Like it or not, want to see it or not, Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez are going to wage war one more time on May 22 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Rick Reeno reports that the two sides were waiting for Showtime's final approval, and that it has been received.
Even though it's often true that limited, faded, aged, or other such fighters can often put on some of the most compelling fights because it's more about the clash of wills and styles than it is about pure skill when it comes to making a great, entertaining battle, Vazquez-Marquez IV will almost certainly not equal any of the first three fights. In those fights, we saw the perfect clashing of styles combined with top of the sport skills from both men. Sharp, accurate, hard punching littered all three bouts. I'm not sure how much of that we'll see.
More likely, I figure this fourth bout turns into more a war of attrition, finding out who has more left. Judging solely by the 2009 fights for both men, it's Marquez. When you throw in the fact that Vazquez was beaten up pretty good before stopping a guy that was coming way up in weight and shouldn't have been any threat at all, it even more widely favors Marquez. And then you consider the fact that Israel Vazquez can never be 100% again after his eye surgeries, and right now I think we're looking at a no-brainer. Marquez will win this fight by stoppage, and it may be the end of Israel Vazquez's glorious career.
But then again, you never do know. I'm happy they're both getting the good payday. They've more than earned it. For Vazquez especially, it's not like these three fights are the only thrills he's given us over the years. Bouts with Jhonny Gonzalez and Oscar Larios, among others, have been jaw-dropping, too.
The fight's going to happen, and since it is, might as well say, "Bring it on." War, boys.