Going into his fight with Trinidad, Fernando Vargas sported a record of 21-0 with 19 KO's and had made five defenses of his IBF Junior Middleweight Title. He was also looked upon as one of the best young fighters in the sport.
The fight began in a fast pace with Trinidad connecting a solid combination that led to his opponent being knocked down. Vargas was able to stand up, but another combination injured him a second time and led to another knockdown. Early in the second round Trinidad was in the offensive but Vargas connected a solid combination at the round's closing moments which opened a cut over Trinidad's right eye.
In Round 4, Vargas had Tito hurt and knocked down the Puerto Rican with a hard left hook 20 seconds into the round. Vargas, now sensing that Trinidad was hurt, opened up on the wobbled champ and was doing some real damage. That was until Trinidad hit Vargas with what appeared to be an intentional hard low blow. A point was deducted from Trinidad but the stoppage allowed a hurt Trinidad to gather himself.
In the fifth round Vargas was in control of the fight's offensive, connecting combinations to Trinidads' body. In the sixth round Trinidad regained control of the fight's tempo that lasted throughout the contest, connecting punches on Vargas' head and left jabs to the ribs. In the eighth, Vargas displayed signs of exhaustion which slowed his offensive while Trinidad then pursued the offense with combinations to the body.
Opening the final round Vargas was on the offensive, connecting a solid left hook. Trinidad countered the attack with a left hook that made Vargas collapse; Vargas was able to stand up, but was subsequently knocked down for a second time. With Vargas hurt, Trinidad continued connecting combinations and sent Vargas to the canvas for the third time in the round forcing the referee to stop the fight.
For Felix Trinidad this was the pinnacle of his career. He had just accomplished something which is extremely rare in boxing: partially unifying titles in two divisions. With this victory many put Trinidad at the top of their pound for pound lists after his impressive performance.
103-100 | 104-100 | 104-99
Both fighters had a point deducted for low blows
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Both fighters were undefeated and Vargas had ever been knocked down.