2002-09-14 Oscar De La Hoya w rsc 11 Fernando Vargas, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBA/The Ring
2002-09-14 Oscar De La Hoya w rsc 11 Fernando Vargas, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBA/The Ring. Referee: Joe Cortez. With both men putting up their titles and with The Ring magazine’s championship belt up for grabs as well there was plenty on the table for the winner and although it was not one of De La Hoya’s better nights he did more than enough to win. Both men had their successes, but at the end of the tenth De La Hoya (154) was ahead by a couple of rounds and having had Vargas (154) wobbling when sending in solid blows to head and body in the last session he could see the light. Starting the 11th very much as he had ended the tenth, De La Hoya kept the punches going before finding a cracker of a left hook to the jaw to drop Vargas and despite the latter getting up he was under so much pressure that the referee stopped it on the 1.48 mark. De La Hoya was awarded The Ring championship belt on his victory.
With De La Hoya now recognised by the WBA as their ‘super’ champion, Alejandro Garcia won the vacant WBA ‘second tier’ title when stopping Santiago Samaniego, the WBA ‘interim’ champion, in the third round at the Thomas & Mack Centre, Las Vegas on 1 March 2003.