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Israel Vazquez looking to come back, possibly at 126 pounds

Israel Vazquez is hoping to be medically cleared to fight soon, and may return at 126 pounds. (via <a href=""></a>)
Israel Vazquez is hoping to be medically cleared to fight soon, and may return at 126 pounds. (via

122-pound world champion Israel Vazquez has been out of the ring for over a year, and given his issues after eye surgery, it would surprise no one if we never saw him fight again. But Izzy isn't thinking that way: He's looking to return as soon as possible, and perhaps go up to 126 pounds.

Vazquez (43-4, 31 KO) says he'd like to fight featherweight titlist Steven Luevano or 122-pound titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez. I don't think either fight is a particularly good idea, but given the way Izzy gets beaten up and dishes it back, I guess no fight is a "good idea" for him unless he faces some feather-fisted guy we all know won't mess him up too bad. Luevano isn't a big puncher, but about two and a half inches of both height and reach on Vazquez. Simply put, he's a bigger man.

Lopez? I'd class that as a terrible idea. He's a nasty puncher, very fast hands, and a good boxer. At 31, Vazquez is really beaten up. The Marquez wars weren't the only outrageously exciting and brutal fights he's been in. I have the feeling that no matter what you take into account -- Vazquez's insane heart, resiliency, and probably still-good punching power -- he'd get shredded by the younger, stronger and fresher Juanma.

He also mentions a fourth fight with Rafael Marquez and says no one has really come to him with the idea. I love both guys and those fights were outstanding, three of the best I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, but I'm not crazy about the idea. I think it would wind up feeling like one of those old timers' fights where you know you're watching two guys fight each other because they might not be able to handle anyone else near the top of the ranks. Marquez returns on May 23 in Monterrey in a WBC 122-pound eliminator against Jose Francisco Mendoza.

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