Classic Mexico vs Puerto Rico War in the 154-pound division
Both fighters came into this fight as undefeated champions. “Tito” Trinidad held the WBA Junior Middleweight title as “Feroz” Vargas occupied the IBF belt. Both guys built decent fight resumes leading up to their fight. This unification match garnered much-deserved buzz for the sport, and these two warriors put on a show for the boxing world.
Fifteen seconds into the fight, Tito catches Vargas with hard left hooks, sending Vargas to the canvas. Vargas beats the count but tastes canvas again within another 20 seconds. The first round closes with Tito scoring two knockdowns. Vargas found success with lead rights and body work while eating Tito’s stiff jabs. 20 seconds into the fourth round and Vargas sends Trinidad to the canvas with a sweet left hook. Tito takes his time to recover, and the fight continues. Tito lost a point in the fourth for a vengeful low blow. Vargas took over the middle rounds using heavy jab-right combinations and left body hooks while avoiding Tito’s left. Vargas dominated until round seven.
A swollen Trinidad started to throw effective combos again, snapping Vargas’ head back. Both guys would trade damaging blows from now until the end of the fight. Vargas lost a point in the tenth due to a low blow. Tito’s experience and conditioning began to show as the championship rounds approached. Vargas, now exhausted, put just enough zip on his lead rights to catch Tito. Vargas’ last rally in the eleventh round look to be the momentum change needed to win the fight. However, the final round became a nightmare for Vargas. Trinidad landed his nasty left hook multiple times to rock Vargas. Tito knocked down Vargas three times before referee Jay Nady waved off the fight. Tito unified titles against a great opponent in Vargas.
Tito won the IBF title from Vargas and finished 2000 as the RING Fighter of the Year Award. Vargas bounced back with a victory before losing to Oscar De La Hoya. Tito won again as well before losing to Shane Mosley. Both Tito and Vargas cemented their status as the best boxers in their division and in boxing as a whole.