'd be the ones who kept my best interests.  And they've done that. Main Events
and American Presents have the best record as far as lawsuits so they have the cleanest name in boxing right now.

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BOXING.COM Fan: What's your opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of IBF champ—Yori Boy Campas?
How about Keith Mullings? Laurent Boudouani?

Fernando Vargas: The strengths of Yori Boy is he's a good fighter, very strong, excellent body punching power
and knockout power. His weakness is he gets hits too much -- been in too many wars. I think he gets mad it you
don't hit him {laughs} -- no real type of defence. I don't know if he's always been that way, because his facial
features might be a little messed up. For Keith Mullings, he's a very strong fighter. I realy haven't seen too much
of him. Someone who is very intelligent could probably beat him. Boudouani I don't know really anything about.

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BOXING.COM Fan: You have a fight with Yory Boy coming up, right?

Fernando Vargas: Yes. The behind the scenes there is that it starts with the promoters -- I guess Main Events
had to put a lot of money up to get him, but I'm glad we've got him Dec. 12 on HBO. It'll be Atlantic City. It's a big
fight and I'm very happy about it... I'll be ready. I hope to not disappoint my fans. In preparation for the fight, I'm
watching tapes of him when he was young and now -- you have to be ready for any Yory-Boy that shows up. I
can't give too much of my strategy away.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Were there any politics involved in trying to get this fight?

Fernando Vargas: I'm telling my people to make the fight -- Bob Arum didn't want the fight but we were able to
lock it down after all. It got handled by both promoters. That happened a couple of weeks ago.
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BOXING.COM Fan: Do you remember meeting a girl before your last fight in New Jersey, it was my birthday, if you
do... 'Hi!'

Fernando Vargas: Yes, I do remember you! Your name is Sarah, right? Hi Sarah! Special message to you -- I
hope you're doing great and I received your picture. Thank you for your support.

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BOXING.COM Fan: What about your personal life? What's it really like? Are you a crazy guy or what?

Fernando Vargas: The only thing I have is my personal life -- everything else is exposed, so I'd like to keep that
personal. Sorry. {laughs} But I don't have a girlfriend, I'll say that.

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BOXING.COM Fan: How old is your son and do you take him with you to your fights?

Fernando Vargas: Fernando Vargas Jr. will be 2 yrs old on Nov 8. Baby Ferocious! {laughs} I think he's past his
terrible two and he ain't even two yet! I'm working on a big party for him, at a good friend of mine's house. He'll
come to the fights that aren't too long, I'll fly him out for those. I love having him there. I fly the whole family out --
they're my backbone. They've supported me since day one and they're behind me 110%. My mom gets really
nervous and she starts crying.. I'm glad I can't hear her in the ring. It gets very emotional. She says before a fight
"Hurry up and finish" so she doesn't have to see much of it. {laughs}Sometimes for some family emergency
reasons they can't come, but they'll watch on tv and as soon as it's over they call on my cell phone's voicemail.
That support is overwhelming.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Hey fernando i need to get back to my studies, why don't you email me at {DELETED FOR
CHAT}, I would love to hear from you!

Fernando Vargas: Why don't you email me at MY site! {laughs}www.fernandovargas.com -- I'll make sure I get
back to you.
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BOXING.COM Fan: what was your hardest obstacle to overcome.?

Fernando Vargas: In life and boxing is not being able to spend as much time with my friends and party and do the
things teenagers did. I was always at national and int'l tournaments as an amateur, cut weight, while my friends
were eating hot dogs and stuff.. now as a pro you don't get to fight as much so you get to relax a bit more. To
relax, I like to spend time with my baby boy and family. I like to spend time with my friends and do things that guys
do. {laughs} I'm a young man, only 20 years old. I wanted to see Bride of Chucky but I didn't... the last movie I
saw was Devil's Advocate -- great movie.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Where can I purchase that picture of you with the tiger?

Fernando Vargas: At my fan club. www.fernandovargas.com -- we will send it right out to you. Personalized and
everything! {LAUGHS} I'm really happy I have fans like that -- I never mind signing an autograph or picture,
doesn't matter what time of day or where I am. Anyone that comes up, I'm more than happy to sign a picture or
anything.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Who do you think won the De la Hoya Sweat pea fight? Do you actually think De La Hoya did
enough to win the title?

Fernando Vargas: Let's look at this. When you're the world champion, they've got to beat you without a doubt.
Look how many times Chavez was beat but it was never enough to be clear.  There can't be a doubt that you won
it. There were a lot of politics that night, I think.
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BOXING.COM Fan: Obviously, Oscar DeLaHoya would be a mega money fight for you. Do you
think you are ready to step up to that type of competition?

Fernando Vargas: Right now, the only person I'm thinking about is Yory Boy Campas but give me the power and
I'll beat him. Then we can talk about who we'll fight next. Is it DLH, David Reid? To be the best, you have to beat
the best. And right now I'm in the position to fight one of the best, so if God gives me the power, I can beat him
then we look on to the next fight.

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BOXING.COM Fan: Hey I don't like Campas will you hit him once for me?

Fernando Vargas: I'll hit him as many times as I can for you! {laughs}
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BOXING.COM Fan: What types of movies do you like? What is your favorite
boxing movie?

Fernando Vargas: I loooooooooove Scarface! I really love that one. I like pretty much all the Rocky movies and
watching good movies like Devil's Advocate. My favourite part in Scarface was when Manolo was telling Tony
what girls like in America and he flicks his tongue. When Tony says "What is that, a snake or something?!"
{laughs} I was able to meet Chichi actually in Atlantic City... he's another friend of Tony Montana.
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BOXING.COM Fan: Do you like to watch boxing as much as you like to box? Are you addicted to it like us fans?

Fernando Vargas: Yes, when good fights come on. I prefer to go live only if a friend of mine like Robert Garcia is
fighting. Others I like are the Prince, I know a lot of people don't, but I do. I love Roy Jones and I think those
are the only guys I really like. I met Roy once and he's a great guy... I had a chance when I was an amateur at his
training camp. He's so down to earth -- he's such a swell person. Roy actually did something with DMX when he
came out -- I thought that was pretty cool ! I have something in store similar to that, but I can't give that away right
now. I think bigger intros are great, it gives boxing a different flavour, and shows what kind of person you are and
then you give them that show when you fight.
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BOXING.COM Fan: Holding a single belt (WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO) in a weight class is
not enough anymore. Most fans and media are beginning to support only those fighters who unify at least two belts in their division (have defeated two of the belt holders). What is the Ferocious one’s stance on unification?

Fernando Vargas: I absolutely want to go out and unify the 154-pound class.  I was to fight Keith Mullings and I'm
fighting Yory Boy. It's wrong to say that fighters are not going to be given credit for holding one belt. A great
champion can be great even with one belt.

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BOXING.COM Fan: So, what is in the future for Ferocious Fernando Vargas?

Fernando Vargas: I want to win the junior middle-weight class, of course, but I want to also come out with my
own sports line and casual wear -- FerociousWear. That's what I'm looking at. But my immediate future is
focusing on Yory Boy. I'm really looking forward to that. Thanks for having me on BOXING.COM. Thanks for all
your support -- fans, especially thanks to you all. Keep those emails coming and don't forget about my site at
www.fernandovargas.com I'll be waiting! {laughs}

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BOXING.COM: There you have it, folks. The young man known as Ferocious Fernando Vargas. A big thanks
goes out and the best wishes from all of us here at BOXING.COM. Fans, don't forget about BOXING.COM's
FREE fight simulcast -- the one and only Prince Naseem Hamed, Fright Night '98 this Saturday, Hallowe'en night
as we do it all live, all free on BOXING.COM. Hope to see you there! Good night!

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