by James Slater – It was announced this week by the fighter himself and his team that warrior Israel Vazquez has been given a clean bill of health and that the former super-bantamweight king will be resuming his career, up at featherweight, later this year; possibly as soon as September.. No longer able to make 122-pounds, the Mexican great mentioned a tune-up bout as an option for his return fight, and the 32-year-old also spoke of having another war with the man he has already been to hell and back with three times, in fellow Mexican Rafael Marquez.
Speaking to FightNews.com, Vazquez and his manager, Frank Espinoza, also brought up the name Juan Manuel Lopez, and spoke about the possibility of a fight with the lethal WBO super-bantamweight champ – though, if that fight were to happen Lopez would, of course, have to move up to 126.
Either way, and whichever big fight Vazquez chooses in the long run, it is good to see such an exciting and gutsy fighter back, or at least coming back soon, and it is good news that his retinal injury has healed.
A fourth war – and nothing but a war it would almost certainly be – with Marquez would delight the fans. While a hugely intriguing showdown with the powerhouse known as “Juanma” would have fight fans salivating with anticipation!
Vazquez told Felipe Leon of FightNews, that he is glad to be back.
“I am happy to be able to come back to the ring,” Vazquez, 43-4(31) said. “This was a tough year for me. I want to end my career in a dignified manner and not because of an injury.”
Manager Espinoza said they have not ruled out any fights for Israel, including a tune-up bout. However, Vazquez mentioned the two big fights he has on his mind.
“It all depends on my team (who he fights),” Vazquez said. “Juan Manuel Lopez has wanted to fight me since my last fight with Marquez. I would have liked to fight him then but that’s when I suffered my injury. Now, I think I would like to fight Marquez the fourth time before Lopez and not out of fear but because I think it’s the easier fight to make.”
Only last week, some 14 months on from the third Vazquez-Marquez war, Rafael came back himself as a featherweight; stopping Jose Francisco Mendoza in three-rounds. It seems a fourth bout between the two rivals could be made at 126, then.
Vazquez’s manager spoke about such a fight.
“I don’t think it would be difficult to make the fourth fight at 126-pounds,” Espinoza said. “As a matter of fact, Marquez just fought in the featherweight division. He looked good after many months of inactivity. Him looking good gives me hope that we can make a fourth fight.”
There aren’t that many boxing series that reach a fourth fight these days, but this one – one of the very best lower-weight series in recent memory – may do so.
How much more can Marquez and Vazquez have left inside to give though? One thing is sure, both guys more than deserve one big payday if they do fight each other a fourth time!