Los Angeles- Nearly ten thousand knowledgeable boxing fans witnessed a change of the guard of sorts on Saturday night at Staples Center; Rafael Marquez ended their saga in the fourth installment, stopping adversary Israel Vasquez and best of friends out of the ring, bantamweights, Yonnhy Perez and Abner Mares laid a foundation for a brand new rivalry when their dynamic twelve round battle ended in a majority draw.
Rafael Marquez evened up the score by stopping injured Vasquez in the third stanza. Vasquez won bouts two and three in fights that would not be soon forgotten, but he was no match for determined Marquez on that night. “I would have liked to have won this to go up 3-1, but the cuts were not good,’’ said Vazquez: “I gave it all I had.’’
Bleeding from both eyes Vasquez could not see punches coming; he took a knee from combination of heavy blows early in the third and was not firing back when the action resumed. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the action at 1: 22 of the third to protect defenseless Israel from absorbing further punishment.
Nothing has changed between these two warriors; all respect outside, all out war inside the ring. Marquez established a damaging jab while Vasquez attacked with abandon pushing his adversary back. Huge right hand early in the second round opened up a horrendous cut on the left eye of Vasquez, the same eye that was operated on three times.
Vasquez had suffered a cut on the right eye early in the third via a clash of heads. Marquez took advantage of the situation and went on an all out assault dropping Vasquez early in the round, more from barrage than any single punch. Brave Vasquez beat the count but was in no shape to compete. Marquez went for the finish and forced referee to end the night.
“I waited almost two years for this moment, and I made the most of it,’’ said Marquez, who appeared fresher and stronger throughout. “My new trainer, Daniel Zaragoza, made a huge difference.”
“Two and two: that’s the way it should end,” said Oscar De La Hoya, promoter of Israel Vasquez.
“That’s it,’’ said frank Espinoza, a man who discovered and managed Israel Vasquez throughout his hall of fame career: “His career is over. He’s not going to fight again.’’
Colombian, IBF bantamweight Champion Yonnhy Perez retained his crown in a brilliant slugfest with the undefeated challenger Abner Mares via a majority draw. Judge Marty Denkin scored the contest 115-113 for Mares, while judges Gwen Adair and Eugenia Williams had it 114-114 making it majority draw. It was a fitting decision for a dynamic battle that had nearly ten thousand in attendance on their feet for most of the time.
“I definitely won this fight; it was not a draw,’’ Perez said. “He’s a good fighter and I am willing to fight him again, but it is up to my corner.’’
No time was wasted for pleasantries as both young warriors came out with guns blazing. Mares was putting punches together beautifully; jab, right hand, left hook to the body while Perez was counterpunching. Couple of right hands landed flush on the chin of Perez who did not even blink. Brisk action continued with Perez chasing Mares in the second, but the Mexican fighter was firing back rapid fire combination and moving with ease. Mares went on the attack in the third round and trapped Perez who was fighting well off the ropes.
Perez took over the action in the forth and fifth pressuring his opponent and throwing a lot of punches. Mares looked very uncomfortable, but he came back strong in the sixth boxing and moving and landing combinations.
Constant pressure from Perez started to pay dividends as Mares was moving more and firing less. Mexican challenger came out with a purpose as though he knew he had to fight now and had success putting punches together in the ninth. Mares looked like he had a second wind unloading serious fire and backing up the champion in the tenth. Both guys came out firing in the championship eleventh round, but Mares looked like he had more left in thank The champion came out for the final frame as if he was not ready to relinquish his belt and poured it on , but brave Mares was firing back and so they went toe to toe until the final bell rang. Mares hurt the champion late in the twelfth and thought he deserved the victory: “I’m very sad. The fans know who won the fight. You heard their reaction when the decision was announced. I almost had him out in the last round but I ran out of time. I want an immediate rematch.’’ With both guys still undefeated the rematch is a must.
Undefeated, rising, super featherweight prospect from Santa Ana, California , Ronny Rios (11-0,5KO’S) has won a hard fought six round unanimous decision over a tough Texan, Guadalupe De Leon ( 8-11,4KO’S).Judges scored it for Rios 59-55,58-56,58-56, but he had to work for every minute of every round of a bout that turned into a firefight from the second frame on.
Norwalk’s unbeaten, junior welterweight prospect Carlos Molina (12-0,6KO) had to really work hard to earn his paycheck. After eight extremely competitive rounds with a veteran from Tijuana, Mexico, Humberto Tapia (15-13-1,8KO’S), judges awarded Molina a unanimous decision, but scores 79-73 and 78-74 twice did not indicate how closely this battle was contested. Molina had his nose busted in the second round and was bleeding profusely throughout the fight. It was a back and forth battle with rear lows in the action. At times shorter Molina trapped Tapia against the ropes landing bombs, other times Tapia came back with his heavy artillery peppering Carlos with punches from all angles. In the end Molina was a little more aggressive and landed the harder blows.