Marquez rips title away from Vazquez

marquez03.03.07 - By Anthony Coleman: Well, I guess I was right: this fight was an unpredictable affair. After the performance he put forth against Jhonny Gonzales and his “I’m ready to die” in that ring comments, nobody expected Israel Vazquez to give up his Junior Featherweight title. Yet that is exactly what he did. Actually, he simply didn’t give up his title; Rafael Marquez forced his Vazquez to quit by breaking his nose early in the bout with hard power-shots delivered by A+ combinations. It was truly a great performance by Marquez, as he finally stepped out of the shadow of his brother.

Now I must say that the ending of this fight was disappointing. This fight was heating up and turning into a stand-up brawl and Vazquez’s body work were seemingly beginning to tilt the scales to him.

The crowd of over five thousand at the arena and watching this fight in their houses were anxiously and impatiently waiting for the 8th round to begin and to see what Raffy and Izzy would do next. Then suddenly, shockingly; Vazquez orders the fight to be stopped. If that doesn’t leave a sour taste in your mouth, than I don’t know what will..

However, the ending of this fight shouldn’t take away what was a truly great fight for seven rounds. As I stated in an earlier article, this fight was for the boxing fan and Marquez and Vazquez proved my point correctly.

For most of the bout, there weren’t any wild exchanges, but the action was still top notch. This was a technical boxing clinic. Both men boxed from the outside with their jabs and went to work behind incredible (yes I do mean incredible) combinations. What impressed me about both men’s work was the fact that they were able to maintain exciting action by simply boxing. Indeed, there was not a dull moment in this bout. Whether it was simply jabbing from the outside, throwing counterpunches or placing creative combination punches together, both men were able to keep the crowd enthrall over seven brutal rounds. Even the subtle strategic movement of both men drew a positive reaction from the crowd. This fight was definitely for the hardcore boxing fan.

The fight truly started to turn into a brawl after Marquez was dropped hard by a Vazquez left hook in the third round. At that point both men continued to box, but were more willing to stand toe to toe and brawl it out. Rounds six and seven featured awesome trench battling from both men as Vazquez made his way inside to hunt for Marquez’s ribs, often finding success with his left hook to the body. Then in the seventh, after eating another Marquez straight right cross to the nose, Vazquez answered back with his own left hook-right cross combination which buzzed Marquez. Then as we know, the fight was over at that point, yet it won’t diminish the performance of both men. For my money, this is one of the best fights that went less than 10 rounds I have ever seen. Hopefully a rematch can be made.

The story of this bout was Rafael Marquez. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, and I’ll say it again: the man is the best puncher and offensive fighter in the game today. Nobody combines power, accuracy and combinations better than this man. Before the fight I said that Vazquez was a better combination puncher than Marquez, and Marquez proved me wrong by putting together some of the best combinations I’ve ever seen. He threw a lightning fast and hard jab then followed it up with a left uppercut and right-cross. His combinations tonight were reminiscent of the ones thrown by Terry Norris nearly fifteen years ago. By the time of the stoppage, Marquez’s heavy continuous combos had busted up Vazquez’s face into a mask of cuts and bruises. Truly this was one of Marquez’s greatest performances and with this win he sets himself up for a lucrative rematch with Vazquez or a showdown with fellow titlists Daniel Ponce De Leon or Celestino Caballero. Right now Marquez is on top of the world. Not only is he THE 122 pound champion, but he is practically guaranteed a spot on every boxing writer’s pound-for-pound list.

As for Vazquez, he didn’t really embarrass himself, except maybe in the eyes of those who can’t understand the true dangers of boxing. Look, boxing is one of the most dangerous sports of them all, and death in the ring is a tragic reality. So knowing these facts, I can’t understand how some of boxing fandom can just call Vazquez a “quitter” or “gutless” for doing the right thing. If a fighter has had enough or if they can’t breathe because of a broken nose, you should respect his wishes to retire from the bout. It is his health and not your own. Speaking of injured boxers, I hope and pray that Victor Burgos will recover from the horrible beat down he absorbed from Vic Darchiniyan.

All and all, Marquez-Vazquez was a great fight that was marred by a disappointing ending. I loved what I saw from both men and I hope we see a rematch. These two fine pugilists have unfinished business with one another and the fans would like to see it resolved. Until a rematch can be made, I’ll just entertain myself with watching this fight again and again when I feel the need to.

Article posted on 04.03.2007

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