Rafael Marquez Pummels Vazquez

Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez’s rivalry is back at square one and it looks like that is how their epic four-fight battle will end. Marquez demolished Vazquez in three rounds to win the fourth match between the two fighters, evening their four-bout rivalry and pushing fans to ask for a fifth fight.

Marquez took the upper hand in the first round by opening up a deep and long cut the size of Vazquez’s left eyelid, forcing the former 122-pound champion to see through one eye. Vazquez survived the first round but was thoroughly dominated in the second round, no thanks to the enormous cut just above his left eye. A wayward head butt opened a cut in Vazquez’s right eye early in the third round, forcing the 32-year-old Mexican warrior to fight almost blind.

A combination from Marquez knocked Vazquez down, although he was able to beat the count, it was only a matter of time before the fateful end came. With his opponent on the defensive, Marquez attacked Vazquez relentlessly, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the fight at the 1:33 mark of the third round.

After the fight, Vazquez was graceful in defeat, giving credit to Marquez and admitting that the first cut and the blood that came with it “really affected” him. Both fighters left a window open for a fifth fight, but their handlers were clear that the rivalry would end at four bouts, with Vazquez’s longtime manager saying his ward should hang his gloves. “That’s it. His career is over,” Frank Espinoza said.

As for Marquez, his promoter, Gary Shaw, has already someone in mind as his prized fighter’s next opponent and his not surnamed Vazquez. Shaw said he is planning to pit his ward with another banger, Australia’s Vic Darchinyan, the reigning WBA and WBC super flyweight champion.