Mosley TKO's Vargas In Ten

27.02.06 - By Vanessa McConnell, Photos by CJ Cansler -- large photo gallery-- The five-year anticipated fight between “Sugar” Shane Mosley (42-4-0, 36 KOs) from Pomona, California and Fernando “The Aztec Warrior” Vargas (26-3-0, 22 KOs) from Oxnard, California came to fruition on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort, televised live on HBO Pay Per View. The world saw Vargas selling wolf tickets and writing checks he could not cash. The day before the fight, Vargas kept taunting Mosley with a $100,000 side bet on the fight. The day of the fight, Vargas was still writing checks but not as big, and he wasn’t as forceful about the issue, perhaps he was getting cold feet?

Vargas was confident that this was his last fight as a junior middleweight. “I’ve been at this weight for ten years; I’m tired. I’m going to top this year off by beating Mosley,” stated Vargas with nothing but vengeance on his mind. Vargas has a track record that deserves no bragging rights. He was beat in 2000 by Felix Trinidad who took his International Boxing Federation junior middleweight title from him and then retired..

Vargas was beat in 2002 by Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya in a match where he promised to punish De La Hoya and ended up getting whipped like he stole something. He also lost to Felix Trinidad, but gained an impressive victory over Castillejo, but that’s no reason to act invisible. It seems the fights he go into with an over cocky attitude, he gets slammed on his ego.

Mosley went into this fight on a hope and prayer. His best days were behind him until this fight against Vargas. Once he ripped into Vargas, fans immediately put him back in the winning category. He hasn’t been the same since his loss to Winky Wright and he never fully recovered from the steroid controversy out of California a few years ago.

Vargas is more of a “Bad Boy of Boxing” with a “Kiss My Ass” attitude, and he’s not afraid to say it to your face. At the weigh in before the fight, he was telling people, “Don’t be pulling on me. Get your hands off me,” and picking who he wanted to do interviews with. He is big and powerful, notorious for first round knockouts. If he can get past the third round, he is lethal, but I don’t know what happened to him in the ring with Mosley.

Vargas was very aggressive in the beginning of the fight, but Mosley shocked boxing fans with his domination early on with a left blow to the head and surprising speed. Mosley is more laid back inside the ring than most boxers, and fans anticipated a slow start and finish with him. The crowd hyped him up in the second round by chanting his name over and over. It didn’t take long before he gave them what they wanted and tagged Vargas really good.

Both fighters were exchanging a fair number of shots, but late in the second round, Mosley swelled Vargas left eye after landing a huge right hand, and that seemed to be Mosley’s focal point for the entire fight. The referee warned Vargas about his low blows in the third round, making Vargas seem vulnerable for the loss. Both fighters were tired by the fourth round, Vargas couldn’t see past the shiner that was getting brighter by the round and Mosley became the combo king, who seemed to super size his punches to Vargas left eye.

By the fifth round, they both came to life and tried to claim the fight for their corner. Vargas continued with his low blows making you wonder if the knot on his face affected his vision or was he trying to throw the fight. Mosley seemed to be throwing a nice set of combinations, but his shots were so soft, it was like he was slap boxing with Vargas. Out of all the shots Mosley landed, I would say the only one that seemed to faze Vargas was the punch that caused huge swelling over his left eye.

Vargas finally realized that Mosley has a weak spot for ropes. The only way Vargas could take advantage of Mosley was to get him up against the ropes and jab him up. Once he caught on, Mosley actually appeared to be hurting now. Vargas did his best to keep Mosley against the ropes and it gave both boxers a chance to go blow for blow, in between their rope dance. Mosley finished the fight off by trying to knock Vargas' eye out.

After the 9th round, the doctor was called to Vargas corner to examine his eye. You could tell some members of Vargas camp wasn’t so sure if he should continue the fight but the Aztec Warrior was going to be carried out of the ring on a stretcher before he walk away from this fight. In 1:22 of the tenth round, Mosley hit Vargas so hard, it was a wrap and the referee stopped the fight.

Vargas could not understand why the fight was stopped and said after the fight, “I was wondering why they stopped the fight. I was pushing the action, backing him into the ropes,” before claiming, “I definitely want a rematch, let’s see what he say’s.” Mosley was more impressed with the fact that he kept the 153-½ pound boxer off him saying, “He was pushing and shoving me. He’s so heavy. This fight showed me that I am avery strong welterweight.”

Mosley says he has his sights set on fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. next and stated after the fight, “Mayweather is my first choice of opponents. He’s the only guy out there to beat a welterweight.” But he’s going to have to get in line. He’s not the only one who wants a piece of the “Pretty Boy.” Antonio Margarito is next in line to have a shot at Mayweather, which will be determined if he wins the upcoming fight against Judah in April at the Thomas & Mack, Las Vegas.

Also that night there were five other impressive fights on the card. The undefeated welterweight champion Daniel Cervantes beat Derrick Moon in the full-length sixth round bout by unanimous decision. Tomas Pardon dropped Deshaun Cohen twice during the fight and knocked him out in 2:37 in the second round. Wilmer Mejia was also knocked down a few times by Joel Julio, but he wouldn’t come out his corner after the second round, complaining that his hand was hurting, so the fight was given to Julio.

Calvin Brock dazed Zuri Lawrence early in the fight and Lawrence seemed to never recover. Both fighters gave a good fight, but Lawrence was not at all prepared to fight. After losing his mouthpiece from a blow from Brock, he came out of his corner at one point without his mouth piece in his mouth in the 6th round. Brock finished Lawrence off with a left hook that knocked Lawrence out before he hit the mat at 2:58 in the sixth round.

Jhonny Gonzales hit Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson with a body and head shot that sent him to his knees. It took nearly the full ten count for Johnson to get up on his feet, but it was too late, the referee called the fight by KO at 1:08 in the eight round. Johnson is an aggressive fighter and had some killer punches but he was slow with his follow through, which were so obvious that the crowd started to boo him in the third round.

Overall, this fight card featured at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas delivered six really good fights, there was actually more punching and less dancing. Mosley was feeling so good after the fight, he hosted an after party at the Ice House Lounge in downtown Las Vegas, where every local from miles around was packed in there waiting to get a glimpse of the winner. It would have been nice if he had showed up, because if he did, it was well after the media and most of the fans left as the sun was coming up.

Article posted on 27.02.2006

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