Rafael Marquez Wins Latest Installment
in Series with Israel Vazquez

Marquez forced a stoppage in the third round last night (Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime).

Marquez Dominates Vazquez, Forces Third Round Stoppage

Los Angeles, Calif. (Sunday, May 23, 2010) – No one will ever doubt the heart of Israel Vazquez, but the entire boxing community has begun questioning his ability to make logical decisions regarding his career and personal well-being. After suffering a brutal cut over his left eye and an eventual TKO to Rafael Marquez in the fourth installment of a super series last night, Vazquez said the words that no one wanted to hear.

"I'll need to take off about five or six months," he stated. "But if the commission says okay, and the people want a fifth fight, I'll take it."

After three of the most epic fights in the recent history of boxing, fight fans were increasingly nervous about last night’s pairing before the opening bell ever rang. Virtually all 23 of the previous rounds were non-stop poundings of one another, with the first fight being a runner-up for Fight of the Year and the last two taking home the honors on each occasion. Vazquez had previously owned a 2-1 advantage in this duel by winning the first and third installment. One regular occurrence in each of the first three encounters was cuts around the head of Vazquez, and Marquez let it be known that he was using that fact as a key focus for his attack last night.

"It was definitely the plan to go after the eyes because of the surgeries," Marquez remarked after the bout. "Because he hit me pretty good, I thought the fight would go longer."

It was pretty evident after the first two rounds that Marquez was in control, and he was clearly succeeding in his mission of damaging Vazquez around the eyes. The left eye of Vazquez was split absolutely wide open by the middle of the second round, and an accidental knock of the heads also opened up a cut over his right eye in the second round. Things looked rather bleak for the Mexico City native heading into the third round, and they took a quick turn for the worse once that frame got underway.

Vazquez tried to close in on his opponent with disregard for his own health, and Marquez quickly took advantage by unloading some vicious blows to his head. Vazquez was forced to a knee following a sharp right uppercut, but he shook off the cobwebs to return to his feet. The fight wouldn’t last too much longer when referee Raul Caiz Jr. had finally seen enough and called the bout at the 1:33 mark.

"I can see and everything," Vazquez commented afterwards. "He hit me with a good shot and my eye just opened up. I didn't know I was cut until I saw the blood. I'm happy because we gave the fans another great fight.”

By the look of his face after the bout, it’s pretty hard to believe that Vazquez could see at all. It looked a bit more apparent that he had somehow convinced himself that he still had the vision to continue. The same situation also appears to be evident with the way Vazquez sees his future. By no means should the 32-year-old boxer get himself back in the ring with Marquez for a fifth time, and that is no knock on his ability to compete. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Vazquez only knows one way to go, and that’s full force while throwing and taking a ton of hard shots. Hopefully, when his vision clears from this fight, he will have the ability to see that the time is now to walk away.

"That's it, his career is over," Frank Espinoza, Vazquez's manager, said at the end of the night. "(He) doesn't need to fight again."

Let’s just hope Espinoza can convince the one person that matters of that.

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