The co-feature turned out to be a war, as predicted, between unbeaten Columbian welterweight Samuel Vargas (8-0-1, 2 KOs) and outspoken Ahmad Cheikho (6-4-2, 5 KOs), who were representing, respectively, Toronto/Ontario and Montreal/Quebec.
In a toe-to-toe, old-fashioned brawl, Vargas and Cheikho went at it from the start. A well placed shot to the liver by Vargas dropped Cheikho in the first round, but Ahmad caught Vargas in the second round, knocking him to the mat face first for the first time in his career. A bloodied Vargas survived the round and a little later, momentum shifted to his favor. In the fourth, Vargas pinned Cheikho on the ropes, blasting away with left hooks to the body, and Ahmad hit the deck once again. Vargas’ all-out assault continued in the fifth round, in which Cheikho was knocked down during the final seconds. He managed to beat the count but failed to answer the bell for the sixth.
“The card as a whole was one of the most exciting I’ve been involved with in a long time,” commented International Boxing Hall of Fame nominee Al Bernstein, who called the action live from ringside. “The main event and co-main event were outstanding. The Sam Vargas-Ahmad Cheikho match is a fight of the year candidate. It was a total slugfest and Vargas came back from the brink of disaster to win.