Vazquez Marquez III Lives Up To Hype
02.03.08 - By Bill Calogero - TheDailySports.com, photo by Tom Casino/Showtime: The third installment of Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez lived up to all the hype. The fight, which was broadcast live from the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and broadcast live on ShowTime, was twelve rounds of non-stop action and the result should set the stage for a fourth encounter.
Article posted on 03.03.2008
From the opening bell, it became obvious that this fight was picking up where Vazquez-Marquez II had left off. Both fighters went after each other. There was no customary “feeling out” round in this fight! In the first round, I felt that Rafael Marquez had the edge, thus giving him the round on my scorecard due to his effective jab. As was the case in the first fight, Marquez’s jab was getting in and scoring. Vazquez landed powerful shots to the head and body, but on my card, the edge went to Rafael..
The second round was almost the same as the first. Marquez was scoring with hard rights following his stiff jab. Vazquez landed a solid uppercut that seemed to stun Marquez towards the end of the round, but I gave the edge to Rafael to win the round on my scorecard.
As the bell sounded for the third, both fighters resumed their attack on each other. It was another extremely fast paced round. Israel Vazquez landed the harder punches, more often during this round, thus winning the round on my scorecard.
During the fourth round, Marquez landed a solid left, followed by a punishing right cross that sent Israel to the canvas. Vazquez was up quickly and as soon as referee Pat Russell permitted him to continue, did so. Instead of running, Vazquez seemed to step it up a notch. Marquez went after what he thought was a hurt Vazquez and found out quickly that it may have been a mistake. Israel stunned Marquez with a flurry of his own which had the former two-time world champion backpedaling. The round ended with a 10-8 score for Marquez on my card.
Rounds five and six, on my card were split, Marquez winning the 5th and Vazquez winning the 6th. Both rounds were action-packed. After the 5th round, Marquez all of a sudden did not land his jab as successfully as he had earlier in the contest. Vazquez on the other hand WAS landing flush shots that seemed to be stunning Marquez.
Rounds seven, eight and nine, on my card all went to Israel Vazquez. Both fighters were at each other throwing non-stop punches, but I felt that Vazquez was landing the harder ones. Up to this point, Marquez had been warned for low blows on two occasions that were justified. They both were low, with the first one extremely low. Both warnings came prior to the 7th round. By the end of the eighth, Marquez’s eye was almost swollen shut, while Vazquez was donning bad cuts above both of his eyes. Both fighters looked like they were in the exact fight they were!
Vazquez came out clearly the aggressor in the tenth. As the two combatants traded shots, toe-to-toe, a boarder-line low blow landed by Marquez cost him a point. The remainder of the round was Marquez’s, resulting in a 9-9 round on my card.
The eleventh round was no different from the previous ten….both fighters were throwing & landing punches in bunches. How these two warriors kept up the non-stop action is STILL a mystery to me. The round was close, but on my card, I gave the edge to Vazquez. It seemed that every time he landed a flush shot, Marquez would take a step back. Rafael’s eye was swollen shut and I suspected that he was not able to see much coming at him from that side. I gave the round to Vazquez.
The twelfth and final round, believe it or not, was MORE action-packed that the previous eleven. Both fighters came out to make a statement. It was Israel Vazquez who was clearly the winner of this round even before his brutal attack at the close of the round sent Marquez into the ropes and corner post. The referee justifiably scored it a knockdown and when the fighters continued, the bell sounded to end the round and the bout.
Both fighters looked like they were in a fight with more than one guy…that’s for sure. Marquez could not see out of his left eye, while Vazquez’s entire face was swollen to seemingly twice its normal size.
One judge at ringside scored the fight 114-111 in favor of Rafael Marquez, while the other two saw it at 113-112 and 114-111 in favor of Israel Vazquez, giving him the Split Decision victory and the retention of his WBC Super Bantamweight Title. TheDailySports.com scored the fight 114-111 also in favor of Israel Vazquez.
Israel Vazquez improves to 43-4 (32 KOs), while Rafael Marquez drops to 37-5 (33 KOs).
All in all….a GREAT fight and I personally hope to see a fourth match-up. It is extremely rare that two fighters create such entertaining match-ups in the ring for two, three and possibly four fights, but these two certainly do and will if given the opportunity. I have to give all the credit in the world to both fighters for coming out with the heart and determination that these two warriors did. All I can say is: GREAT FIGHT!
FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHT RESULTS:
Also broadcast live on ShowTime from the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino on Friday, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero retained his IBF Featherweight Title with a 8th round KO over the game but clearly out-classed Jason Litzau.
Guerrero used his far superior boxing skill to wear down and eventually stop Jason officially at 2:25 of the eighth. On my unofficial score card, Guerrero won all but one of the rounds leading up to the stoppage. Guerrero improves to 22-1-1 (15 KOs) while Jason Litzau drops to 23-2 (19 KOs).
Robert stated that he wanted the winner of the Vazquez vs. Marquez fight, so we will see if that can materialize.
Also on the card, Heavyweight Travis Walker avenged his only loss by destroying TJ Wilson with a devastating KO at 1:50 of the second round of their scheduled ten-round contest. Walker used a non-stop attack, which featured a powerful right that put Wilson into trouble early in the second. Once seeing his opponent hurt, Walker finished him off with a barrage of shots to the body and head until the over 260lb Wilson hit the canvas.
Travis Walker improves to 27-1-1 (21 KOs) while TJ Wilson suffers his second defeat of his pro career, dropping to 12-2 (8 KOs).
On ESPN2’s FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, Mike Walker, on 48 hours noticed battled Antwan Echols for ten rounds to earn a Majority Draw in their super middleweight fight.
Walker, who replaced Allen Green, looked very good for taking a fight on such short notice. He was able to land the harder, more flush shots throughout the fight. To Echols’ credit…he took them all, but is clearly not the fighter he once was.
One judge at ringside scored the fight 98-92 in favor of Echols, while the other two saw it even at 95-95. TheDailySports.com scored he fight 96-94 in favor of Mike Walker. Antwan Echols’ record now stands at 31-7-4 (27 KOs) while Walker stays undefeated at 18-0-2 (12 KOs).
In the co-main event, Sechew Powell continues to feast on light competition, making quick work of Kevin Finley by putting an end to the comedy match-up at 2:23 of the first round. Powell improves to 23-1 (14 KOs) while Finley drops to 12-1-1 (9 KOs).
Honestly, if Powell wants to be mentioned in the top part of the weight class, then he must step up his level of competition. As far as I am concerned, he has just feasted on clearly lower opponents and cannot beat anyone in the top ten.
A great weekend of boxing, as has been the case for over a year and a half. Boxing is back and it’s better than ever!
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