On Saturday, May 13, the Paramount Theater in Huntington was sold out for the main event of the evening hosted by Star Boxing: a showdown with undefeated Bellport-boxer, Alex “El Toro” Vargas (12-0 entering the fight) and Argentinian powerhouse, Mauro “El Rayo” Godoy (37-8-1, with 18 knockouts, entering the fight).
Originally slated for a full eight rounds (the most Vargas has been scheduled for in his professional career), the fight ended one second in the sixth round with victory going to Vargas and making his new record 13-0.
In the second and fifth round, Vargas had knocked the seasoned fighter, who has won against world champions and title holders, off his feet, making El Toro’s victory seem like a technicality after showing such dominance from the beginning.
“He had more knockouts than I’ve had fights!” quipped Vargas in his post-fight interview.
After 18 months away from the ring and fulfilling his duties as a member of the 2022 class of new recruits for the Suffolk County Police Department, Vargas was apprehensive about re-entering the boxing world, as he had never trained while juggling a full-time career.
“Boxing was my job, training was my job,” said Vargas. Working alternating weekly shifts from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Vargas had to work in double training sessions to prepare for the fight.
At the start of his intense nine-week training, Vargas estimated his weight as 175 to 180. One week out, he was 160.
For Saturday evening’s fight, he weighed in at a lean 143 pounds.
Scooter, a celebrity nutritionist who has worked with LL Cool J and Leonardo DiCaprio, was on hand to help Vargas cut out sodium, carbs, and properly complete his water loading.
“The biggest challenge was not getting enough recovery time with a full-time job,” said Vargas, and added, “It was tough physically, but tougher mentally.”
An entire section of the Paramount was filled with fellow officers from the Suffolk County Police Department, who have embraced Vargas’s boxing career.
“That was another part of my anxiety. I didn’t want to let the police department down,” said Vargas.
After analyzing Godoy’s fighting style and tendencies, Vargas and his team decided they would focus on training his speed, which, given his phenomenal footwork, was building upon a strength.
From the first punches in the first round, Vargas was landing crushing blows and fending off Godoy’s strikes.
Ironically, despite his dominance from inception, Vargas said that he was happy to have an eight-round fight because, “I start slow.”
There were some concerned for Vargas’s choice in an opponent who urged him to have a “gimme” fight after spending so much time away from the ring.
“I didn’t want that. I wanted someone with experience that would challenge me,” said Vargas.
His time as a police officer has also helped his mentality in the ring, as Vargas said there was much crossover between the two roles he held.
“There’s a lot of discipline in being a Suffolk County police officer—you have to be clean-shaven, you have to be professional. Above all, just like in boxing, you have to control your emotions and make split-second decisions calmly, because a wrong decision in the heat of the moment can be very costly,” said Vargas.
In addition, Vargas said he took pride in his reputation as a good and honest boxer and hoped that his career in the SCPD would also garner the same accolades.
“It was amazing, and I was just trying to enjoy and take in every moment,” said Vargas.