Marquez, Marquez and Taylor: The Likelihood of Victory Part III - Raphael Marquez vs. Israel Vazquez

By: Phil Santos – Overhandright. com: Two of the worlds most gifted pound for pound boxers gave us, not one, but two fights worthy of “Fight of the Year” consideration in 2007. A date of March 1st 2008 has been speculated but as of this writing not confirmed. Provided the two are able to get together to cap off a trilogy that, despite the outcome of the third fight, is already a classic. Raphael Marquez and Israel Vazquez should deliver another outstanding performance..

rafael marquezOver a total of 13 rounds, a little more than a championship bout, Raphael Marquez and Israel Vazquez brought it for every second. In their first encounter Marquez came out on top, stopping Vazquez, who was unable to continue because of a broken nose, by TKO. Vazquez, despite having to surrender, had his share of highlights in the fight. He floored Marquez with a stiff combo in the 3rd and did good work throughout. Marquez, a natural Bantamweight, moved up to 122 lbs in order to challenge Vazquez at Super Bantamweight. Marquez possessed a slight edge in speed which effectively offset the power advantage owned by Vazquez. It was that quickness that allowed Marquez to score and in effect stop Vazquez, who never let up, despite being slower and forced to breath through a broken nose. Raphael Marquez had conquered another weight class but the question remained; would Marquez have lasted if Vazquez hadn’t suffered from the broken nose?

Five short months later the two laced up their gloves to do it again. Many speculated that it was far too early for Vazquez’s nose to properly heal, a notion that may have contributed to a split between the former champion and then trainer Freddie Roach. Vazquez however felt he was in good health, fully healed and ready to reclaim his title. It turned out he was right. In a fight more punishing than the first Israel Vazquez would wear down Raphael Marquez leading to a stoppage. Marquez again showed sharper reflexes and fast hands, confirmed by two gashes over each of Vazquez’s eyes. But it was Vazquez who demonstrated a relentless will to win, with a constantly forward moving, pressure filled, attack, that lead to Marquez cracking. The action packed, drama laden affair supposedly set the stage for a third installment. Both fighters even posed post-fight with three fingers raised, as if to signify number three was in the making.

If Marquez and Vazquez do get together in 2008 what can we expect? Will we witness a thrilling give and take in which the faster hands of Marquez control the night, or will the strength and determination of Vazquez be the deciding factor?

Of the fights discussed in this three part article this is the one I’m having the most trouble with. Logic would dictate that Vazquez, coming off his brutal knockout of Marquez, holds a decided edge in the third fight. The thing is Marquez has been knocked out before and shown no ill effects. As a matter of fact all three of his defeats have been by KO or TKO, beginning with a KO loss in his first fight as a pro. The variable in this equation is that Marquez is now 32 years old. The last time he was knocked out he was 25. Can he bounce back as successfully as he had in his youth? In my opinion the answer is no.

I liked Marquez going into the second fight based on his speed and Vazquez’s inability to defend, his proneness to cuts and the questions surrounding whether his nose was fully healed. Vazquez answered all of my questions with a thud! I expect we will see another spectacular slugfest with an outcome similar to the second fight. Marquez should still be the quicker of the two and he will most likely control the first few rounds. His problems will occur when his speed advantage begins to fade, as he tires, and Vazquez starts to land his power shots flush. Neither fighter knows how to back down so I can’t see this fight lasting any longer than the first two. I’ll take Israel Vazquez in a mid to late round KO. Both Marquez and Vazquez are great warriors but after two wicked contests once Marquez hits the canvas again I don’t know what he’ll have left.

Likelihood of Victory: For Raphael Marquez the likelihood of victory is remote. Defense has never been his calling card both previous bouts have proven that he cannot absorb Vazquez’s best shot. Simply put Raphael Marquez is the best Bantamweight on the planet and the second best Super Bantamweight.

Article posted on 17.12.2007

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