Re: VARGAS, with different career choices, might he had been great??
He needed a full year off after the Trinidad fight, no sparring, no head shots of any kind, to fully recover. He shouldn't have fought or done any full contact sparring during all of 2001. That might have made all the difference. He was young and could have easily come back.
In his first fight after Trinidad (Wilfredo Rivera, I think), Vargas caught a couple of light shots to the head that rocked him. He did that odd sorta stutter-step, stop motion freeze thing that happens to fighters who either can't take a punch or have taken too many. Sure, he shook it off quickly, but the warning signs were obvious.