Best Boxing Match of 2002:
Delahoya versus Vargas...
This was a must see fight with all the talk prior to the big event. Fernando Vargas' trash talking had finally got Oscar De La Hoya into the ring. De La Hoya, a champion from the junior lightweight division, had moved up to Vargas' league, junior middleweight. But has De La Hoya become somewhat of a "softie," living a $100 million lifestyle with a singing career? How would De La Hoya fare in the ring after his year-plus vacation? There was definitely some bad blood between the two boxers. Well, let the fight begin.
De La Hoya is out for blood...
So it began as the two boxers walked into the Mandalay Bay arena; Vargas, looking confident and ready to strike, and De La Hoya, calm and collected with a tinge of anxiety. The odds were against Vargas, but with his cockiness and incredible physique, my bets were on Vargas.
Round one, Vargas quickly showed his strength by driving De La Hoya to the ropes. De La Hoya took many shots to the body as he tried to make his escape, only to find himself against the ropes again. De La Hoya seemed to be having trouble with moving the fight to centre ring as Vargas controlled the direction of the match. Vargas continued to tell the story in rounds two, three, four, and five.
The tables now turned when De La Hoya started leading the fight with his jabs, one landing on Vargas' right eye, leaving an open wound just below the eye. This wasn't the end for Vargas as he fought back in the ninth and beginning of the tenth rounds. The pace changed again in the tenth round when De La Hoya threw a left hook into Vargas' jaw and with that, the bell rang to signal the end of the round.
The eleventh round began with fans wondering which way the fight would go. About a minute into the eleventh, De La Hoya's fervent left hook sent Vargas down. This sent the entire audience, flabbergasted, to their feet. Vargas okayed the referee to continue the fight, only to have De La Hoya to move in for the kill. De La Hoya cornered and pummeled Vargas, landing 23 of the 33 shots with the referee jumping in to end the fight. De La Hoya was announced as the victor.
Vargas, badly beaten, left the ring without delivering a sportsmanlike congratulation to his opponent. Vargas also did not grant any post fight interviews until days later. De La Hoya, champion of the bout, had proven himself a great and strong fighter.
This was indeed a memorable fight that brought everyone to their feet in anticipation of what was to come. Since my boyfriend has been training for boxing, he has been studying the Bad Blood fight for techniques and inspiration. It's a fight that boxing fans cannot get enough of. ¤ Phan
PUNCH STATS Delahoya Vargas Thrown 660 525 Landed 281 227 % 42.6 43.2
JABS Delahoya Vargas Thrown 423 136 Landed 171 59 % 40 43.3
POWER PUNCHES Delahoya Vargas Thrown 237 389 Landed 110 168 % 46.4 43.1
JUDGE SCORECARDS Delahoya Vargas Manning 94 97 Manning 96 94 Tucker 96 94