THE BRONX - Friends and family members are mourning the loss of a local boxing champion that they say was destined for greatness.

Police are still looking for the men involved in the shooting death of Ronnie Vargas. Friends say the boxer was a hero in and out of the boxing ring.

Vargas was killed early Saturday after arguing with a group of men in a bodega on Hughes Avenue. He was pistol whipped and shot in the torso, friends say. According to authorities, Vargas drove off after being shot, sideswiped a few cars, got out of his car and collapsed. He was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Vargas? friends say he was destined for national stardom. He had already won three Golden Gloves matches, and friends say it was only a matter of time before Vargas went pro.

Vargas? loved ones say he trained at the Longwood Police Athletic League, and that he was so dedicated to boxing that he would arrive at 6 a.m. and train three times a day. They say he was an all-around good guy who didn?t drink, smoke or get into trouble ? all he wanted to do was box.

Police are asking anyone with any information on the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Video could lead police to shooting suspects