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Vargas-Marquez Report
Vargas TKO's Marquez, Tua Bleeps-Up Bell
By Francis Walker

On Saturday, July 17 at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, IBF world junior middleweight champion, Fernando Vargas (17-0, 17KOs) retained his title for the second time, stopping former champion, Raul Marquez (30-2, 20KOs) in the eleventh round. In the co-feature, No. 1 ranked world heavyweight contender, David Tua (34-1, 29KOs) soundly pummeled former sparring partner Gary Bell (21-3, 14KOs) in the first.
Marquez, who lost the IBF 154-pound crown to the same fighter Vargas defeated for the championship last December,Yory Boy Campas, nearly two years ago, experienced rapid facial swelling in the first round. Vargas
kept catching Marquez moving backward behind straight-rights and left jabs.

After their first round, Marquez was already starting to experience rapid facial swellings across his cheekbones.

Vargas was in control of the contest by beating Marquez through every exchange through each round. Marquez, realizing that he was behind on the scorecards, hit Vargas repeatedly below the belt (low-blows) at the start of
the sixth round. Marquez was docked one point for fouling.

Marquez, slowing bleeding from both sides of his eyelids with facial swellings, managed to catch Vargas a couple time with some good left-hook counters. 

Vargas closed the show at 2:00 into the eleventh, landing the classic "one-two," left-hook, straight-right highlighted by a huge flurry of powered shots that had Marquez out on his feet.

Rumors are rampant that Vargas could meet WBA counterpart, David Reid in a world championship unification battle at the start of 2000 - The New Millennium. Reid, who was on hand here on the East Coast Friday night in
Atlantic City to face his mandatory contender, Kevin Kelly of Australia, was floored in the fifth round and failed to do anything significant during the contest. Reid escaped an unanimous decision victor. 

Also mentioned as a possible opponent for Vargas is former WBA world welterweight champion, Ike Quartey of Ghana.

Tua made quick work of Bell. As a 28-year-old, sparring partner from Queens, New York, Bell was Tua's former sparring partner, and is currently managed by world heavyweight champ, Evander Holyfield, who also holds the same International Boxing Federation crown that Tua has his sights set on.

Thanks to Tua's straightforward aggression, the 26-year-old, New Zealander unleashed a vicious flurry of left and right hooks that buckled Bell's knees into the ropes. With Bell suffering a deep gash across his left eyelid from an accidental headbutt, Tua again rushed the opposition behind lethal left and right hooks that had Bell trapped in a neutral corner.

A helpless Bell was defenseless, as the referee stopped the contest at 1:19 seconds into the contest. It was the 13th time in Tua's career that he knocked out an opponent in the first round. Among them were current WBC
mandatory challenger, Johnny Ruiz and once undefeated prospect, Darroll Wilson.

At 5' 10," Tua weighed in at an incredible 237 pounds, but that did not prevent him from landing 28 of 43 power punches, as opposed to only 8 landed by the 6' 2" Bell. Tua showed well and was very dominant. What else would one expect when he fights his former sparring partner?

Vargas drags it out but keeps IBF title
By Boxing Rules

It was no out of the ordinary night in boxing. "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas won by a knockout and kept his IBF Jr Middleweight title and David Tua knocked out another scrub within the compounds of a round. You know, same old same old.

Vargas, however, had it a lot tougher than say against Romallis Ellis or Yory Boy Campas. Though his opponent, Raul Marquez, failed to win more than two rounds at the most, Marquez showed the guts that warranted his title

In his second defense, Vargas (17-0/17 KO's) did what most others had done to Marquez in his previous 31 matches, cut him. The first cut occured in the opening round. Then after extreme swelling around the eyes, he was cut over the other eye in the middle rounds.

Marquez was a tough customer, as advertised, and it looked as though he would fight to the last drop of blood and last breath of air. Otherwise, he was generally unskilled in his try to regain the title he lost to Campas
in December '97. Unfortunately for him, he also only had 20 knockouts in 30 victories, reducing his chances greatly of an upset after being dominated for the first half of the fight.

Vargas finally ended matters in the eleventh round, four longer than he's ever had to go in a bout, where he staggered a spent Marquez across the ropes into a defenseless state. Referee Joe Cortez elected to stop the bout
at the 2:00 mark.

In tying Roy Jones for 17 starting kayo's in each's respective careers, Vargas set up a Dream Match between him and WBA Champ David Reid, who was unimpressive in decisioning Kevin Kelly the previous night. Marquez dropped to 30-2, losing for the first time since the Campas fight.

On the undercard: a major disappointment as David "The Terminator" Tua put away another unskilled opponent in the first round. This time, it was Gary Bell, who was most famous for being Evander Holyfield's sparring partner before Mike Tyson I, and not remembered for his knockout losses to Robert Hawkins & Artis Pendergass.

Tua started viciously, ripping right into Bell. But, Bell was preserved in the match for a couple more seconds when a head-butt opened a nasty gash over his eye. Still, the hard-hitting Samoan continued to whale away on him until the referee stopped it only 79 seconds in.

Now 34-1 with 29 knockouts, Tua is inexplicably rated #1 by the IBF! Even though the only man to beat him, Ike Ibeabuchi will be found 6 spots lower. Bell is now 21-3 and has gone 6-3 in his last 9 fights since starting
at 15-0. In the end, it was a nothing-out-of-the-ordinary night in the complex and somewhat bizarre world of boxing.

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