Fernando Vargas vs Shane Mosley I "Showdown" Mandalay Bay commemorative limited edtion $5 gaming chip, 25th February 2006, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
Mosley W TKO 10
Fernando Vargas (born December 7, 1977) is a retired Mexican / American and two-time World champion, who won a bronze medal as an amateur at the 1995 Pan American Games in Mar del Plata. His nicknames include "Ferocious", "The Aztec Warrior" and "El Feroz". Vargas is the youngest Jr.Middleweight Champion in the history of the sport.
Some of Fernando's notable wins include victories over former World champions Raúl Márquez, Ike Quartey and Winky Wright. His losses to Félix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga remain his only career defeats and he is a favorite of American cable TV giant HBO.
Fernando is very good friends with Julio César Chávez; Chavez has been part of Vargas' ring entourage in at least two fights (the fight with Trinidad and the fight with de la Hoya). Chavez was also present when Vargas proposed to his wife (and mother of his 3 boys and 1 girl) Martha Lopez Vargas.
Vargas was born in Oxnard, California. In his youth, Vargas trained at the popular La Colonia Youth Boxing Club in the Colonia neighborhood of Oxnard. Fernando Vargas compiled an extraordinary amateur record of 100-5. In 1992, he won the 132 lb. championships at the Junior Olympics Box-Offs, and came in second at the Junior Olympics.
In 1993, he captured the triple crown of amateur boxing: the Junior Olympics Box-Offs, the Junior Olympics, and the Junior Olympics International tournament. The following year he solidified his position as one of the premier amateur fighters in the World by winning the 132 lb gold medal at the Olympic Festival, seizing the U.S. Junior Championships at 132 lb, and by becoming the youngest fighter ever to win the U.S. Championships. In 1995, he was selected to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team.
Vargas lost a controversial decision in the second round of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Disappointed, but undaunted, Vargas set his sights on achieving greatness in the professional ranks.
Vargas was scheduled to turn pro on November 1996, however, while training for his debut bout he broke his right hand. Eager to turn pro and begin his march toward a World championship, Vargas "ferociously" followed his physical therapy program, and within five months he was ready for his professional debut.
* Won the 132-lb Junior Olympics Box-Offs; came in second at the Junior Olympics (1992)
* Won the Junior Olympics Box-Offs, the Junior Olympics, and the Junior Olympics International tournament (1993)
* Won the 132-lb Gold Medal at the Olympic Festival (1994), seizing the U.S. Championships at 132 pounds, becoming the youngest boxer ever to win the U.S. Championships (Seniors).
* Participated at the 1994 World Junior Championships, losing in the quarter-finals.
* 1995 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist in Mar Del Plata (ARG)
* Selected to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, but lost in the second round.
* Defeated Tengiz Meskhadze (Georgia) 10-4
* Lost to Marian Simion (Romania) 7-8
In his professional debut on March 25, 1997, Vargas crushed Jorge Morales in just 56 seconds. Immediately, a star was born. Fernando blasted his next five opponents all within two rounds, eliminating four of his five challengers in one round each. After six professional bouts, Vargas had fought a total of only eight rounds. Vargas racked up an impressive record of 14 victories with 14 KOs against no defeats by the time he fought for his first World championship.
Vargas won his first World title in 1998, knocking out Yori Boy Campas in seven rounds for the IBF light middleweight championship. Vargas successfully defended the title throughout 1999, with victories over Howard Clarke (TKO 4), Raúl Márquez (TKO 11), Winky Wright (MD 12), and Ike Quartey (UD 12).
Vargas is arguably 3-time Junior Middle Weight Champion of the World (because he also captured the minor IBA title).
Trinidad vs Vargas
Vargas lost the title to Félix Trinidad in 2000. Vargas was knocked down twice in the first round then was able to fight his way back by knocking down Trinidad in the fourth round until finally being knocked out in the 12th and final round.
In 2001 Vargas was sentenced to 90 days in house arrest stemming from a 1999 assault charge. Vargas and four friends were originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a crime stemming from a July 25, 1999 altercation at a Summerland, California home.
The defendants were accused of assaulting Doug Rossi, 23, who had broken up a fight between Vargas and a female friend's ex-boyfriend.
On September 22, 2001 Vargas defeated Jose Alfredo Flores via KO in round seven to win the vacant WBA and IBA light middleweight titles.
De La Hoya vs Vargas
On September 14, 2002, Vargas surrendered his WBA and IBA titles to Oscar De La Hoya in an historical Jr. Middleweight championship unification showdown that filled the Mandalay Bay Events Center to capacity and sold approximately one million pay-per-view buys. In the early rounds Vargas used his natural strength (he fights at a naturally higher weight) to bully De La Hoya against the ropes and land right hands to the head and body; however, in the middle and late rounds Vargas fatigued and De La Hoya's hand speed took over. After hurting Vargas at the end of round 10, De La Hoya dropped Vargas in the next round with a left hook to the head, and stopped him moments later with a flurry at the 1:48 mark of the round.
During the mandatory drug testing after the de la Hoya fight, Vargas tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol better known as Winstrol. Vargas said the steroids were given to him without his knowledge, but he accepted full responsibility. The Nevada Athletic Commission announced on November 20 of 2002 that it would fine Vargas $100,000 because of his use of steroids. Fernando Vargas was suspended for nine months.
On The Comeback Trail
Despite these problems, Fernando remained an accessible and popular celebrity, known for signing many autographs.
After his knockout win over Fitz Vanderpool on July 26, 2003, he stood in a corner and yelled "I love you guys!" to his fans. Vargas continued his comeback, on December 12, with a seventh round knockout of Tony Marshall that was shown live nationwide from Tucson, on Telemundo. During that fight, Vargas injured a disc in his back, and his doctor recommended surgery, but Vargas chose to rehabilitate his back himself without having the procedure. This caused him to spend almost two years in inactivity, but, on March 26, 2005 he returned to boxing with a ten round unanimous decision win over Ray Joval in Corpus Christi, Texas.
On August 20, 2005, he returned to the boxing ring to fight fellow former World Jr. Middleweight champion Javier Castillejo of Spain. Vargas dropped Castillejo in the third round, but he apparently broke his right hand and went on to win by a ten round unanimous decision.
Mosley vs Vargas I & II
On February 25, 2006, Vargas once again returned to the ring to face fellow Southern California boxer Sugar Shane Mosley. In a tightly contested battle, Vargas' left eye became grotesquely swollen and referee Joe Cortez decided to stop the fight in the 10th round to minimize further damage, granting a technical knockout (TKO) victory to Mosley. The reasoning behind the stoppage, explained Nevada State Athletic Commission czar Marc Ratner, was that the referee and the fight doctor deemed that Vargas was unable to defend himself adequately against Mosley's right-hand shots.
At the time of the stoppage, two judges had Mosley winning the fight 86-85. One judge had Vargas winning the fight 86-85. Fightnews.com had the bout scored 86-85 for Mosley. In the post fight press conference, Vargas made it clear that he would resume his boxing career and stated that a rematch with Mosley should be in order because the match was stopped on a technicality. ESPN boxing expert Dan Rafael wrote: "Vargas is so utterly delusional about what actually happened in his first fight with Mosley that we think he might have a concussion. When will he stop lying to himself -- and when will his team stop going along with him? He needs to admit that: (a) The swelling around his eye was caused by a clean punch, not a headbutt; and (b) He was not winning the fight when it was stopped in the 10th round."
In their highly anticipated July 15, 2006 rematch, Vargas was stopped in the 6th round via TKO. When the sixth round began, Mosley landed a huge left hook that sent Vargas crashing to the canvas. Vargas rolled over onto all fours and was unsteady, but after stumbling twice he finally beat referee Kenny Bayless' count. Moments later, Mosley unleashed another flurry as Vargas could only protect his face, and the referee stopped the fight at 2:38 as a beaten and disoriented Vargas staggered back to his corner.
Showdown With Ricardo Mayorga
It was confirmed on May 13, 2007 that Vargas would face Ricardo Mayorga on September 8, 2007, on Showtime PPV for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Middleweight title. However the fight was postponed after it was discovered during a routine blood test that Vargas was suffering from a severe iron deficiency. Doctors ordered Vargas not to participate in the upcoming bout until he received the necessary weeks of treatment to correct the problem.
When the bout eventually took place it would be fought at 162 pounds, a weight that neither boxer has ever fought at. Many sources claim that Vargas had complained about fighting at the Jr. Middleweight limit of 154 pounds, stating that it's "too much for his body to take". Vargas has stated that fighting at that weight was the reason he did poorly against Mosley in the second fight.
Vargas claimed that this would be the last fight of his career regardless of the result. He warned Mayorga that he would not tolerate any insults from him like the ones he hurled at Oscar De La Hoya in their press conferences.
Vargas stayed true to his promise when at the first official press conference for the fight, Mayorga said some offensive things towards Vargas and attempted to slap him. Vargas immediately jumped up from his seat and retaliated with punches and a brawl broke out between the two fighters' camps, though order was quickly restored. Vargas also recalled the time when Mayorga said Vargas was scared of him when he had defeated Javier Castillejo, then was stripped of his WBC World Jr. Middleweight title rather than face Mayorga, who then defeated Michele Piccirillo for the vacant title. Ultimately the contestants faced off, and Mayorga defeated Vargas by majority decision on November 23, 2007. The scores were 113-113, 114-112, and 115-111. Crucially, Vargas was knocked down in the 1st round and again in the 11th round.
Post-fight Ricardo Mayorga apologized to Vargas and the two forgave each other. Vargas officially declared his retirement soon after.
Return To Ring In 2011
It was confirmed that after a three-year hiatus, former World champion Fernando Vargas would return to the boxing ring against super middleweight Henry Buchanan on April 16, 2011 at Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. However, the fight was cancelled for unknown reasons.
He's scaled every mountain there was to climb in boxing. He's fought his way to world championships at lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight, became known as the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing and has become a household name to boxing enthusiasts. It would be easy for "Sugar" Shane Mosley to be a content man. But Mosley will not be content until he climbs back to the top of the mountain again, which means winning another world championship at 147 pounds - an amazing feat for any fighter, but one in line with the hallowed "Sugar" name, shared by Mosley with the legendary "Sugars", Robinson and Leonard. Mosley has consistently overcome the odds since turning pro. Despite not having the hype around him afforded to some of his peers, Mosley came up the hard way, fought the best competition, won his fights, and eventually won three world titles, earning the 1998 Fighter of the Year award along the way.
By that time, casual sports fans would be calling Mosley an "overnight sensation", but "Sugar"'s road to the top was anything but smooth. Born in Lynwood, California in September, 1971, and boxing since the tender age of eight, Shane was a three-time National Amateur champion and a 1992 Olympic team member, in compiling an amateur record of 250+ wins. Upon leaving the amateur ranks, he was labeled a "can't miss" prospect for stardom.
Mosley showed brilliance in his professional debut, a five round blowout of former California State champion Greg Puente on February 11, 1993, and the future looked bright for this latter-day "Sugar". Unfortunately, promotional difficulties plagued his early career, and the boxing world would not take notice of Mosley until he brought a 23-0 record (22 knockouts) into the ring against IBF lightweight champion Phillip Holiday. Displaying speed, power, and ring savvy, Mosley thrashed Holiday over 12 rounds and walked away with a world title. He followed up this win with an 11th round knockout of tough Manuel Gomez.
Mosley's subsequent title defenses caught an unsuspecting boxing public by surprise. Knockout after knockout piled up, as did the accolades from the media. HBO commentator and world champion Roy Jones Jr. proclaimed, after Mosley knocked out John John Molina, "He's the best lightweight in history, maybe after Roberto Duran."
In 1998, Mosley defended his title five times, winning all by knockout. This amazing twelve months led the Boxing Writers Association of America to name "Sugar" Shane "Fighter of the Year". As BWAA president Chris Thorne said, "Sugar brought a lot of class to boxing in 1998. He deserves all accolades he's receiving."
These accolades later included being named the 13th best lightweight of all-time by The Ring Magazine. Mosley continued his reign of terror in 1999, defending his title two more times by knockout before difficulties making the 135 pound limit proved tougher than any opponent. While it would have been simpler for Shane to move up five pounds to junior welterweight, "Sugar" wanted to go to where the toughest opponents were: welterweight.
It was at welterweight that the most notable win of the first half of Shane's career occurred, when on June 17, 2000, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, he clearly outboxed cross-town rival Oscar De La Hoya and won the WBC Welterweight Title.
It was only the third fight at 147 pounds for Mosley, a move many critics questioned, and those critics weren't silenced even after resounding wins over Wilfredo Rivera and Willy Wise at welterweight. De La Hoya, though, found out what power boxing is all about on that night in the Staples Center before 20,000 rabid boxing fans.
Power boxing is the concept that Shane and his father Jack developed, taking advantage of Shane's superb conditioning and extraordinarily high punch output.
The fight with De La Hoya was close at the midway point, but Shane picked up the pace considerably in the second half of the fight. Many experts believe Shane swept rounds 7 through 12, but there was no doubt when the bout was over that Shane was the new King of the Welterweights.
De La Hoya declined an immediate rematch, so Mosley sought the best competition he could find. Antonio Diaz was one of the toughest men in the division, but Shane was better in every area and stopped him in the sixth round on Nov. 11, 2000. "Shane is good, real good," Diaz said. "He's the best I've ever seen."
The following March, Shane dismantled Australian Shannan Taylor, who had been highly regarded by the media. Many felt he would provide Shane a stiff test, but that was not to be. Taylor wasn't nearly as fast or as strong as Shane, who stopped him in the sixth round on March 10, 2001, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
He then cut down former junior middleweight Adrian Stone on July 21, needing only three rounds to stop the bigger man.
By then, he was universally regarded as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in boxing and was considered the best by a large number of experts.
Shane, who turned 30 on September 7, 2001, proved his champion's heart by calling out Vernon Forrest, who was the best available 147-pounder.
The two had been amateur rivals and fought a nip-and-tuck battle in the finals of the 1992 Olympic Trials that went Forrest's way.
When they met as pros at Madison Square Garden, they were considered the two best 147-pounders in the world.
Shane's power boxing allowed him to dominate the first round, but things turned in the second. An accidental head butt in the second round turned the fight around and Forrest went on to score a decision. Later in the year, Mosley was again unable to solve Forrest, in what will go down as one the best fight series of the year.
Mosley put his frustrating 2002 behind him though, and after a no contest with former world champion Raul Marquez on February 8, 2003, Sugar Shane returned to the win column in a big way on September 13, 2003, when he scored a hard fought unanimous decision over De La Hoya in their long anticipated rematch, earning the WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles in the process.
And though an easy win or two would have been a fitting reward for such a victory, Mosley kept his warrior's reputation intact by fighting the toughest possible opponent in his next fight, the much-avoided Winky Wright. The two boxing superstars would engage in two exciting bouts on March 13 and November 20 of 2004, and though Wright would win both fights via decision, many boxing observers believed "Sugar" Shane had done enough to win the rematch.
Undeterred by this chain of events, Mosley was back in the gym with new trainer John David Jackson (a former world champion himself) almost immediately. His new goal: to move back down to welterweight and dominate the division again.
The first step on that mission took place on April 23, 2005, when Mosley made a triumphant return to 147 pounds with a lopsided ten round decision over rugged contender David Estrada.
Another clear cut victory, this one over previously unbeaten knockout artist Jose Luis Cruz, came on September 17, and it was clear that these wins not only re-established Mosley in the division, but ensured an exciting run at welterweight in the coming months.
Most recently, Shane defeated Fernando Vargas during the February 25, 2006 HBO Pay-Per-View watched by over 400,000 viewers. Shane won by TKO in the 10th round.