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Junior Middleweight De La Hoya Withdraws from WBC Fight Against Vargas - 2002-04-05

World Boxing Council Junior Middleweight champion Oscar De La Hoya has pulled out of his May fourth fight with fellow U.S. rival Fernando Vargas after a doctor recommended that De La Hoya rest a hand injured in sparring last week.

Promoters said Thursday they would try to reschedule the much-anticipated bout for September 14. It was the second time that Vargas had a date in the ring with De La Hoya that was postponed. De La Hoya had first offered to fight Vargas on December eighth, but withdrew that offer and later agreed to the May date.

De La Hoya, a former Olympic gold medalist has not fought since winning the 69.3 kilogram WBC title from Javier Castillejo last June 23.

Bob Arum, De La Hoya's promoter, says the fighter hurt his left hand sparring last Thursday at his training camp in Big Bear, California. He said De La Hoya went to three different doctors before an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles told him to give the injury a month's rest. The 28-year-old De La Hoya, the WBC super welterweight champion, has a 34-2 record with 27 knockouts. The 24-year-old Vargas is 22-1 with 20 knockouts.