Israel Vazquez Regains Super Bantamweight Supremecy

vazquezJohn Martinez, @ Ringside -- click here to view photo gallery -- In last night’s battle for the WBC super bantamweight title, Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez waged a war for the ages. Both men came into this fight supremely confident that this time around the action would be better than their first encounter and it was. Each man was also on record laying claim that he would be the last man standing with the belt around his waist. That man was Israel Vazquez who saw his record improve to 41,4, 31 ko’s with his stoppage in the sixth round over Rafael Marquez, handing Marquez his first loss in seven years.

From the start, Vazquez was determined to press the action and force Marquez on his heels with a committed attack to the body and a concerted effort to stay in Marquez’s chest behind a quick jab and his daunting left hook..

For Marquez, he relied on his powerful right keep Vazquez honest; however, that didn’t work very well. Vazquez was undeterred by this tactic and continued to dictate the pace and terms of their clash behind his intense desire to fight this fight in the trenches.

The open stanza saw Vazquez get raked with a beautiful double left hook to the body and head and ate a couple of hard right hands by the hard hitting Rafa. Nonetheless, it also showed Izzy do something that he didn’t do much of in the first fight and that was to cut the ring off and land his right hand as well.

The action was non-stop throughout the fight, but it was the third round that people will be remembering the most. Vazquez started the round with a vicious left hook that shook Marquez and left the Mexican champion back pedaling. In this we saw a change from the first fight. When Vazquez hurt Marquez and dropped him in the third round of that fight, he showed too much respect and did not engage him early enough causing Marquez to recover too easily.

In contrast, last night Vazquez jumped Marquez immediately after the bone-crushing hook only to see Marquez battle back in a flurry and land his own hard left. Marquez would land a nasty uppercut and a series of punches that would leave cuts over Vazquez’ eyes. But it was Israel that scored with big right hands and a double left hook that once again had Rafa in retreat.

In the fifth round referee Lupe Garcia did not call a knockdown of Vazquez instead ruling a slip when Israel touched the canvass. Now I’m not a referee but sitting ringside I clearly saw Vazquez get floored as a direct result from being at the end of one of Marquez’s ferocious punches. Either way, this controversy wouldn’t matter much for long going into the sixth and what would be the final round.

At the beginning of the sixth round, Vazquez jumped Marquez almost immediately with a stirring left hook that planted Marquez on the canvass. Marquez got up after taking the count from the referee and Izzy launched an all out assault hoping to finish Rafael early. But the two-division champ fought back with vigor and proved that he wasn’t ready to call it quits for the night.

Marquez traded lefts and rights with Vazquez, but the pressure and hard left hands from Vazquez were too much for the gamely Marquez as he was caught sliding along the ropes and wasn’t punching back anymore. This prompted referee Lupe Garcia to stop the action at one minute and sixteen seconds of the sixth round and crown Israel Vazquez as the new pit boss of the little big men.

Now just to clarify, Gary Shaw (Marquez’s promoter) and Frank Espinoza (Vazquez’s manager) have confirmed that a third fight will take place, but that they are eying early 2008, possibly February to finish this thrillogy that has left all in boxing craving for “ one more” between these two true warriors of the sport.

In addition, we should also heed Shaw’s words when he stated that the promoters gave the public Vazquez/Marquez I and II without putting it on PPV. We wouldn’t blame him if they charged us $50 to see these combatants walk the mine fields that their fists lay one more time. I wouldn’t would you?

One last note, Shaw confirmed to me that the showdown between Tarver and Dawson is off. Dawson will fight in September, but the opponent is unknown as of now. Tarver was eighty-sixed after he was unable to come to terms during negotiations.

Article posted on 06.08.2007

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