Just for the fans

Re-Living: Oscar De La Hoya vs Fernando Vargas

Posted by beeshabo on September 11, 2007


September 14 2002,
Boy was this a special night for me as a boxing fan, the Golden Boy vs the ferocious, it was beautiful.
This gave a time for many to consume enough beer for a year, and for smokers to maltreat their lungs for an evening of good boxing. Most of the Pre-fight hype antics were, What will the year lay off mean for De La Hoya? Can De La Hoya carry his punch north to Jr. Middleweight? Would Fernando’s emotions take over?, will he overcome the beating he took from Trinidad? These were a few of many questions raised by boxing experts and boxing writers, with already enough bad blood to start an epidemic of hate and animosity, this fight was building into something meaningful for the sport, something to look at years from now and say “Now that, Was a darn good fight”

All this pre-fight hype, and no one could even believe that it would surpass even the build-up and put itself into contention of fight of the year.

During the ring-walks the crowd was roaring for the two combatants, the De La Hoya side filled with beautiful women cheering as if they were at an N’sync concert, and all of the die hard Vargas fans cheering as if at a Dodgers home game, already so much excitement.

There was a great size difference of the two as they stood center ring to receive final instructions by referee Joe Cortez, Vargas looking lean and muscular, and De La Hoya looking bigger than ever before, just a blown up welterweight. The size difference would explain it all within the first few rounds, as Vargas stole the show by forcing De La Hoya to the ropes and ripped him with stiff body punches, even causing a panic to the De La Hoya corner as Vargas nearly knocked him out of the ring as he was entangled in the ropes for a few short moments. Finally De La Hoya was able to get the fight back to center ring, but Vargas was only at times able to drive De La Hoya back to the ropes where he needed him, but for the most part Oscar was working his beautiful jab to target Vargas’ right eye and land his previously absent straight right hand.

By the 9th round, Vargas looked tired, his mouth hanging open as he gasped for a deep breath, and De La Hoya showing some signs of fatigue as he stayed off his lead foot, a subtle signal of fighter who has been hurt to the body. Vargas did enough to keep himself in the fight, by nearly winning the 9th and landed some good lefts and rights to Oscar’s weakened body. The 10th looked like a carbon copy of round 9, with Vargas trying desperately to get to De La Hoya’s body while Oscar implanted a sweet combination with seconds left in round 10, and with one stiff left hook that landed squarely on Vargas’ jaw, the fight changed as Vargas wobbled in the breeze, and just before Oscar could follow up the bell rang, ending the 10.

Between rounds 10 and 11, Vargas still looked groggy, blinking heavily with both eyes. Within the first minute of round 11, Oscar pressed the issue to find out if Vargas was still hurt from the previous round, and with a vicious left hook, he got his answer, Vargas was sent sprawling to the canvas. With Vargas eagerly attempting to get up and nodded at ref Joe Cortez to signal that he was okay and ready to continue, De La Hoya stood in a neutral corner anticipating his next move on the wounded Vargas. Once the ref allowed Oscar out of the neutral corner, Vargas’ instinct took over and his only defense was to try to duck and slip Oscars punches, but De La Hoya pressed onward at Vargas and pinned him against the corner. With his shield held high, Vargas was being smacked around and it eventually gave Joe Cortez no other choice but to stop the fight as Vargas was not throwing back.

Referee Joe Cortez stood over Vargas and protecting the beaten fighter, Oscar ran to his corner spitting out his mouth piece and throwing up both his hand in celebration of one of his greater victories. During the official announcement by Michael Buffer Vargas and his camp rushed out of the ring, without visiting the corner of De La Hoya and that being a sign of his still obvious “Bad Blood” toward his conqueror. De La Hoya celebrated and in his post fight interview Oscar said this “He was just talking so much trash. Tonight, I let my fists do the talking.”

Vargas was sent to a precautionary checkup and was not involved in any immediate post fight interviews.

Official Punchstats

FIGHTERS De La Hoya Vargas
Thrown 660 525
Connected 281 227
% 43% 43%
Thrown 423 136
Connected 171 59
% 40% 43%
Thrown 237 389
Connected 110 168
% 46% 43%
Jarman-Manning 94 97
Smith 96 94
Tucker 96 94

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