• Kyodo

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Takashi Miura’s loss to Francisco Vargas in the WBC super featherweight title match on Nov. 21 was selected as the Fight of the Year by USA Today’s online edition on Tuesday.

Miura, in his fifth title defense, surrendered his crown to the top-ranked Vargas in Las Vegas via a technical knockout in the ninth round as the Mexican extended his unbeaten record to 24 matches.

Miura was staggered in the first three rounds but floored Vargas in the fourth for the first time in six years and kept pressing from there with left-right combinations, before the decisive ninth round. Miura went down to early blows and the referee eventually intervened to hand the win to the Mexican.

The bout was also named the Fight of the Year by Sports Illustrated on Dec. 21.

The 31-year-old Vargas has 23 wins, 17 by knockout, and a draw, while Miura, also 31, has a 29-3 record with 22 KOs and two draws.

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