Two-time junior middleweight world champion Fernando Vargas returns to the 154 lb. division on August 20, 2005, when he battles in a main event bout at the All-State Arena in Chicago, IL, it was recently announced by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva.
In the 12 round co-feature bout, undefeated WBC/IBF #1 ranked featherweight contender Rocky Juarez vies for his first world title when he challenges WBC featherweight champion In Jin Chi in a potential “Fight of the Year” candidate. Both bouts will be broadcast live on HBO. Vargas' opponent will be announced shortly.
Vargas (26-2, 23 KOs) is a two-time junior middleweight champion. The 27-year-old Oxnard, CA native became the youngest junior middleweight world champion in boxing history (21 years and 5 days old) on December 12, 1998, when he dismantled defending IBF champion Yory Boy Campas in seven rounds (TKO 7). Vargas regained a world junior middleweight crown on September 22, 2001, when he stopped Jose “Shibata” Flores to earn the WBA junior middleweight championship (KO 7). Vargas, one of the sport's most popular boxers, has won his last three bouts. In his last bout on March 26, 2005, Vargas decisioned Raymond Joval (W 10).
Chi (30-2-1, 18 KOs) captured the vacant WBC featherweight title on April 10, 2004, when he knocked out Michael Brodie in the seventh round of their rematch (KO 7). The first bout ended in a draw. The 31-year-old Seoul, Korea native first attempted to win the WBC crown on July 28, 2001, losing a unanimous decision to then-champion Erik Morales (L 12). Prior to that bout Chi had not lost since 1991. In his last bout on January 30, 2005, Chi successfully defended his WBC title for the second time by decisioning Tommy Browne (W 12).
Juarez (23-0, 16 KOs) was a 2000 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist. The 25-year-old Houston, TX native dazzled boxing insiders with the ease in which he dispatched his last two opponents. Juarez demolished former world champion Guty Espadas in two rounds on December 3, 2004, and destroyed perennial contender Juan Carlos Ranchero Ramirez in one round on March 4, 2005. Juarez is ranked #1 by both the WBC and IBF, and is ranked #3 by The Ring magazine.