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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Fernando Vargas' fight on hold

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

The comeback of former two-time junior middleweight titleholder Fernando Vargas has been postponed because of illness.

Vargas, one of boxing's most popular fighters during his heyday, was slated to fight for the first time in more than three years against super middleweight Henry Buchanan (20-2, 13 KO) on April 16 at Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.

However, according to promoter Roy Englebrecht, who was assisting Vargas' promotional company in putting on the card, Vargas came down with pneumonia and bronchitis about 10 days ago and was forced to postpone the fight.

"A decision on a new date and venue will be addressed on March 1," Englebrecht said.

Vargas, 33, has not fought since losing a 12-round majority decision to former welterweight and junior middleweight titlist Ricardo Mayorga in a super middleweight fight in November 2007.

Vargas has lost his past three fights, including back-to-back knockout losses to Shane Mosley. After losing to Mayorga, Vargas retired.

Just a few days after turning 21, Vargas (26-5, 22 KOs) became the youngest 154-pound world champion when he knocked out Yory Boy Campas in December 1998.

Vargas made five defenses before facing Felix Trinidad in a title unification bout in December 2000. Vargas took tremendous punishment before being knocked out in the 12th round.

Although Vargas eventually claimed another version of the title, he was never the same after losing to Trinidad. In 2002, Vargas lost his second belt when Oscar De La Hoya knocked him out in the 11th round of their unification match, after which Vargas tested positive for steroids.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.