Mark Salgado vs Emiliano Vargas
Daring to Be Great:
The fight didn’t go as planned.
Mark Salgado came up short in his effort against Emiliano Vargas. He came to the fight in the best shape of his life and we’re proud that he answered the bell. The moment wasn’t too big for him, as he entered the ring with confidence and came out the gate pumping his jab and executing his gameplan. But Emiliano caught him early with a left hook that changed the fight. After dropping Mark early with the left hook, Emiliano kept returning to that same weapon that initially hurt Mark. Emiliano times the punch so his opponent reacts to the him dipping down and throws a very sharp, quick left hook around his opponent’s guard.
And just like that, the fight was over. After a perfect training camp – no distractions, world class sparring, and Mark getting to be in the best shape of his life – the fight ended before he could get into his rhythm.
These things happen in boxing. Mark went up against a budding star in the sport, and really came there to win, not just go the rounds. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt and can resume training in a few weeks. Mark still wants to only fight the best fighters available – it’s really in his nature. But we’re back to the drawing board and we’re going to dissect what happened and improve from it.
Paving the way
We told Mark before the fight that we were proud of him regardless of the outcome. Mark getting on this platform will pave the way for him and other Dreamland members to get big opportunities in the future. He made a fan out of Shawn Porter, who was not only complimentary of Mark during the broadcast, but also backstage and during the media interviews. Mark handled himself well and represented our gym – I know promoters will think of us for future opportunities.
Dreamland has been trying to turn fighters pro since 2009. We never had a fighter make his or her professional debut until Moises Benitez fought on a $1 contract in 2014. Yes, a $1 contract with no percentage of ticket sales. But Moises paved the way for Ali and Chris Washington to come along – two fighters who had been training since 2005ish waiting for their opportunities. Chris ultimately made it to get the call to fight at Madison Square Garden, but his opponent pulled out. But after all these calls, Jesse established himself as a trainer and manager and slowly started getting more opportunities, even though nothing had panned out. And now it’s Mark Salgado getting the call and being ready to fight at the Forum. It’s an opportunity that we’re very grateful for, even if it didn’t go our way.
Emiliano Vargas is a rising star in this sport and the most promising of the three Vargas brothers. He started younger, at 10, and has a far more extensive amateur background than his two brothers. While Fernando Vargas Jr and Amado have 10 pro fights between them, Emiliano was featured in the co-main event in just his pro debut.
Emiliano has a sharp left hook and is very accurate with his punches. He has more power and physical strength than the average 18 year old and shifts comfortably between the orthodox and southpaw stances. It will interesting to watch his career unfold.
Shoutout to Shawn Porter for supporting us through the event. Shawn got to know Mark during the pre-fight interviews. Many people who don’t fight are critical of other fighters – without ever knowing how hard they train. Shawn could quickly tell that Mark wasn’t just there for a payday, and was there to win. It’s his job to provide unbias commentary during the fight. Of course, Emiliano shined and most of the commentary was about him. But Shawn showed our team a lot of respect before, during, and after the fight.
Behind the Scenes
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About the Author:
Coach Ian is an ultra-marathon runner and a volunteer coach at the non-profit boxing organization, Dreamland Boxing, in San Jose, CA. He competed in boxing for both Dreamland and collegiately at UCLA. His goal is to empower all to be the best that they can be, in boxing and in life. You can find Coach Ian on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.