Ricardo Mayorga, Samuel Peter & Yory Boy Campus Return Sept. 27th in Oklahoma City

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On Saturday, September 27, 2014, big-name boxing returns to Oklahoma City, as Ivaylo Gotzev and his Epic Sports and Entertainment will proudly present a blockbuster show entitled “Rumble on the River” at OKC Downtown Airpark.

Featured in the dual main events will be the return of a pair of well-known names.

Appearing in separate bouts will be colorful and always entertaining former WBA/WBC Welterweight and former WBC Light Middleweight Champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs) and hard-hitting former WBC Heavyweight Champion Samuel Peter (34-5, 27 KOs).

Former IBF Light Middleweight champion “Yory Boy” Campas (102-17-3, 79 KOs) will appear in the chief supporting bout.

All three former champions’ opponents will be announced shortly.

Tickets for “Rumble on the River” start at $25 and are available at any Buy For Less location or online at www.airparktickets.com. VIP tables are also available by calling 818.575.0151.

Widely known as “The craziest man in the sport”, Managua, Nicaragua’s Mayorga is a trash-talking street fighter known as much for his habits of smoking and drinking after fights as he is for his tremendous in-ring victories. A pro since 1993, 40-year-old Mayorga has gone to war with nearly every big name in his weight class, including Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Fernando Vargas, Vernon Forrest, Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad. It was his two victories over the late Forrest that first brought the Nicaraguan strongman into the national spotlight.

Feared for his devastating punching power, Samuel Peter is on the comeback trail. The 33-year-old is originally from Uyo, Nigeria, but now lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada. Peter won his title with a TKO 6 over former champ Oleg Maskaev in 2008. He also holds two victories over all-time-great James “Lights Out” Toney and had heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on the deck three times in their first encounter. He remains the last person to knock Klitschko down.

Campas is a native of Sonora, Mexico. Also known for his devastating power, he began his professional career in 1987 at the age of 15 and won the world championship by knocking out Raul Marquez. Campas made three successful defenses before losing to the great Fernando Vargas.

A full undercard of local and national favorites will be announced shortly.

“I am very excited to be promoting Rumble on the River,” said Ivaylo Gotzev. “We have a well-rested and recommitted Sam Peter eager to return to the ring in one of the main events, plus Ricardo Mayorga, who always entertains the crowd. And supporting them is one of the best overall boxing events in Oklahoma City history. This show’s combination of legendary champions and top local fighters, along with the powerhouse promotional efforts and collaboration of the OKC Airpark, Howard Pollack, and Epic Sports & Entertainment, give us the maximum potential to capture both live and online audiences. Together, we are forging a new boxing tradition and rising-star showcase in Oklahoma City.”

Gotzev says if both Mayorga and Campas get past their opponents, the two former champs have agreed to face each other next.

“Styles make fights and that one would have ‘barn burner’ written all over it, if and when it happens. It won’t be easy for either man to get past their opponents in September, but if they do, we’ve got a war on our hands for the next event!”

On fight night, doors open at 7 pm and the action starts at 8 pm. OKC Airpark is located at 1701 S. Western Avenue in Oklahoma City. All bouts subject to change.

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Forgotten Legends: Fernando Vargas

De La Hoya vs Vargas

By: Steve Gallegos

Many fighters are primed for greatness; however some fail to reach that level due to issues outside the ring that affect their focus inside the ring. This was the case with former two-time champion “FerociousFernando Vargas.

Vargas had it all. The looks, the personality and an exciting boxer puncher style in which he had fire in either hand. Born and raised in Oxnard, CA, Vargas had an extraordinary amauter career of 100-5 which also included a spot on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. He turned pro in March of 1997 and would go 9-0 in 1997, all by KO. 1998 would be even bigger in which he knocked out his next five opponents before getting his first crack at a world title when he met Yory Boy Campas. Campas was a hard punching destroyer and many thought Vargas might not be ready for someone of Campas’ level.

They met on 12/12/98 in Atlantic City, NJ for the IBF Jr. Middleweight championship. Vargas proved the doubters wrong as he put on an excellent display of boxing in which he refused to get into any exchanges with the harder hitting Campas. At one point in the bout, Campas tried to engage Vargas and Fernando smiled, pointed to his head as if too say “I’m too smart for you”. After seven rounds, Campas had enough and quit; making Fernando Vargas the youngest Jr. Middleweight champion. It would be a record he would hold for 13 years until Canelo Alvarez became the youngest Jr Middleweight champion in 2011. He would continue his KO streak by knocking out his next three opponents, including former Jr. Middleweight champion Raul Marquez.

By mid 1999, Vargas began experiencing troubles outside the ring, when he was involved in an assault and battery case. This would affect him inside the ring when he met slick southpaw Ronald “Winky” Wright. They met on 12/04/99 in Lincoln City, OR. It was a rough and tough night for Vargas as he wasn’t able to hurt Wright as he did all his previous opponents. Wright, known for his slick boxing style, elected to stand and trade with Vargas in which he would get the better of the exchanges. When the final bell sounded, many at ringside believed Wright was the winner. The final result was a close majority decision win for Vargas, ending his impressive KO streak.

He would start the new millenium off well with a convincing 12 round decision over former welterweight champion Ike Quartey and he would follow it up with a 4th round TKO over Ross Thompson. This would setup a huge mega fight with fellow Jr. Middleweight champion Felix Trinidad. They met on 12/02/00 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. During the referre’s instructions, Trinidad told Vargas in Spanish that he would leave him on the canvas.

In the first round, Trinidad landed a solid left hook that rocked Vargas and would eventually put him down. Vargas was able to get up and was immediately put down again by a left hook. It was looking as though it would be an early night; however Vargas was able to make it out of the round. By the fourth round, Vargas‘ head had cleared and he put Trinidad down with his own left hook. Vargas then took control of the fight by boxing smartly and it looked as though he might be able to box his way to a decision, however he then elected to stand and trade with the much harder hitting Trinidad. Oscar De La Hoya was criticized for running in the final rounds against Trinidad and Vargas wanted to prove that he could stand and fight. Vargas would bite off more than he could chew as Trinidad would get the better of him in exchanges throughout the late round.

In the 12th round, Trinidad put Vargas down three times before referee Jay Nady stepped in to stop the bout. It was a crushing defeat for Vargas and it would seem to affect him for the rest of his career. He returned to the ring just five months later and scored a sixth round TKO against Wilfredo Rivera in which Rivera put him down in the fifth. Four months later, he was back in line for another titleshot and he would stop Shibata Flores in the seventh round, claiming his second world title. This would set up another title unification bout with another boxing superstar in Oscar De La Hoya.

There was a lot of bad blood between the two fighters coming into the bout which had the Mexican-American community split. They met on 09/14/02 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Vargas came in very cut and muscular as if he did a lot of weight training for the bout. He came out in the first round and made a statement as he rocked De La Hoya late in the round. The fight was very even for the first half of the round, however Vargas ran out of gas late and De La Hoya began to pick him apart. After rocking Vargas at the end of the 10th, De La Hoya, put Vargas down in the 11th with a left hook. Moments later, De La Hoya went in for the kill, causing referee Joe Cortez to stop the bout.

A post fight drug test detected steroids. Vargas claimed he was unaware he was given steroids, however he took responsibility and was suspended for nine months as well as fined $100,000 of his purse. He would return to the ring in August of 2003 and would score back to back TKO wins over Fitz Vanderpool and Tony Marshall. During the Marshall fight, Vargas injured a disc in his back which would keep him out of the ring for all of 2004. He would make a comeback in 2005, moving up to Middleweight in which he would win unanimous decisions over both Raymond Joval and Javier Castillejo.

He would then face “Sugar” Shane Mosley in a crossroads bout between 2 former champions. They met on 02/25/06 in Las Vegas. In the first round, Mosley landed a sharp right hand that caused Vargas‘ left eye to swell. The fight was close and competitive for 10 rounds; however Vargas‘ left eyes was nearly swelled shut when referee Joe Cortez stepped in and stopped the bout. At the time of the stoppage, one judge had Vargas ahead by one point. A rematch was inevitable and Mosley and Vargas would meet again five months later in Las Vegas and Mosley would score a sixth round TKO. It was pretty much the end of the road for Fernando Vargas.

He would fight only once more in 2007, losing a majority decision to Ricardo Mayorga. He would retire with a record of 26-5 with 22 KO’s. Today Vargas is the subject of his own Reality TV show, “Welcome to Los Vargas“, which focuses on his family life and the training of his son. Vargas‘ boxing career was short and bittersweet. He gave it his all, each time he stepped into the ring, sometimes too tough for his own good. What would have happened had he been handled better? Would his career have been different if he would have chose to box more instead of slug. What we got is a career that started off too fast and ended too soon.

De La Hoya vs Vargas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forgotten Legends: Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis

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By: Steve Gallegos

In 2001, there were 3 undefeated welterweight champions. The WBC champion was “Sugar” Shane Mosley and the IBF champion was the late Vernon Forrest. There was another unbeaten champion at that time that held the WBA title; however he didn’t get a chance to take on the other two champions and he wasn’t able to reach that next level to greatness, despite having all the tools to do so. That fighter was AndrewSix HeadsLewis.

Six Heads“, a southpaw was a destroyer inside the ring, dismantling opponents with power in either hand. He got the nickname “Six Heads” after knocking out an opponent and all he saw was six heads; therefore the name stuck. Lewis was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana and had a fair amount of success as an amateur, representing Guyana in international competition. He turned pro in 1993 and would go 8-0-1 in his first nine bouts, all by KO. All of these bouts were in his hometown of Georgetown, Guyana and he knew he had to step out his home country in order to make a name for himself in the sport of boxing.

In 1996, he relocated to Brooklyn, NY and continued his streak of Knockouts, winning his next 12 bouts over the next four years, 11 by KO. Lewis didn’t get the exposure he deserved during this time as promoter Don King didn’t provide “Six Heads” with the same promotional push that he gave some of his other fighters like Felix Trinidad and Sharmba Mitchell.

The world finally got to know who AndrewSix HeadsLewis was when he fought for a world title. He would meet former welterweight champion James Page on 02/17/01 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the vacant WBA welterweight title. It was part of an HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader and “Six Heads” was sure not to disappoint on his biggest stage.

Page was also known his tremendous punching power, particularly his left hook and the question going into this bout was whether “Six Heads” would be able to take Page’s punch. “Six Heads” would quickly change the story of the fight. “Six Heads“, known for his punching power, also had very good hand speed and he showed it in the first round by getting off first and firing quick combinations. Page hadn’t been in the ring for almost two years and Lewis took advantage of the ring rust and dominated him in the first round.

Six Heads” continued the pace in the second round, landing many unanswerd shots. With 50 seconds to go in the seconnd, “Six Heads” landed a huge uppercut that put Page on the canvas. Page was able to get up and make it out of the round, however “Six Heads” delivered a great deal of punishment to end the second round.

Six Heads” continued to pick James Page apart in the third round, landing hard shots at will, particularly the left uppercut. Lewis switched it up to begin the fourth round by using his jab more, not electing to go for broke as he did in rounds 1-3. “Six Heads” continued to use his jab effectively in the fifth and sixth rounds while using it to set up quick combinations.

In the seventh, Lewis would land a short right hand that put Page down again. Page was able to get up, but was hurt, causing referee Kenny Bayless to stop the bout. A sensational TKO victory for AndrewSix HeadsLewis, earning him a world title and the world finally got to know who he was.

HBO was so impressed by this performance, that they quickly had him back on the air just two months later on their short lived boxing series “KO Nation”. “Six Heads” was victorious in a 12 round unanimous decison over Larry Marks. There were talks about a welterweight unification between Lewis and Shane Mosley to take place that summer, however it didn’t materialize and Mosley decided to take a much safer route by defending his title against Adrian Stone as compared to “Six HeadsLewis.

Six Heads” would then take on relatively unknown Nicaraugan challenger Ricardo Mayorga. They met on 07/28/01 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California on a huge Pay Per View card headlined by Roy Jones vs Julio Gonzalez. The fight was stopped in the second round due to a clash of heads which caused a bad cut over Lewis‘ eye, therefore the fight was ruled a No-Contest.

Six Heads” and Mayorga would meet again nine months later in Reading, PA. It was an exciting fight for the first four rounds. “Six Heads” opted to slug more with Mayorga, which was more of Mayorga’s fight. In the fifth round, Mayorga landed a hard left hook followed by another left and right that put “Six Heads” down on his back. He was able to get up, however didn’t respond to referee Rudy Battle when he asked if he could continue; therefore the fight was stopped. It would be the last time AndrewSix HeadsLewis would be a world champion.

He rebounded with a first round KO eight months later, which put him back in line for another title shot, however he was stoppped by WBO Welterweight champion Antonio Margarito in two rounds in February of 2003. Lewis would be out of the ring for 2 1/2 years and returned to his home country of Guyana and had a series of fights with fellow countryman Denny Dalton. Their first encounter in October 2005 ended in a technical draw.

In the rematch sixth months later, Lewis was leading on all cards up until the seventh round, when he began to complain of bowel issues in which he needed to go to the bathroom; therefore the fight was stopped. He would avenge the loss a year later in a 12 round decision win. He would fight one more time in 2008, losing a 12 round split decision to Howard Eastman before calling it a career.

His record as a professional stands at 23-4-2 with 20 KO’s. While his time in the spotlight was brief, it was exciting. It was unfortunate he wasn’t able to measure himself against Mosley and Forrest, with whom he had the style and power to give both a run for their money. In the end, it’s another case of a very good fighter who was never able to be great.
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