Editor’s note: It’s not often that two Las Vegans are fighting for world titles on the same pay-per-view card in their hometown. But that’s what is going to happen when Jessie Vargas and Jessie Magdaleno enter the ring Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Here’s the third of four inside looks into the training camps of Vargas and Magdaleno.
The physical part of training camp is almost complete for Jessie Vargas. Now the mental preparation picks up with less than two weeks away from Vargas defending his WBO welterweight belt against the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
Vargas’ trainer, Dewey Cooper, is known as a strict coach inside the gym, but Cooper’s specialty is brainpower.
Cooper reminds Vargas every day that he is the champion and not the underdog, despite Pacquiao being a minus-850 favorite.
The former kickboxing champion preaches “Dewey’s 6 Ds” to live by: dedication, determination, discipline, devotion, desire and drive. Vargas said he thinks he has followed Cooper’s six commandments.
“The work is done,” Vargas said. “I’m in the best shape of my life. Now we wait, and that’s the hard part. I feel anxious, but I try to get my mind off the fight.”
Vargas said reading Cooper’s poetry helps him stay relaxed. Cooper often shows Vargas his latest poems and also posts them on his Facebook. Here’s one called “Underestimated and Overlooked”:
A childhood fantasy became a teenage dream.
Your manhood goals will be reached by any means!
No matter what your body goes through, no matter who you’ll have to punch.
Your desired destination will be reached, whether you have no sleep, nothing to eat, no breakfast, no lunch!
You release all attachments so that your mind can focus.
Free of thought, free of pain, free of stress, restrain, free of all emotions.
Your moment has finally arrived this very 5th of November.
They call it the biggest challenge of your life, but are they right? I say not, as long as you relax your mind and remember.
What made you choose this path in life as a profession? Was it obsession?
It was that love of your childhood fantasy that you made into a reality, and by staying on that path, you’ve learned so many valuable lessons!
Being overlooked and underestimated made you so frustrated.
Even still you challenged yourself, conquered the odds. Yes, two-division, two-time world champion. You’ve indeed made it!
So your entire life falls in the pits or fortunes of one night! Not even a great legend with the strength of 10 men will be able to stop you in your upcoming fight!
Magdaleno puts on media day show
Oscar Valdez shouted at Jessie Magdaleno as he entered the ring last week for his media day in Long Beach, California.
“And new!” Valdez said.
Magdaleno shouted back, “And still!”
Magdaleno hopes to become a first-time world champion when he faces WBO junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5. Valdez, Magdaleno’s stablemate, defends his WBO featherweight belt on the same night against Japan’s Hiroshige Osawa.
The up-and-coming young stars put on a show while hitting the mitts with trainer Manny Robles.
“It’s a great environment here,” Magdaleno said. “Not only being here with the champ, Oscar Valdez, but Manny Robles also. I’m two weeks away from accomplishing my dreams, and it’s all that is on my mind.”
Contact Gilbert Manzano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.