Well, this "saga" is over finally -- Rafael Marquez is indeed out of his scheduled October 6 fight with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, and has been officially replaced by Jonathan Oquendo.
From a press release:
"Rafael Marquez is facing health problems and work in some personal issues and will not fight against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.", Peter Rivera, PRBBP Vice-President, said. "Now, we are going to make Vazquez Jr. against Oquendo, a fight long awaited by Puerto Rican fans."
Marquez was reportedly out of the fight last week, but PR Best Boxing stated the next day that that information making rounds on the ridiculous internet was false. Apparently everyone was right the first time. The official reason from the Marquez camp is a stomach virus.
Vazquez Jr (21-2-1, 18 KO) is looking to work his way back toward another title shot at 122 pounds. The former WBO titlist dropped his belt to Jorge Arce last year, and lost earlier this year to Nonito Donaire in an attempt to win the same title, then vacant.
Marquez (41-7, 37 KO) is still a pretty good fighter and I thought this was about a 50-50 fight, but he's 37 years old and the end of his career is pretty obviously close. This fight was originally scheduled for August 4, but was postponed due to a Marquez injury. In his last fight, he beat Eric Aiken with a first round knockout. His last major fight was a competitive 12-round loss to Toshiaki Nishioka in October 2011.
As for Vazquez Jr vs Oquendo, it's a fine replacement. Oquendo (22-2, 15 KO) is a decent fighter with some power and has some solid if not exactly special wins on his sheet. At this point, Marquez hasn't beaten a quality opponent in five years, either, though his losses to Israel Vazquez (Rafael's fourth fight win wasn't really "quality," in my opinion), Nishioka, and Juan Manuel Lopez were all hard-fought.
Vazquez Jr vs Oquendo will be on independent pay-per-view in the United States.