After 20 years of marriage and four children, Fernando and Martha Vargas are ready to introduce fans to their new baby— a reality TV show entitled, “Welcome to Los Vargas.” Take a peek into the life of the retired, three-time boxing champ and his family when they open up their home to viewers every Sunday night at 9pm on mun2.
We caught up with Fernando and Martha this week to find out the secret behind their happy marriage, how they balance being cool yet strict parents, and the importance behind their new business.
Even though cameras were always around you during your career Fernando, it must be extremely different having them follow you around during your personal time. How did you both adjust to having people documenting your daily life?
Fernando: “Having the camera on strangely helped out in many ways. It helped my relationship with my son get better. After awhile, it the cameras became part of the background and we didn’t even know they were there.”
Martha: “It was really hard for me to adjust because I am used to having a schedule like when it was time to take the kids to school. The cameras were around everyday, so I couldn’t do my laundry when I had dirty dishes around! I was lucky we had an awesome crew. They knew I was nervous to be on camera so they were very respectful with how they approached things. They got to know my kids so that they’d be comfortable too. They are in my home so it was important that we all got to know each other better.”
You have an extended family at the gym you opened in Las Vegas. Why was this endeavor important to you?
Fernando: “I was a troubled youth and if it wasn’t for boxing I wouldn’t be here today. That’s why it was so important for me to bring this opportunity to other kids that deserve a chance. It’s the right thing to do to give back.”
Martha: “Those kids become like our kids. We see them everyday and we tutor them when they need help. We hope that the show will show there’s a need for this type of thing, not just with boxing, but also to teach troubled kids discipline and help them academically. I hope people will want to get involved when they see what we’re doing for the kids in the community.”
What would it mean to you to train a future champion?
Fernando: “It would be awesome if I could help one of the kids become champion one day. There’s already one I’m working with who came to my gym from Idaho with a dream. He has participated in more than 50 amateur fights and has national titles. I really feel like God but that kid in my life so I can help him. Now I’m training him and he’s no joke! I truly feel he’s going to be one of the first champions to come from this program.”
In the premiere we see two of your kids at the gym and one doesn’t seem that interested in boxing. Do you have hopes they will follow in your footsteps?
Fernando: “I will support my kids in whatever they want to do. You’ll see in the episode when my son Amado shows no interest in boxing. The other day he went to the gym and he was excited to spar. That’s why it’s important to me that my kids get to try out different things and see what they like. I started training him and he picked it up quick.”
As young parents, how do you find the right balance between being cool yet traditional?
Martha: “We’re young but we make sure that we don’t lose our values. But with kids these days, you always have to keep up. I’m not trying to be their best friend; I’m their mom. My mom wasn’t very open with me. There were certain things a young woman should learn from her mom that I had to figure out by myself. So I’m very open with my kids and I it’s important they know they can come to us. Communication is key.”
We also learn that date nite is important at the Vargas household. Has this helped keep your 20 year marriage fresh?
Martha: “Date night is definitely needed. Whether you’re a mother or not, you need to have some private time with your spouse. It’s up to you to keep your marriage alive. Communication is so important too. It’s a challenge for us since we have four kids and it can get more difficult as the years pass. Of course it’s important to give your all to your kids but it’s important never to neglect your husband.”
You seem very in love with your wife. Can you take us back to the day you met her?
Fernando: “Long story short. When I met this beautiful woman I asked her three things: 1. Are those beautiful green eyes yours? 2. Are you Mexican? 3. Do you speak Spanish? After she answered yes to all three, I went home and told my grandmother,’ Hoy conoci la madre de mis hijos.’ And 20 years later here we are.”
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