The CBZ Newswire

Rafael Marquez Evens Historic Series at Two a Piece with Savage Three-Round Domination of Israel Vasquez

by on May.24, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Photos and report by Christopher Morgan at ringside

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 24, 2010 – 9,200 people filled the Staples Center in downtown LA  hoping to witness and be a part of what appears to be the final chapter in a great and historic series.   The atmosphere in the arena reached a fevered pitch as the fighters made their way into the ring accompanied by a charged up performance from a live in ring mariachi band.  Both fighters received rousing applause during their respective introductions, although Rafael Marquez’s fans were either more numerous or louder in their appreciation.

vazquez-marquez1Marquez (left) and Vasquez looking for openings.

Israel ‘Magnifico’ Vasquez (44-4, 32 KOs) wasted no time at the opening bell, those thinking that each fighter might take it a little easier or more tactical this time around were proven otherwise immediately as Vasquez appeared to be gunning for an early stoppage throwing wild right hand haymakers. Rafael Marquez (38-4, 34 KOs) probably the more technically proficient fighter of the two momentarily threw skill out the door to answer Vasquez with a vicious combination of hard shots of his own before settling down and using his jab to time the rushes of Vasquez.   The action slowed considerably after the opening salvos with both fighters showing each other a lot of respect while standing in close quarters looking for openings.  Marquez continued having success with his jab allowing him to unleash a brutal uppercut that landed flush on the chin of Vasquez, the first round ended with Vasquez already showing bad damage to one of his eyes.

vasquez-marquez2Marquez (right) tries to split the guard of Vasquez with a jab.

Vasquez came out for round two holding his hands up high to protect the eye, Marquez lands a brutal three punch combo punctuated by a right to the head that causes Israel’s non hurt eye to open up, forcing him to suddenly show even more urgency by throwing and landing a hard right hand that buzzes Marquez.  After being hurt Marquez started fighting smarter again throwing jabs and right hands further damaging Israel’s fragile eyes, the round ends with a brutal three punch combo from Marquez followed by a hook to the body that really hurt Vasquez.

Once again at the start of the third Vasquez runs across the ring and lands a quick right hand on Marquez somehow showing even more urgency than the previous two rounds but unable to come up with an answer for Marquez brilliant boxing.  Vasquez seems to be getting more weary of rushing in as Rafael repeatedly times him coming in with jabs and hard rights.  Marquez sensing that his man is hurt starts to tee off with 5 punch combos, suddenly Vasquez goes down, the crowd goes nuts, Vasquez gets up after taking a count of 6, Marquez rushes him right away landing every punch he throws at will.  Vasquez has no answer and turns away from Marquez prompting the ref to jump in and waive the fight off, Marquez gets his revenge in emphatic fashion and evens the series at 2-2.

The bout was extremely brief but packed enough action and drama to please the crowd, only a few people complained that the stoppage was premature. 

At the post fight press conference it was unanimously felt by all that there shouldn’t be a fifth fight in the series, the promoters seemed to be concerned for each fighters health, we’ll see if their attitudes change when they see the numbers this fight did.

The Undercard

Opening up Showtime’s two fight broadcast was an IBF Bantamweight title fight between local favorite and challenger Abner Mares (20-0, 13 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, and Yonnhy Perez (20-0,14 KOs) of Cartagena, Colombia. A quick glance at each fighters record would make one think that each guy is pretty evenly matched but Yonnhy had the much better resume and quality of opponents while others felt that Abner was the hungrier.  Many at ringside had high expectations for this, some going as far as to predict it was going to be better than the main event.

mares-perez1Mares (left) looks for an opportunity to counter the oncoming Perez.

During introductions the crowd wildly cheered their man Abner’s ring walk and introduction while booing the Colombian champion Yonnhy Perez. 

Right before the opening bell Yonnhy looks like a wild animal pacing in his corner, grinding his teeth, the bell rings and Yonnhy is the aggressor right out of the gate, Mares answers the aggression, both flurry, Mares gets the better of the early exchanges.  Mares slows down a little looking for openings, Mares comes forward and lands a combination on the gloves of Perez sending the crowd into a frenzy. First round goes to Mares based on his more sustained flurries.

Round 2 starts the same as the first with Yonnhy immediately putting pressure and keeping it up for the rounds entire length.  Mares begins in this round what would be his strategy for the next 7 rounds, to backpedal, lead Perez in and counter punch when Perez throws his combinations.  Both fighters exchange near the ropes, at the end of the round Mares unloads with a beautiful 3 punch combo out of nowhere, second round to Mares.

mares-perez2Perez (left) and Mares face off in the center of the ring.

Round 3 was close with a possible slight edge for Perez who started to take over from the 4th to the 8th rounds forcing Abner to continually increase his rate of backpedaling to a state of near running.   There was a bike marathon going on in downtown Los Angeles on the day of the fight and it looked like Abner might have learned a thing or two from the bicyclists.  It was all Perez from rounds 4-8 as Mares was either gassed, wilting under the pressure or saving his energy for the late rounds.  Abner’s constant backing up and Yonnhy’s increased aggression brought the crowd out of the fight, it wasn’t all one sided however as Abner was landing but usually one punch at a time.

The tide turned in the 9th as Abner started to push back Yonnhy’s pressure for the first time actually becoming the aggressor himself momentarily before settling back into the counter puncher again.

Round 9 proved to be the pivotal round for Abner as he controlled the fight for the remaining 3 rounds and swept the last four on my card.  Building on the success found in round 9 Mares second wind caught Perez by surprise in the 10th, 11th and 12th as he came forward initiating and getting the better of the some of the best exchanges in the bout.

Two judges scored the bout even at 114-114, while Marty Denkin scored the bout 115-113 for Mares, resulting in a majority draw in a close fight that could have gone to either fighter by a point.

The first bout of the five bout card featured a local prospect, Ronny Rios (10-0, 5 KOs) of Santa Ana, against an opponent that on paper, looked to be there to make Rios look good, this opponent was one Guadalupe De Leon (8-10, 4 KOs) of Weslaco, Texas.

Molina vs. Tapia

Another local prospect, Carlos Molina (11-0, 6 KOs) fought a sloppy 8 rounder with Humberto Tapia (15-12, 8 KOs) of Dallas, Texas, in the fight prior to the Mares, Perez televised bout.

tapia-molina1Tapia (left) and Molina feel each other out.

 The first couple of rounds were a nervous sloppy affair with both fighters unwilling to commit to anything big, mostly waiting around, posturing  and drawing boos from the crowd for the non effort.

In rounds 3-5 Tapia started playing possum, backing to the ropes, allowing Molina to press before unloading with sneaky rights or uppercuts, a few of which landed flush, buzzing the young upstart Molina.

tapia-molina2Molina (left) stuffs an elbow into Tapia’s face after landing a left hook.

Starting in Round 6 Molina started to find the range with his big right hand snapping Tapia’s head back viciously, Tapia never stopped trying but just did not have the ability or the size to assert his will on Molina who took an 8 round unanimous decision to stay undefeated.

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