Antonio Vargas

Weightclass: Bantamweight

  • 9wins

  • 0losses

  • 0draws

  • 3kos

AGE:
22
Birthplace:
Houston, Texas
Height:
5'6"
reach:
66"
Managers:
David McWater
Trainers:
Tito Ocasio

fighter feed

ico

Antonio Vargas

At the age of 22, Antonio is a one-year pro. A sensational young prospect at 118 pounds, he is a former elite amateur at the international level and was named USA Boxing’s “2015 Elite Male Athlete of the Year.” He won gold medals at the 2014 Pan American Youth Championships and 2015 Pan American Games, and represented the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

He stayed active in the ring with nine fights in his first 21 months as a pro.

In his last fight on November 16, 2018, in Kissimmee, Florida, Antonio won an eight-round unanimous decision against Jorge Perez.

The bout, for the vacant NABF bantamweight junior title, was co-featured at the Osceola Heritage Center. Antonio gave an impressive performance and dominated the fight, scored 80-72, 80-72, 79-73.

In an earlier interview, Antonio said, “I’ve been working with my trainer, Tito Ocasio, since I came back from the Olympics. He’s more of a professional-style coach, he’s trained several world champions. I decided to train with him because he’s one of the best professional coaches in Florida right now.

“My style – man, I like to bring the fight! I can box – I can be nice – but I just love to throw punches and let the fans see a good fight.

“I don’t have a nickname. My teammates used to call me ‘No Respect,’ but I didn’t really like it.”

AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: “I was born in Houston, Texas. My dad is from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, and my mother is from Houston. She’s Mexican – I’m half and half. My family moved to Kissimmee, Florida, when I was 12 years old, and I moved to Ocala on my own a couple of months ago. I have a 16-year-old sister, I have an eight-year-old sister, and I’ve got a 23-year-old stepbrother. My dad is an ironworker, he works in construction. My mom works at Walmart right now. I’m the only boxer in my family. My dad used to train, but he never really fought.

“I was nine years old when I started boxing. My math teacher, she wanted to put me on medication because I had ADHD. [note: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder] I was a very hyper kid. I remember my second-grade teacher called a meeting with my parents and the principal in the classroom. They told my parents, ‘Your kid is out of control. He’s too hyper, he’s always getting into fights and causing trouble.’ The teacher and principal decided to put me on medication. My dad was like, ‘All right, we’ll do it to keep them happy,’ but he never put me on medication. Instead, he put me in the boxing gym to keep me occupied and so I could burn energy sparring and running. A couple of weeks later, the teacher was like, ‘Man, the medication must be working.’ My dad was like, ‘No, we just put him in boxing.’ Never once has my dad put me on medication. Everything is natural.

“I had 130 amateur fights – 123 wins and 7 losses. I won about 14 national titles altogether.

“I remember 2013 was the first year I made the U.S. national team and I was on it for three years, through the 2016 Olympics. I have some good friends from the team, and we talk every now and then. Marlon Esparza, she’s like a sister to me, and Shakur Stevenson and Jonathan Esquivel are good friends, too. Shakur beat me by a split decision in the 2014 Youth finals – a very close fight – and we’ve been friends since then. Jonathan didn’t make the Olympics, but he won the 2015 Trials at 178.

“I’m actually ambidextrous – I can do everything with both hands. I can throw a ball with both hands, I can write with both hands. If something is on my left-hand side, I write with my left hand. If it’s on my right-hand side, I write with my right hand.”…

“My wife, Melody, is a boxer, too – that’s how we met. [note: Melody Montes was the 2014 Women’s National Golden Gloves gold medalist at 119 pounds] She started boxing when she was eight years old. We used to go to a lot of national tournaments together – we both lived in Florida. After I won the Pan American Games in 2015, I didn’t have a coach. I started going to her gym and her dad started helping me out. She had a big crush on me and I had a big crush on her. We just started talking every day at the gym, and a month later we started going out.”…

Antonio and Melody had their first child, daughter Grace, on November 21, 2017…

From The Ring, by Joe Santoliquito [July 26, 2018 – excerpts]: “She sleeps through the night, and if you ever hear that phrase, ‘Sleeps like a baby,’ well, that’s Grace. She sleeps like a baby,” said Antonio, laughing. “But she’s my motivation now. I want to be able to provide for her and give her the things that I didn’t have growing up. I want to give her everything that I didn’t have in life. My wife and I are fortunate. Newborns wake up at all hours. We’re lucky, Grace doesn’t. But Grace is just learning how to crawl, and she goes everywhere. Chasing after her is like a workout in itself.”

Being a father at 21 makes taking punches more meaningful.

“It is one of the biggest changes of my life,” Vargas said. “I have a family to feed. I look at [Grace] and think nothing is going to prevent me from giving her the best life she can have. Boxing is going to provide me the way. Winning fights is leading me there.

“As a fighter this time last year, everything was new. I learned more as a pro, and I learned to settle my pace, to sit down more on my punches. The transition to smaller gloves was another big move. [End Santoliquito item]

AMATEUR HIGHLIGHTS:

2016 OLYMPIC GAMES – Rio de Janiero, Brazil, 114 pounds: in his first fight on 8-13-16 he won a 2-0 decision against Juliao Neto of Brazil; in his second fight on 8-15-16 he lost a 3-0 decision against Shahobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan…

2016 WORLD OLYMPIC QUALIFIER – Baku, Azerbaijan, 114 pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in his first fight on 6-17-06 he won a 3-0 decision against Gaurav Bidhuri of Indonesia; in his second fight on 6-19-16 he won a 3-0 decision against Joel Finol of Venezuela; in his third fight on 6-21-16 he won a 3-0 decision against Eddy Valenzuela of Guatamala; in the quarterfinals on 6-23-16 he won a 3-0 decision against Vincenzo Picardi of Italy; in the semifinals on 6-24-16 he stopped Enkh-Amar Kharkhuu of Mongolia in the 2nd round; in the finals on 6-25-16 he lost a 3-0 decision against Daniel Asenov of Bulgaria…

2016 AMERICAN OLYMPIC QUALIFIER – Buenos Aires, Argentina, 114 pounds: in his first fight on 3-14-16 he lost a 3-0 decision against Leonel de los Santos of Dominican Republic…

2016 WORLD SERIES OF BOXING – Miami, Florida, 114 pounds: on 4-1-16 he won a 3-0 decision against Achraf Kharroubi of Morocco…

2016 WORLD SERIES OF BOXING – Miami, Florida, 114 pounds: on 2-5-16 he won a 3-0 decision against Orlando Huitzil of Mexico…

2015 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS – Reno, Nevada, 114 pounds [double elimination tournament] – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 12-7-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Khalid Twaiti; in the Winners Bracket Day 2 on 12-8-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Eros Correa; in the Winners Bracket Day 3 on 12-9-15 he lost a 2-1 decision against Brent Venegas; in the Challengers Bracket Day 5 on 12-11-15 he stopped Cristian Carto in the 2nd round; in the finals on 12-12-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Brent Venegas

2015 PAN AMERICAN GAMES – Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 7-19-15 he won a 2-1 decision against Leonel de los Santos of Dominican Republic; in the quarterfinals on 7-21-15 he won a 2-1 decision against Jeyvier Cintron of Puerto Rico; in the semifinals on 7-23-15 he won a 2-1 decision against David Jimenez of Costa Rica; in the finals on 7-25-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Yosvany Veitia of Cuba…

2015 PAN AMERICAN GAMES QUALIFIER – Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 6-4-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Danilo Fernandez of Ecuador; in the quarterfinals on 6-6-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Eduard Bermudez of Venezuela; in the semifinals on 6-7-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Juliao Neto of Brazil; in the finals on 6-8-15 he won a 2-1 decision against Ceiber Avila of Colombia…

2015 NATIONAL GOLDEN GLOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS – Las Vegas, Nevada, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 5-12-15 he defeated Anthony Paz; in his second fight on 5-13-15 he defeated Angel Walker; in the quarterfinals on 5-14-15 he defeated Thomas Blumenfeld; in the semifinals on 5-15-15 he defeated Gilbert Renteria; in the finals on 5-16-15 he defeated Shon Mondragon

2015 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Spokane, Washington, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 1-22-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Christian Carto; in the semifinals on 1-23-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Gilbert Renteria; in the finals on 1-24-15 he won a 3-0 decision against Khalid Twaiti

2014 NATIONAL GOLDEN GLOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS – Las Vegas, Nevada, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 5-13-14 he won a 5-0 decision against Eusbaldo Ramirez; in his second fight on 5-14-14 he won a 5-0 decision against Gerrell Bradley; in the quarterfinals on 5-15-14 he won a 5-0 decision against Kenyon Sessoms; in the semifinals on 5-16-14 he won a 5-0 decision against Darren Cunningham; in the finals on 5-17-14 he won a 5-0 decision against Mikhail Montgomery

2014 PAN AMERICAN YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS – Quito, Ecuador, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the semifinals (his first fight) on 3-8-14 he won a 3-0 decision against Juan Fernandez of Ecuador; in the finals on 3-9-14 he won a 3-0 decision against Juan Camacho of Puerto Rico…

2014 U.S. NATIONAL JUNIOR & YOUTH OPEN – Reno, Nevada, 114 pounds/youth division – SILVER MEDALIST: in his first fight on 1-8-11 he won a 3-0 decision against Jose Solorio of Harvey, Ill.; in the quarterfinals on 1-9-11 he won a 3-0 decision against Darren Cunningham of St. Louis, Mo.; in the semifinals on 1-10-14 he won a 3-0 decision against Izaiah Bautista of Las Vegas, Nev.; in the finals on 1-11-14 he lost a 2-1 decision against Shakur Stevenson of Newark, N.J….

2013 KLITSCHKO BROTHERS YOUTH TOURNAMENT – Berdichev, Ukraine, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 6-18-12 he won a 3-0 decision against Mykola Vatsak of Ukraine; in the quarterfinals on 6-19-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Masud Yusifzade of Azerbaijan; in the semifinals on 6-20-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Siroshiddin Abdullayev of Kyrgyzstan; in the finals on 6-22-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Erik Petrosyan of Armenia…

2013 U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Spokane, Washington, 114 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 4-3-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Andrew Thornton; in the semifinals on 4-4-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Timothy Jarman; in the finals on 4-5-13 he won a 3-0 decision against Brent Venegas

 

STRENGTHS: Has good skills and movement…has good punching power…had a very strong amateur background…

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 9 fights…42 total rounds…

AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 4.6 rounds…

KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: 33 %…

DISTANCE FIGHTS: 8 rounds – 1 (1-0)…6 rounds – 5 (5-0)…

fight history

  • 2018

    WON VACANT NABF B JR. TITLE – in his last fight on 11-16-18 in Kissimmee, FL, he won an 8 round unanimous decision against Jorge Perez (12-5-1): the bout was co-featured at the Osceola Heritage Center; Antonio consistently out-boxed and out-worked Perez and dominated the fight; scored 80-72, 80-72, 79-73…

    On 9-28-18 in Trujillo Alto, PR, he won a 6 round unanimous decision against Felipe Rivas (17-20-4): the bout was on the undercard at Cancha Ruben Zayas Montanez; Antonio dominated the fight and won by shutout scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards…

    On 7-28-18 in Kissimmee, FL, he won a 6 round unanimous decision against Aaron Echeveste (5-2): the bout was on the undercard of the Masayuki Ito vs. Christopher Diaz main event, and Antonio dominated the fight; he out-boxed and out-worked Echesteve and consistently landed the harder punches; scored 60-54, 60-54, 59-55.

    On 2-23-18 in Kissimmee he won a 6 round unanimous decision against Luis Saavedra (7-4): the bout was on the undercard at the Osceola Heritage Center; Antonio dominated the fight and won by scores of 60-54, 60-54, 59-55.

    image
  • 2017

    On 11-3-17 in Kissimmee, FL, he won a 6 round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Jonathan Garza (6-0): the bout one of the co-features at the Osceola Heritage Center, and Antonio dominated the fight; he scored a knockdown with a left hook in the 2nd round, and out-worked Garza and landed the harder punches in the following rounds; scored 60-53 on all three scorecards.

    On 10-13-17 in Tampa, FL, he won by TKO (2nd round) against Miguel Rebullosa (4-4): the scheduled 6-rounder was on the undercard at the A La Carte Event Pavilion, and Antonio quickly overpowered him; he scored a knockdown in the 1st round, then scored another knockdown in the 2nd and the referee stopped the fight at 1:11.

    On 7-7-17 in Tampa, FL, he won a 6 round unanimous decision against Leonardo Reyes (7-13): the bout was on the undercard at the A La Carte Event Pavilion; Antonio dominated the fight – he out-boxed and out-worked Reyes, consistently landed the harder punches, and won by shutout scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

    On 4-21-17 in Kissimmee, FL, he won by TKO (1st round) against Emilio Rivera (0-1): the scheduled 4-rounder was on the undercard of the Christopher Diaz vs. Jose Estrella main event, and Antonio quickly overpowered him; he scored two knockdowns in the 1st round – both with right hands, the first only 10 seconds after the bell – and the referee stopped the fight at 1:52.

    He made his debut at the age of 20 on 2-24-17 in Palm Bay, FL, and won by TKO (1st round) against Jonathan de la Paz (0-3): the scheduled 4-rounder was a featured attraction at the Tony Rosa Community Center; Antonio scored a knockdown with a right hand midway through the 1st round – de la Paz got up, but Antonio rocked him with a series of punches, de la Paz’ corner threw in the towel, and the referee stopped the fight at 1:48.

    image
ico