Los Angeles:Ricardo Mayorga scored a majority 12-round decision over Fernando Vargas in a clash of former world champions on Friday, winning on the strength of knockdowns in the first and 11th rounds.
Judge Max DeLuca had Mayorga winning 115-111; Glenn Trowbridge had it 114-112 for Mayorga, and David Mendoza scored it 113-113.
The former world champions exchanged punches in the middle of the ring through most of the bout, with Vargas growing stronger in the later rounds. But it wasn't enough thanks to the knockdowns.
Mayorga began celebrating midway through the final round, thrusting his right fist into the air during brief lulls in the action.
There weren't many of those.
Mayorga, a three-time world champion from Managua, Nicaragua, raised his record to 28-6 with 22 knockouts.
Vargas, a two-time world champion from nearby Oxnard, fell to 26-5 with 22 knockouts. He had said repeatedly that this would be the final fight of his career.
The bout matched a pair of once-prominent fighters who both entered having been idle for more than 15 months and had each lost two of their previous three fights.
Vargas hadn't fought since July 15, 2006, when he was stopped for the second time in five months by Shane Mosley. Mayorga last fought May 6, 2006, when he was stopped by Oscar De La Hoya.
Both fighters weighed 164 pounds at Thursday's weigh-in - a startling development for Vargas considering he admittedly ballooned to 264 following his second loss to Mosley.
The WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title was at stake. The bout had been scheduled for Sept. 8, but was delayed after a routine blood test revealed Vargas had an iron deficiency.