Vazquez Wins Via Split Decision

vazquez marquezPhoto by Tom Casino/Showtime - CARSON, Calif. (March 1, 2008) No one thought it would go the distance, but it did. WBC super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez defended his crown and put an emphatic close to boxing's most exciting rivalry on Saturday night by capturing a split decision victory over Rafael Marquez in their historic rubber match on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Vazquez won by the scores 114-111 and 113-112. The third judge scored the bout 114-111 for Marquez.

The classic battle was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Sycuan Ringside Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Romanza Boxing Productions. It will be replayed a few times in the next several days, including Wednesday, March 5 on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (full replay schedule below)..

Marquez seemed to have control of the fight heading into the late rounds. He knocked down Vazquez in the fourth and punished the fellow Mexican native in the seventh stanza with precise jabs and powerful right hands.

Vazquez, however, would not be denied. Sensing he had to make a late push, Vazquez turned up the heat in the eleventh. Vazquez stalked Marquez through most of the round, bouncing left hooks and stiff right hands off Marquez’ head.

“Some of his shots stunned me, but they didn’t slow me down,” said Vazquez, who is co-promoted by San Diego, Calif. based Sycuan Ringside Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

“He hit me low from the beginning of the fight, but I shook that off. I had trouble seeing out of my right eye from the fourth round on.”

Marquez appeared to have coasted the last few rounds, which ultimately hurt Marquez since Vazquez grew stronger as the fight progressed.

“I was throwing punches with bad intentions,” said Vazquez, who improved to 43-4 with 32 knockouts. “I never stopped competing. I never stopped believing in myself. I knew in my heart that I would remain the champion.

“I know how to win tough fights. That is what I do.”

The eleventh and twelfth rounds produced enough dynamite to blow through the thickest of concrete walls. Both of the rounds would belong to Vazquez.

In the eleventh, Vazquez began to wear down the tiring Marquez. Vazquez’ relentless pressure would set up one of the most exciting finishes to a world championship fight in years.

In the twelfth and final round, Vazquez brought the sold-out crowd at The Home Depot Center to its feet by punishing Marquez with overhand rights and left hooks.

Vazquez never stopped throwing punches and Marquez, it seemed, couldn’t wait for the round to end.

Vazquez ended up winning the final round 10-8 on all three scorecards.

“I felt that I won,” said a disappointed Marquez. “I finished the fight and I felt strong even when Vazquez became aggressive at the end. I thought I dominated the entire fight.

“In the tenth round, they deducted a point because of a low blow, but it wasn’t a low blow, I hit the belt line.”

Saturday’s sensational fight will re-air as follows:

Monday, March 3, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT SHO EXTREME
Tuesday, March 4, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT SHO 2
Wednesday, March 5, 11 p.m. ET/PT SHOWTIME

Article posted on 02.03.2008

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