Rafael Marquez defeated Israel Vazquez by TKO midway through the third round Saturday at Staples Center, evening their rivalry at two wins each.Marquez, who lost to Vazquez in their last fight a little more than two years ago, opened up cuts near both of Vazquez's eyes. Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) opened a gaping cut over Vazquez’s left eye with a big punch in the first round and he opened up another cut near Vazquez’s right eye due to a head-butt. Marquez then landed a series of unanswered punches before referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for almost three years,” Marquez said. “Everybody saw the difference in this one.”Vazquez and Marquez met three times from March 2007 to March 2008 for a super bantamweight title, with each fight increasing in ferocity and theatricality. After Marquez claimed Vazquez’s 122-pound title in their first bout, Vazquez won the last two fights, including a split-decision victory in the rubber match.
Both fighters took more than a year off after the third bout, and Vazquez underwent three surgeries to repair a torn retina. They agreed to a big payday for a fourth meeting at featherweight.
Both fighters immediately were asked about a fifth bout, and both expressed interest if the money is right. Frank Espinoza, Vazquez’s longtime manager, wasn’t so certain.
“That’s it. His career is over,” Espinoza said. “Vazquez doesn’t need to fight again.”
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Posted by news update at 10:40 PM