Local boxer opens premier gym for other Long Island fighters


The unstoppable and dedicated duo, father and son Michael and Alex Vargas, have a new venture in Vargas Boxing at Pro Fit Sports in Deer Park.

Alex, the Bellport behemoth better known as “El Toro” who is currently 12-0 in professional bouts, has been a staple and showcase in the Long Island boxing scene and is touted as being a future title holder.

Father Michael has been training since his childhood in Hollis, Queens, where he and neighborhood school friends would spar on the family’s front lawn, enclosed by a 12-by-12 fence.

Since his ad-hoc sparring days, Michael has operated successful boxing gyms in Suffolk County with up to 56 members.

This latest venture, the culmination of connections Michael has made over the years as a sought-after trainer, is the latest jewel in the Vargas boxing dynasty.

“Unlike other gyms that are too small to have all the necessary equipment, Vargas Boxing at Pro Fit has over 5,000 square feet,” said Michael. “We have treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers—all you need to do your roadwork.”

In addition to the dozens of cardio equipment—which Michael insists boxers tackle first before sparring to ensure their stamina in the ring (“You’re going to lose because the opponent is better, not because you got tired in the third round”)—there is nearly four times as much space outside for roadwork that Michael will be utilizing in the warmer months.

Like in his previous gym, Michael hopes to host boxing matches at his new digs that can accommodate an audience of over 200 people.

“It’s especially important to younger boxers just starting out in public bouts,” said Michael. “Many start out boxing in front of 40 people, but you just see them come alive with a larger audience.”

While the Vargas name is synonymous with elite Long Island boxing, Michael keeps in close contact with connections in New York City and has reliably coaxed boxers from as far away as the Bronx or Mount Vernon to come out to Suffolk County for bouts because of his ability to generate large crowds. (The three biggest boxing nights ever held in Suffolk County were Vargas’s endeavors at his old gym in Patchogue.)

Despite the appeal of the full-service boxing gym to seasoned and professional fighters, Michael insists that Vargas Boxing is open to all skill levels and even beginners.

“We can get you in shape, we can teach you to defend yourself,” said Michael. “It’s up to you, if and when you want to get into sparring.”

And while a beginner may be hesitant to get in the ring, Michael told stories of unlikely sparring partners who wound up reveling in the practice, including an 82-year-old man and a 49-year-old female schoolteacher.

In his old Patchogue boxing gym, Michael had 55 out of 56 members sparring and recently ran into the one holdout, who said he regretted not doing it.

With the current clientele Michael has, the gym in Deer Park is open Monday through Thursday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He is hoping to add morning hours as the signups continue.

Alex said, “It makes things much easier having my own place close to home. Traveling to the city to train constantly wears on my body, physically and mentally. Personally, it’s awesome to see what my dad and I have built… having an established name that people want to come train with now, simply from hard work and being loyal to each other, means a lot.


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