Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez renew their rivalry this Saturday in what will be the fourth meeting between the pair. Coverage begins at 9pm ET on Showtime with an undercard that features Yonnhy Perez vs. Abner Mares. Read on for a preview of the main event as well as staff predictions.
Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez IV
Israel Vazquez, 44-4 (32 KOs), has proven to be one of the most exciting fighters of the last decade. His battles with Oscar Larios and Jhonny Gonzalez were incredible but they pale in comparison to his recent trilogy with Rafael Marquez; two of the three fights won Ring Magazine’s award for Fight of the Year. Vazquez is a gritty, determined fighter cut from the same cloth as Mexican fighters before him. His determination is shown by his desire to come back to the ring after three surgeries following his third fight with Rafael Marquez. Vazquez had to repair a detached retina and the 32-year-old could have easily called it a career. Vazquez looked very lethargic in his return bout last year against Angel Priolo showing signs of a shot fighter. It remains to be seen as to what Vazquez will have left in the tank this Saturday but you can rest assured that Israel will unload whatever he has left.
Rafael Marquez, 38-5 (34 KOs), is a fearsome boxer that combines power and skill to dismantle many of his opponents. While coming up the bantamweight ranks, Rafael Marquez was largely known for being the little brother of Juan Manuel Marquez. The trilogy with Israel Vazquez helped Rafael carve out his own identity amongst boxing fans. Marquez beat Vazquez into submission in their first fight. He not only broke the nose of Vazquez but Marquez also claimed a world title in his second weight class. Despite getting to Vazquez early and often in the second meeting, Marquez was stopped in the sixth. Both men traded knockdowns in the third fight that was awarded to Israel Vazquez via split decision. Marquez is the better boxer of the two but age may be catching up to him as well. The 35-year-old Marquez has only fought once in the last two years.
Corey: Despite winning two of their three previous fights, Israel Vazquez likely walked away the more damaged fighter. After all, it was he who had to undergo surgery to repair a detached retina – an injury that sidelined him for a year and a half. In his most recent outing against Angel Priolo, Vazquez looked the part of a man who had seen one too many wars. The feeling here is that Rafael Marquez is too skilled a boxer and too deadly a puncher for Vazquez to handle any longer. Marquez fights a more disciplined fight this time around and ends up stopping Vazquez after eight rounds in a fight that most will look back on as an unnecessary fourth installment.
Paul: Both of these guys ruined each other long ago. They’re done and I fully expect someone’s jaw to be ripped off at some point. But, of the two, Marquez is the better technical boxer and that may be the difference between two fighters so terribly shot. Marquez via solid unanimous decision in a pale imitation of their three previous wars. By the way, the opening act on this card will steal the show. Bantamweight, Yonnhy Perez just may be boxing’s most underrated fighter and he’s going up against a real thoroughbred prospect in Abner Mares.
Trent: Israel Vazquez loves to give fans a crowd-pleasing show. His career is evident of that. He has the heart of a true Mexican warrior. The only problem is that Rafael Marquez combines that same warrior spirit with just a little more skill. Vazquez won the third fight with a dramatic late-round comeback. Unfortunately for Vazquez, he seems to have aged more than the older Marquez. This may turn into more of a last-hurrah sendoff for the two Mexican rivals, but Marquez should come out victorious this time around. Marquez will pick Vazquez apart and take his will away, preventing a dramatic comeback. Marquez by TKO in the 9th.