Vargas to put KO streak, title on line at Caesars
The youngest junior middleweight champion in boxing history is coming to Stateline to defend his International Boxing Federation title July 17 at Caesars Tahoe.
Fernando Vargas, 21, who has knocked out all 16 of his pro opponents, will defend his title against once-beaten Raul Marquez.
The fight card also features the United States Boxing Association heavyweight championship between David Tua (33-1-0, including 28 KOs) and Gary Bell (15-1, 10 KOs).
Often compared to WBC welterweight champion Oscar de La Hoya, Vargas has a lot going for him. After winning 100 of his 105 amateur bouts, the Lou Duva-managed fighter opened his pro career with a 56-second knockout of Jorge Morales. In his first six pro bouts, Vargas only put in eight rounds of work.
He became the junior middleweight champion when he KO’d Luis “Yory Boy” Campus in the eighth round last Decemeber in Atlantic City. In his first title defense March 13, Vargas knocked out Howard Clarke in four rounds in Atlantic City.
Marquez (30-1, 20 KOs), a 27-year-old from Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico, became the IBF junior middleweight champ by beating Anthony Stephens in April 1997. He lost the title eight months later to Campas, who eventually surrendered the belt to Vargas.
Tua was born on the smallest island in Western Samoa – Faleatiu – but was raised in Auckland, New Zealand. The former church choir boy had an exceptional amateur career, which climaxed in his winning the bronze medal for New Zealand in the 1992 Olympic Games.
Tua held the World Boxing Council Intercontinental heavyweight title in 1996. He lost the championship to Ike Ibeabuchi in 1997 in Sacramento. In December 1998, Tua won the USBA and IBF Intercontinental heavyweight title when he defeated Hasim Rahman in Miami.
Other undercard bouts are yet to be determined.
Tickets for the July championship fights start at $35. Doors to the event open at 5:30 p.m., and the first bout begins at 6 p.m. For tickets, phone (800) 648-3353 or call any Ticketmaster outlet.
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