THE BRONX - Virginia state police say they have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a championship Bronx boxer.

Jose Coimbre is facing homicide charges for allegedly pistol whipping and then gunning down boxer Ronney Vargas on Aug. 16, police say. Vargas was shot and killed on East Tremont Avenue after arguing with a group of men in a bodega. According to police, Coimbre has been in trouble with the law before, and was convicted of a drug charge in 2002.

Vargas? family and friends expressed relief over the arrest. They have been holding vigils in the community by wearing T-shirts with Vargas? face on them, while others say they have gotten tattoos in Vargas? memory.

NYPD detectives are expected to extradite Coimbre to the Bronx sometime this week to face charges in New York.