LOS ANGELES, (July 27, 2007) – A few teenagers, out of school on summer vacation, stand near the weight room of the South El Monte Boxing Club watching Israel Vazquez (41-4, 30 KOs) pace around the ring as he gets loose for what will turn out to be an exhilarating sparring session. The teens, old enough to drive but not grow facial hair, have their mouths open, surprised and stunned to see first hand Vazquez’s unrelenting barrage of punches..
“He’s like a machine,” says Javier Garcia, a young super featherweight boxer and sparring partner to Vazquez, who overhears the kids’ commentary. “He doesn’t stop throwing punches and he never gets tired.”
By now, Vazquez’s plain white tee-shirt is sticking to his body as the shirt, dry when he got in the ring, is now soaked in perspiration.
“Keep moving and cut into his space,” yells Vazquez’s trainer Rudy Perez, who is short and stocky with a loud and confident voice. “Don’t let him be the aggressor, control the pace.”
Vazquez, the former World Boxing Council super bantamweight and International Boxing Federation junior featherweight champion, looks ready and confident for his showdown against Rafael Marquez on Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Vazquez is moving with the grace and precision of a champion. One brief look into his eyes reveals his dedication.
“I want that title back,” says Vazquez, as he rests between rounds. “The best motivation happens when someone takes something from you and you want it back.”
Vazquez lost the WBC 122-pound title to Marquez on March 3 when a broken nose forced Vazquez to retire after the seventh round.
Vazquez, who is promoted by San Diego-based Sycuan Ringside Promotions, promises a different outcome when the two meet in Hidalgo.
“Marquez is a great champion and I respect him, but I feel like I’m going to win on Aug. 4,” says Vazquez, who has finished sparring and has moved to the heavy bag.
As he carefully tip-toes around the bag, Vazquez strikes with finesse and force. Most fighters, at this point, surely would suffer from some type of fatigue, but not Vazquez.
Even as the Mexican-born boxer approaches the tail end of his workout, he manages to operate at full throttle.
“You have to be focused all the time, otherwise you’re cheating yourself and it will show in the ring,” Vazquez said. “Perfecting the little things is what separates champions from pretenders.”
As his workout winds down, Vazquez, who is covered in sweat, yet isn’t breathing hard, circumnavigates the gym, shaking hands with familiar and unfamiliar faces. One of the most polite and sincere boxers in the sport today, Vazquez even reaches out to the teenagers who watched his workout so closely.
The teenagers toss compliments toward Vazquez and he thanks them with honest compassion.
The former champ then walks out of the gym into the sun-soaked Los Angeles skies, hungry to return the following day for another non-stop and grueling training session.
About Sycuan Ringside Promotions
Sycuan Ringside Promotions of San Diego is considered to be the fastest-growing and most dynamic promotional entity in the sport. Sycuan Ringside Promotions made its promotional debut during 2004, but already has or had six current or former world champions and has promoted and presented world title bouts across the country on premium cable networks.
Sycuan Ringside Promotions has many notable boxers in its stable, including International Boxing Federation lightweight champion Julio Diaz, World Boxing Organization junior lightweight champion Joan Guzman, World Boxing Association super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero, former World Boxing Council welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir, former WBC super bantamweight and IBF junior featherweight champion Israel Vazquez, teenage lightweight sensation Jorge Paez Jr. and undefeated cruiserweight prospect Shawn Hawk.