Preview of Marquez-Vazquez II
02.08.07 - By Anthony Coleman: This past March, Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez were in the midst of an excellent battle that looked like it was turning into an all-time battle; but the fight had one of the most anti-climatic endings in recent boxing history when Vazquez quit on his stool because he couldn’t breathe out of his severely damaged nose.
Article posted on 03.08.2007
The fight cost him his 122 pound title and robbed boxing fans of a definitive ending to, what was for seven rounds, a great fight. Now, five months later, Marquez and Vazquez will finish the business they started in the first fight and hopefully give boxing fans the all-time classic fight that they are capable of delivering. Now the question going into the rematch that is on boxing fans mind is who should be the favorite going into the rematch.
In the last fight, I openly declared that the fight was too difficult to call because both men’s style was so similar. Yet this time around I can make an honest prediction on who deserves to win this fight, but before I make my prediction let us look at both fighters’ strength and weaknesses.
-Possesses phenomenal punching power. The man is able to KO a boxer at any time with any punch from either hand. Fighters who have that kind of power are very rare.
-An excellent counter-puncher- fighters who throw looping wild punches are built to order for Marquez’s straight hard power shots.
-A great body puncher.
-Carries his power late into fights.
-Possesses one of the best jabs in all of boxing. It is hard, sharp, fast, and accurate. With the exception of Mikkel Kessler and Wladimir Klitschko I can’t say that there is anybody who definitively has a better jab than Marquez.
-A tough minded and durable fighter. Even if a fighter can withstand his punching power early on, he is still mentally tough enough not to get discouraged and will continue to grind his opponents until they can’t take it anymore. In short: he breaks his opponent’s will.
- One of the best technicians of this era. An excellent combination puncher who throws straight, hard, and extremely accurate shots, can control the pace of a fight and force his opponent to fight at his tempo. He can fight anywhere in the ring whether it be going forward, backwards, circling his opponent, at center ring or along the ropes. Extremely intelligent and knows how to adjust to his opponent’s style.
-Has a below average chin. The main reason why his fights are usually 50/50 tilts is due primarily to the fact that his chin is not top notch and this is despite being the best puncher and pure boxer below the 130 pound limit.
-Will sometime become overconfident and overaggressive and will open up too much and will leave himself open to punches that he normally wouldn’t get tagged from.
-A great in ring technician. While not on par with Marquez, he can throw hard and extremely accurate punches in combination. Has a good jab and can move around the ring very well and can fight anywhere along the ring.
-A very good power puncher. While he is not on the elite level in terms of punching power (i.e Marquez, Pacquiao, Klitschko, Valero) he is on the second tier, and each punch can drop and hurt an opponent at anytime. Is a great finisher, as showcased in his win against Johnny Gonzales.
-Picks up steam as a fight enters the late rounds. He will often give up the early rounds, yet because he is so intelligent and durable he will often learn from their mistakes and start to grind them down.
-One of the best body-punchers in the sport.
-As tough and courageous a fighter in the sport today.
-He catches too many punches. Because he stands right in front of his fighters and sometimes squares up he will take a lot of power shots. He also has a defensive flaw while jabbing, in which he leaves his left stick out too long after he throws it often leaving himself open to the counter right cross.
-Can start out slowly. Though he was able to get to Oscar Larios early in his two KO wins over him, he normally takes his times to get his engine running to full speed (as evidenced in his fights with Gonzales and Marquez)
-He has major problems with his nose. It was broken in his fight with Gonzalez and it forced him to quit on his stool against Marquez. Those nose troubles will often stick with a fighter later in their career and could be a huge problem in his rematch with Marquez.
I like Marquez by TKO in the 10th or 11th round, because everything Vazquez can do, he can do as good or a little bit better. However, I think that the fight will be on the table until the fight reaches it conclusion because of Vazquez’s power. I can imagine a scenario in which Vazquez stops Marquez, however, I’m fairly confident in my prediction, and Rafael Marquez will retain his title and continue to expand his legacy.
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