Rafael Marquez didn't have to work too hard to beat Israel Vazquez this time. (Photo by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)
As many expected, the old eye injuries were a problem for Israel Vazquez, and the warrior was stopped in the third round by his great rival, Rafael Marquez.
Marquez (39-5, 35 KO) and Vazquz (44-5, 32 KO) battled hard in the first round, but by the end of it, Vazquez was already bleeding from his left eye. The second was all Marquez, and the third saw Vazquez bleeding heavily from over both eyes. Vazquez took a knee at one point, fought on, and referee Raul Caiz Jr. was forced to stop the action just moments later.
This was exactly what I expected. That is not Israel Vazquez anymore, because he can't make it out of a round with anyone remotely capable and not have his eyes bust open. Marquez may not be the fighter he once was, but he still looks to have something left. Vazquez just doesn't. I scored the first round for Israel on some good power shots, but I don't think he has the power anymore, either.
But nothing about Vazquez's pure remaining skill is the problem. It's the eyes. He's not going to be able to win fights without knocking guys out fast.
There's talk of a fifth fight now. If they sign that, I'll flat-out protest. There is no need. This exact same thing will happen once again. I don't want to see Pacquiao-Morales IV, either. Erik Morales ain't Erik Morales anymore, and Israel Vazquez is not even close to the fighter he used to be. He's going to need more surgery, which Israel hinted at after the fight, and at some point, enough is more than enough.
In the co-feature, Yonnhy Perez (20-0-1, 14 KO) retained his IBF bantamweight title in a very good fight against Abner Mares (20-0-1, 13 KO) with a majority draw. One judge scored it 115-113 for Mares, and the other two had it 114-114. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-112 for Mares, and almost all of us in the live thread had it for the challenger. It was a hell of a good fight that deserves an immediate rematch. I think a rematch could be even better, given what they learned about one another in this one.
Near the end of the broadcast, Vazquez and Marquez were shown in the ring holding up five fingers each. Gary Shaw smiled and did the same. I groaned.