Vazquez-Marquez on Showtime - Prediction Poll Results
In a highly anticipated battle of Mexico City-born world champions, Israel Vazquez will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) and The Ring Magazine super bantamweight titles against International Boxing Federation (IBF)/International Boxing Organization (IBO) Bantamweight Champion Rafael Marquez in the main event on Showtime Championship Boxing (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) Saturday, March 3, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
So, who is going to triumph in what many expect to be the “Fight of the Year? Can a little man (Marquez) defeat a naturally bigger boxer, or does the physically larger man (Vazquez) have the advantage? Does size matter?
Of the 27 boxing reporters who participated in a SHOWTIME prediction poll, 16 picked Vazquez, 11 chose Marquez… ALL predict an explosive and dynamic fight.
Here is how they see the 12-round bout.
Jose Luis “Pepe” Camarillo , ESTO ( Mexico ) Newspaper, (Vazquez): “In boxing, it is very important to possess a good defense, a good chin and a good punch. Vazquez and Marquez are tied in defense, but Vazquez has a better chin and is the harder hitter. Also, Vazquez has defeated better opposition, such as Oscar Larios and Jhonny Gonzalez, who is a natural future featherweight. Marquez definitely doesn’t punch as hard as Vazquez either. Larios told me that the two boxers who hit him hardest were Vazquez and Manny Pacquiao. Vazquez’ motivation is also superior
Paul Upham, Secondsout.com, (Marquez): “An explosive fight the fans will love. While Vazquez has his truly impressive moments, Marquez is more consistent with his punching and has the better chin. Marquez wins by KO in the eighth.’’
Brett Conway, MaxBoxing.com, (Vazquez): “Both these fighters share similarities: they are good boxers, they both have exciting defensive lapses, both get hurt in big fights and both fight back when hurt. One notable difference is size. Vazquez is a bigger, natural super bantamweight, while Marquez is coming up in weight. I expect Vazquez to wear Marquez out down the stretch in a thriller and win by 10th-round knockout.’’
Andre Courtemanche, FightNews.com, (Vazquez): Vazquez has already shown us what happens to top-level, but smaller guys when they step up to face him. Marquez will start fast, lose steam and be stopped on his feet in the later rounds. Vazquez wins by TKO 10.
Anthony Cocks, Doghouseboxing.com, (Vazquez): “Vazquez has been in top form recently and his drag-out war with Jhonny Gonzalez in his last outing proved once again that he knows how to win a battle of attrition. Hard-hitting former bantamweight kingpin Marquez is expected to bring more of the same, and while I expect his beard to improve with the step up in weight, I like Vazquez to find a way to win, someway, somehow.’’
Ricardo Lois, boxingconfidential.com, (Vazquez): “This is a very difficult fight to pick. Both Rafael and Israel have tremendous firepower and heart. Vazquez has been fighting as a super bantamweight for several years, while this is Rafael’s first venture into the land of 122 pounds. When Marquez decides to trade with Vazquez, and that will happen eventually, Marquez will feel Vazquez’ power and size advantage. Vazquez wins by TKO 5.
Jake Donovan. Fightbeat.com, (Marquez): Two big punchers with leaky defense and less-than-stellar chins. What more can you ask for? The belief is that the four extra pounds will actually benefit Marquez’ ability to absorb after a lifetime of starving himself to make 118. If it holds up, I see Marquez starting fast and strong, and Vasquez putting together a decent run midway through before falling back behind and eventually beaten into submission. Marquez by TKO 8.’’
Darren Nichols, Boxingtalk.com, (Marquez). “Size does matter when it comes to these brawling warriors. Rafael will use his superior power and size to punish Israel throughout their 12-round war. Look for Marquez to stop Vazquez if at anytime Rafael gets Israel in trouble. Rafael by late stoppage
German Villasenor. Maxboxing.Com/Boxinggladiators.com (Vazquez): “Vazquez edges Rafa in a thriller, although he will see the canvas a few times before coming back strong and displaying his natural weight advantage. A barn-burner will end in a very tight and perhaps controversial decision for Vazquez, but the older Marquez will not lose any credibility.’’
Coyote Duran, doghouseboxing.com, (Marquez): “If it can be said that we, as fans, have not been privy to Marquez’ best performance, I would have to agree because Marquez’ best performance is due March 3 against Vasquez. In his last fight, Vazquez dove into deep, dark waters against Jhonny Gonzalez and, let’s face it, got lucky. Marquez will give Vazquez a much more demanding fight. Vazquez had better bring his A-game because Marquez does not back up and does not let you breathe. Marquez’ power won’t abandon him when he migrates to a higher weight class. A win and Marquez will step into anyone’s pound-for-pound list with authority and Vazquez is just the right scalp for him. Marquez will close the book on Vasquez in an all-out, action-packed power struggle that will violently culminate in the ninth round.’’
William Trillo, Pound4pound.com, (Marquez): “Undoubtedly, one of the hottest fights to come around as Marquez steps up to challenge Vazquez in this all Mexican world title battle. It’s going to be worth the price of admission. That’s a given. My concern is that without Freddie Roach in his corner, Israel will not be the same motivated fighter he was when he got up off the deck twice to come back and destroy Jhonny Gonzalez. I’m giving Rafael the nod in this affair by late-round TKO.’’
Marc Lichtenfeld, Through the Ropes, (Marquez): “Vazquez has proven himself to be a capable champion. However, he struggled with Jhonny Gonzalez before coming back to stop him. While Gonzalez is a very good fighter, Marquez belongs among the elite of the sport. Similar to the Gonzalez fight, I see Vazquez falling behind early, except Marquez won’t allow him back into the contest. While there will be several heated exchanges, Marquez will overwhelm Vazquez en route to an eighth-round stoppage.’’
Johnny “HOG” Wilds Ringsports.com, (Marquez). “Marquez has much to prove in this fight. Vazquez is a fine fighter and a very strong charge, but my gut tells me Rafael digs deep and shows the world he’s legit and deserving of his world ranking.’’
John Martinez, Boxingrealm.com, (Vazquez): “Gonzalez had youth, height and reach advantages over Vazquez, but look what happened. Vazquez took the shots, got dropped and still finished Gonzalez, who like Marquez, was stepping up to Vazquez’ weight. Vazquez wins a close, hard fight by 11th-round TKO.
Charles Farrell, The Fight Network, (Vazquez): “Vazquez and Marquez are both magnificent punchers who do not possess a drop of quit between them. Vazquez went through hell against determined Jhonny Gonzalez. He may only have to endure purgatory against the smaller Marquez. As much as I admire Marquez and boxing’s best trainer, Nacho Beristain, I can’t forget how well Vazquez took Gonzalez’ punishment and came back. He’s too big and strong. Vazquez by TKO between rounds six and eight.’’
Curtis McCormick, SaddoBoxing.com, (Marquez): “I see Marquez bringing his power with him to the higher weight class. I do not see him being able to stop Vazquez, but I think Rafael will take the victory by close, but unanimous decision.’’
John Chavez, Boxingconfidential.com (Vazquez): “What a battle between these two streaking warriors. For some reason, the odds makers have favored the guy moving up in weight over the proven super bantamweight champion. Maybe they figure Marquez will not only bring up his power from bantamweight, but that he’ll also enhance his overall ability without having the struggle of making the lighter weight limit. This isn’t an easy fight to call. Both have great power and technical ability. The proven bigger man, Vazquez, boxes his way to an exciting victory in a toss-up fight.’’
Michael Marley, Boxingconfidential.com, (Vazquez): “If I was a betting man, I would go the Promised Land, the land of milk, honey and ticket-cashing money, with Vazquez. Yes, Izzy can be hurt. Yes, Fearless Frank Espinoza’s Mexican tiger can get dizzy, but he is a busy boxer-puncher and, when knocked down, gets up with renewed fire. I do not discount Raffy, who hits like a mule kicks by any means. This is one of the best Mex-Mex world championship brawls dating back three decades to when two undefeated Mexican champs battled it out in LA, the night Carlos Zarate won the battle of the Big Z’s over Alfonso Zamora. In this bout, Israel is Zarate. Vazquez by KO in nine.’’
Oscar Borras, 20 de mayo Newspaper, (Marquez): “Both are great fighters, but I like Marquez because he has more experience against better opponents, and overall, he is better boxer with lethal power. Marquez should win by knockout within 10 rounds.’’
Gunnar Meinhardt, Die Welt/Welt am Sonntag, (Vazquez): “In a very good fight, Vazquez will win by decision.’’
Marc Abrams, 15rounds.com, (Vazquez). “Vazquez is on a roll beating top competition. In a potentially fascinating fight, Vazquez is victorious by TKO 11.’’
Dennis Bernstein, SCORE! Media Ventures, (Vazquez): “In what should be a war from the opening bell, the younger, bigger, better fighter at this point, Vazquez, will triumph by TKO 10.’’
Jason Abelson, The Fight Network, (Vazquez): “ Israel by KO 11 in an absolute classic. Gonzalez seemed to have written the script on how to beat Vazquez until he abandoned his calculating perimeter attack for the prospect of a career-defining KO, only to be stopped in the 10th in a thriller. Marquez is better all-around than Gonzalez, but he has a tendency to be hit. It hasn’t haunted him against the likes of Silence Mabuza or “Chapo” Vargas, but will lead to his eventual undoing against the bigger, stronger Vazquez.’’
Rusty Rubin, RingSports Magazine (Marquez): “It’s a great fight no matter who wins. Marquez has more power and will, but Vazquez wins somewhere around the seventh round.’’
Jacqui Snow, Pound4pound.com, (Vazquez): “Vazquez TKO 11. Both fighters have sensational knockout power and both have been knocked out by lesser opponents. If there was ever a pick-em fight, this is it. But if forced to choose, I suppose Vazquez’ size advantage gives him the edge.’’
Alden Chodash, AldenBoxing.com, (Marquez): “Vazquez, despite the impressive recent victories over Gonzalez and Larios, has shown a suspect chin. He was dropped twice by Gonzalez who was moving up in weight and was also stopped by Larios in ‘02. It takes a complete fighter to defeat Vazquez, and Marquez has vastly improved in recent years. He has evolved into a complete fighter. Vazquez’ size might make him difficult to stop. The most likely scenario is that Marquez dominates with his boxing skills, floors Vazquez a couple of times, and captures a unanimous decision.’’
Jeff Jowett, (Vazquez): Marquez is moving up into his territory, and Israel showed in the Gonzalez fight that he will not be denied. Vazquez by decision.
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