Marquez and Vazquez Revisit "Chinatown"

rafael marquez04.08.07 - By John "N.S.U." Way: "Now I damn near lost my nose back there. Now I like it. I breath through it all the time." In the aftermath of his fight with Raphael Marquez earlier this year, Israel Vasquez must have been especially able to sympathize with Jack Nicholson’s ‘Inspector Gittes’ of "Chinatown" fame. Considered one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, "Chinatown" sported an impressive ten Academy Award nominations, with Nicholson notably-and controversially-besting Al Pacino for the Best Actor honors.

Spending more than half the film with his painfully maimed schnoze in a sling, Gittes’ wound takes a backseat only to Vasquez’ obscene olfactory injury suffered in the Marquez fight.

After capitulating between the seventh and eighth rounds, Vasquez must have been alarmed (and perhaps a little amused) as he watched his shattered beak swell to vaguely pornographic dimensions. But even with the better part of his face battered and shattered like a smashed pumpkin, "El Magnifico" had one thing on his mind: REVENGE!

His backers argue that, if not for his famously rearranged face, Vasquez would have worn down his opponent with body punches, scoring a late round knockout. Such claims do seem plausible, particularly since Marquez did seem to lose steam during rounds five and six. However, Vasquez would be well served to learn from Silence Mabuza, another Marquez foe handicapped by facial injuries. A terrific South African boxer-puncher, Mabuza believed, not at all unreasonably, that if not for a series of severe cuts around his eyes, victory would have been his in the middle/late rounds.

However, Mabuza failed to anticipate a re-occurrence of these cuts in the rematch, and, as a result, was pound for pounded by boxing’s power punching king. Whenever a boxer punches as effectively and as accurately Marquez, cuts, bruises, and broken bones should be expected by the opposing corner going into every fight. With only a few short months to recover from his broken nose, Vasquez will almost certainly be harboring justified self-doubt about the sturdiness of his snout.

Even after passing a battery of medical exams to determine his fitness to fight, the former champion, in his quiet moments of reflection before the fight, will wonder: "if Marquez punched hard enough to break my nose four months ago, why won’t he be able to do it now? He’ll be hitting just as hard as before, and my face isn’t any sturdier than before". Only a marked improvement in defense will protect Vasquez from another bloodbath at the hands of his greatest nemesis. Furthermore, with additional time to grow into the junior featherweight division, Marquez will only be faster, stronger, and more confident.

Prediction: Marquez TKO 5

Article posted on 04.08.2007

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