On this Day in Fistiana
Felix "Tito" Trinidad KO12 Fernando "El Feroz" Vargas
By Alex Pierpaoli
By Alex Pierpaoli
On this day in fistiana, Fernando Vargas went to war against Felix Trinidad in a bout so brutal it fundamentally altered El Feroz' career. Some would go as far as to say Tito ruined Vargas in that 12 rounds at Mandalay Bay, just five days before the Californian turned 23 years old. Surviving two knockdowns in the opening round, the first times he'd ever been down as a pro, Fernando Vargas battled back, dropping Tito Trinidad in the 4th and grinding away in bone-thumping exchanges all the way to the end of the eleventh. Were Tito's low-blows purposeful in rounds 3, 4 and 7? Each seemed to come when Trinidad was hurt or at a decided disadvantage--in the third when it appeared his eye was roughed up by the seam on Vargas' glove. Although the fight was probably mathematically deadlocked after six or even seven there is no doubt the momentum had shifted in Trinidad's favor by the 8th and Vargas was getting the worst of most of the trading. Despite being out-gunned, on this day in boxing history, Vargas proved why he was, and is, so beloved by his fans as he willed himself on against the superior firepower of the Puerto Rican sensation.
During the broadcast Jim Lampley quotes former Trinidad opponent David Reid's advice to Fernando Vargas and a warning about borderline tactics."Trinidad will do anything to win the fight," said Reid.
What do you think? Did Trinidad blast Vargas in the balls to survive in this fight? Does it detract from this, what may likely be Tito's signature victory? Do you think Vargas was ever the same after this fight?
Look back on this instant classic and see for yourself...
*12/2/14-The IBHOF class of 2015 will be announced in 2 days and Fernando Vargas may or may not be one of the inductees. He was the recent subject of a Blast From The Past and my gut says he'll get the call from Canastota this week.