Boxing


Sharkie’s Machine: A Collision of Champions: Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vasquez!

marquez04.03.07 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr. Hardcore boxing fans got a real treat Saturday night in Carson California when IBF Bantamweight Champ, Rafael Marquez (37-3, 33 KO’s) brought his cool, killer instinct to the ring to meet one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet, WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Israel Vasquez (41-4, 31 KO’s). Two great fighters in their prime taking on each other are the perfect ingredients for a hell of a fight.

Heavyweights may have made boxing famous but it’s the lighter weight fighters that are the real heartbeat of boxing.

31-year-old Rafael Marquez is the brother of Featherweight boxing Titleist, Juan Manuel Marquez. Rafael is on a seven-year winning streak. His resume includes impressive wins over Mark Johnson, Tim Austin, Mauricio Pastrana, Peter Frissina, and Heriberto Ruiz before silencing Mabuza twice and showed incredible poise after being floored by Israel Vasquez last night.

His brother JM says Rafael is the power puncher and he’s the boxer but it seems that Rafael has evolved into a overall well rounded prize fighter that boxes as well as he slugs.

If you been paying attention to Israel Vasquez’ career, you know he is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. There’s nothing flashy about his style, he is not a big talker that makes a lot of noise and I bet most casual fight fans never heard of him. But this boy can pug! He can be getting whacked by punches and look ready to be chopped down and then suddenly—POW! He knocks a guy out with a big punch that seemed to come out of nowhere. His power is as unmistakable, as Jose Luis Valbuena, Art
Simonyan, Oscar Larios and Jhonny Gonzalez can attest. His showdown with Rafael Marquez was a fight to remember and hopefully, one we’ll be see a rematch soon, as both guys deserve another dose of each other.

The Fight

Round 1
Rafael Marquez looked a little sharper with his punches in the first round, landing a few clean blows, one of which drew blood from Vasquez’ nose. Vasquez kept coming forward with punches, some landing but nothing flush. Late in the round, Marquez stunned Vasquez with a big right that landed flush. 10-9 Marquez.

Round 2
They traded punches, Marquez landing the harder shots, looking intense as ever. Vasquez rallied a few times but again, nothing flush. Marquez lead rights prove most effective. 10-9 Marquez.

Round 3
Vasquez put the pressure on Marquez, who countered well and scored with a big right hand that rocked Vasquez. It was looking like Marquez would have his way with Vasquez until Vasquez landed a sneaky left hook followed by a right that floored Marquez. After the count, Vasquez kept the pressure on but Marquez was able to get his legs back pretty quickly. You could feel the
caution in Marquez body language in reaffirmation of how dangerous Vasquez is. 10-8 Vasquez.

Round 4
Both fighters do a lot of bodywork. Vasquez left eye is reddened as Marquez’ crisp punching found that target frequently. Marquez was in a zone and recaptured the momentum he built earlier and was landing clean shots from all angles, closing out the round with a beat down of the man who just put him on his seat in round 3. Never a dull moment. Marquez 10-9.

Round 5
There was a lot of action in the back and forth battle for the fifth, with both throwing and landing. Marquez punches always a little sharper. Vasquez cracked Marquez, then Marquez stunned Vasquez, who gave himself a sort of time out to consider what looked like a broken nose. Marquez jumped all over him. Vasquez knew the rule of ‘always protect yourself’ and embraced the
slugfest that ensued, landing a few and taking a few more. What a round! By the end of the round, it was clear that Vasquez was injured, his nose was starting to swell up in an awkward way up high near the eyebrows. 10-9 Marquez.

Round 6
Vasquez nose was broken and bleeding and seemingly causing him problems breathing but he sucked up the pain and continued to duke it out with the relentless Marquez, who was getting the better shots off all night. 10-9 Marquez.

Round 7
It was more of the same in the seventh, with Marquez dominating the scoring and Vasquez appearing to have problems with the nose injury. He then retired on his stool, because he couldn’t breathe. It was over. Marquez was the winner by TKO 7 and the new owner of the WBC Super Bantamweight Title Belt.

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Congratulations to Rafael Marquez, who fought a brilliant fight against a man who is arguably one of the best he’s ever faced. There was no, “bad blood” and no bad manners in the end, just two warriors with a lot of respect and admiration for each other. Vasquez expressed that he would like a rematch and Marquez said Vasquez deserved one. Marquez had nothing but flattering words to describe Vasquez and was particularly impressed with the fact that Vasquez put him on his seat in the third round. From a business standpoint, a rematch against Vasquez is a very dangerous proposition. But Marquez is a true Champion, business be damned, he wants a rematch too. Ahh…the true spirit of competition, unimpeded by money interests. Well, lets see if the politicians…ahem, I mean, the Promoters can make it happen.

Marquez demonstrated some very fine boxing and punching skills, so expect him to be the favorite to win the rematch. But don’t count Vasquez out, his power and spirit are the thing boxing dreams are made of.

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Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 05.03.2007



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