2000-12-02 Felix Trinidad w rsc 12 Fernando Vargas, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - IBF/WBA
2000-12-02 Felix Trinidad w rsc 12 Fernando Vargas, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - IBF/WBA. Referee: Jay Nady. Meeting to decide two title belts, Vargas (154) had a disastrous opening round when he was twice hammered to the floor by cracking left hooks to the jaw, before fighting back to have Trinidad (154) over from a left hook in the fourth. Trinidad came roaring back to get himself in front again, dropping Vargas with two terrific right hands in the 12th, prior to decking him again almost immediately he had got to his feet. He then forced the stoppage at 1.33 when smashing Vargas down with a long right to the head. Both men had points deducted for low blows, Trinidad in the fourth and seventh and Vargas in the tenth, and many felt that the latter was badly disadvantaged when having to be given time out to recover on the first occasion. It had been a great fight regardless of recriminations and took Trinidad to his 19th world championship victory at the young age of 27.
Trinidad relinquished the IBF/WBA versions of the title in May 2001 in order to take part in the middleweight unification tournament. In order to find new champions, the WBA made a match between Vargas and Jose Flores, while the IBF settled on Ronald Wright and Robert Frazier.