Away from the spotlight and the glamour and in a move as rare as a 15-round fight, area lightweight favorites Osnel Charles and Victor Vasquez will meet for the fourth time in less than six years when they square off Friday evening Oct. 14 at the 2300 Arena.
Topping the nine-fight card is an eight-round junior middleweight showdown between Tyrone Brunson, of North Philadelphia, and Ismael “Tito” Garcia, of Vineland, NJ.
Two additional eight-round matches feature world-rated junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, of North Philadelphia, vs. Orlando Rizo, of Managua, Nicaragua, and unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Mike Reed, of Baltimore, MD, vs. Jose Aaron Herrera, of Valladolid, Mexico.
In an era when fighters rarely fight each other more than once, especially in prelim fights, Charles and Vasquez eagerly await their fourth encounter.
Old-timers in Philadelphia may recall another local four-fight rivalry, also between lightweights. That was the series between Roger Evans, of South Philadelphia, and Eddie “Flash” Tomlin, of North Philadelphia. They boxed each other four times between 1967 and 1969 and, incredibly, all four fights (two 6-round fights, two 8-round fights) ended in draws. You could look it up!
“I can’t really say anything negative about Victor,” said the 32-year-old Charles (right), who has won two of their previous three fights. “He’s a barber and I’m a barber and he’s a family man and I’m a family man, but when we get together in the ring I’m a better fighter.
“Victor never should have beaten me the last time we fought (June 30, 2015). We both love to fight so why not fight each other a fourth time just like back in the old days. Some people don’t understand this kind of thinking but we both fight with our heart and we put everything on the line so let’s do it one more time.”
A pro since 2009, Charles is 10-15-1, 1 K0. He currently works as a cook at the Cedar Food Market in Atlantic City.
Vasquez, 33, of North Philadelphia, had been doing well on his recent comeback before losing his last two bouts. He cuts hair at Consider It Done in North Philadelphia.
A pro since 2006, Vasquez is 19-11-1, 9 K0s.
“It’s always a great fight when Charles and me get it on,” Vasquez said. “We know each other’s moves so sometimes it’s like playing chess and we try to out-smart each other. We both come to fight and the fans like that and if the fans like it then why shouldn’t we fight again? I’m getting older now and I want to finish my career on a good note and fighting Charles a fourth time is a good way to start.”
Also on the Oct. 14 card is a pair of six-round lightweight contests featuring Anthony Burgin against Gerald Smith in an all-Philly showdown plus Steven Ortiz, of Philadelphia, against Daniel Tran, of Oklahoma City, OK.
In four-round bouts: junior middleweight Isaiah Wise, of Philadelphia, vs. James Robinson, of York, PA; middleweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., of Philadelphia, vs. Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ; welterweight Hasan Young, of Philadelphia, vs. Kevin Womack, of Baltimore, MD.