The Road To Redemption Begins For Calderon, Vazquez Jr

By Jake Donovan

It’s a tale of two very different comebacks as Ivan Calderon and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr serve as the two standout attractions of Saturday’s card at Coliseo Mario “Quijote” Morales in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

The show coincides with the annual convention held by the WBO in its Puerto Rico headquarters, though neither Calderon nor Vazquez Jr come into the show any longer enjoying championship status. In fact, both appear coming off of the worst performances of their respective careers.

For Calderon, it’s the first fight after suffering back-to-back knockout losses at the hands of Giovanni Segura. The latter of the two fight set was the most humiliating evening in Calderon’s long and storied career that otherwise warrants Hall of Fame consideration.

The diminutive Boricua had never lost prior to running into Segura, but their March ’11 rematch marked the first time in his career that he wasn’t remotely competitive in a fight. Calderon was overwhelmed in a third round knockout loss that had may calling for his retirement at age 36 and having as a major titlist for seven years spanning two weight classes.

Instead, he decided to offer one last run just to prove to himself that he still has something left to offer the game. With that also came the decision to drop back down to strawweight, a division in which he dominated for years before moving up to 108 to capture the lineal championship.

Original plans called for a showdown with former strawweight titlist Raul Garcia in an interim title fight. Those plans were canceled when Garcia was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury in training camp.

Calderon will now instead face Mexican journeyman Felipe Rivas (9-9-1, 4KO) in a regional title fight. Both fighters came in just below the strawweight limit at Friday’s weigh-in, each weighing 104 lb. for their 10-round main event.

A belt of similar stature is at stake for Vazquez Jr’s first ring appearance since suffering the first loss of his career in a 12th round knockout at the hands of resurging Jorge Arce.

The second generation champion was in the midst of a nip-and-tuck affair that stole the show on a night when Manny Pacquiao headlined against Shane Mosley, but was suddenly overwhelmed by the aged veteran in the final round, prompting his father and trainer Wilfredo Vazquez Sr to literally throw in the towel to stop the fight.

To this day, Vazquez Jr (21-1-1, 17KO) hasn’t fully forgiven his father’s actions at that moment, though the two enter the ring together Saturday evening for the first time since that May bout.

Chances are he will have a far less daunting task on his hands – if even break a sweat at all – as he faces Roberto Leyva in the evening’s co-feature. Leyva (27-14-1, 21KO) is a former strawweight titlist but has become the proverbial steppingstone in recent years. The Mexican enters the fight having lost eight of his last nine, including five knockout losses over that stretch.

Unlike Calderon, Vazquez Jr opted to move up slightly in weight, as the evening’s co-feature takes place at the featherweight limit. Vazquez Jr came in considerably under at 124 lb, while Leyva was slightly heavier at 125 lb. for their scheduled 10-round bout.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter at or submit questions/comments to [email protected] .

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PRking718 on 10-31-2011

[QUOTE=Tha_Greatest;11349880]you edited this post, lol, you are afraid to say what your whiny angry catching feelings azz wants to say, lol, damn, mexico rivalry is really getting to your azz, lol, mexico is your country or american state or whatever…

Comment by PRking718 on 10-31-2011

[QUOTE=boricuajr23;11348052]Dont stress it. Its plain ignorance. They hate more in this sport then they appreciate. But if this fight does happen, let me know....:popcorn:[/QUOTE] LOL I know bro I don't really let is stress me I just have urges to…

Comment by Tha_Greatest on 10-30-2011

[quote=Elzilcho.-;11350003]Don't even bother with them Boricuajr. They get dumber by the day.[/quote] boricua jr, lol, lol, nyahahaha

Comment by Tha_Greatest on 10-30-2011

[quote=Elzilcho.-;11350003]Don't even bother with them Boricuajr. They get dumber by the day.[/quote] boricua jr, lol, nyahahahaha

Comment by El Malo. on 10-30-2011

Don't even bother with them Boricuajr. They get dumber by the day.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (23)
Top Headlines Klitschko: No Retirement, Joshua Fight Will Be Biggest in Years Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Juanma Repulses Me, I Will Knock Him Out! Jarrett Hurd vs. Jo Jo Dan Set, Jorge Cota is Now Out Badou Jack Thinks Ward-Kovalev is 50-50, Leans Ward With Pick De La Hoya Not Concerned With The Return of Richard Schaefer Andre Ward: Kovalev Won't Bully Me - He Tires, He Gets Frustrated Arum: Trump Thought of Andy Ruiz When He Said 'Bad Hombre' Tino Avila Wants To Dominate Ramirez, Fight For Title in 2017 Molina: Look at My Wilder Fight, I'll Raise Hell Against Joshua! David Haye: In 2017 I Will Be Heavyweight Champion - I Know It! De La Hoya To Critics: I Strongly Feel Canelo-Golovkin Will Happen Taras Shelestyuk Aims To Follow Gold Path of His Olympic Mates Brandon Rios a Free Agent, No Longer a Top Rank Fighter Katie Taylor Mulling Pro Move, Heading To Eddie Hearn? Fenech: Mundine-Green II is Bullsh*t Fight - Must Be Stopped! Nonito Donaire: I Want The Frampton vs. Santa Cruz Winner Next! Jack Doesn’t Take Much From DeGale’s Tough Fight with Medina Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder

Latest Active Forum Threads