By Jake Donovan
A recent announcement from PR Best Boxing Promotions confirmed a
previous breaking news report from Boxingscene
, that former champions Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Rafael Marquez will meet August 4 at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
The bout – which headlines an independent pay-per-view telecast – figures to be the latest entry in the rich tradition of memorable in-ring wars between Puerto Rico and Mexico.
“It’s all set,” promoter Peter Rivera confirmed in a statement. “On August 4 in Puerto Rico, Wilfredo Vázquez Jr. and Rafael Marquez will face for the WBO International title in Puerto Rico in another “war” between Puerto Rico and Mexico.”
Vazquez Jr. (21-2-1, 18KO) raced to the top of the 122 lb. ranks, capturing a major title in just his 19th pro fight, despite being forced to learn on the job due to a lack of an amateur background. The second generation prize fighter turned heads with his title-winning 4th round knockout of Marvin Sonsona in Feb. ’10, just over three years into his pro career.
Two successful defenses followed before Vazquez Jr. fell prey to a resurgent Jorge Arce last May. Vazquez Jr. was holding his own throughout, but struggled down the stretch and was battered in the final round before being rescued by his father and trainer Wilfredo Vazquez Sr.
The loss to Arce began a difficult stretch for hard-hitting Boricua, who has now lost two of his last three. He enters this bout on the heels of a split decision loss to Nonito Donaire earlier this year.
One-half of one of the most accomplished brother acts in boxing history, Marquez (41-7, 37KO) continues to hover around at age 37. The former two-division champ believes he still has more to the game even after leading what has arguably been a Hall of Fame career.
Marquez captured titles the hard way, knocking off Tim Austin and Israel Vazquez to truly earn the championship label. His March ‘07 win over Vazquez ignited what is universally recognized as among the greatest in-ring rivalries ever.
Unfortunately for Marquez, the first fight was followed by two straight defeats, suffering a stoppage loss in the rematch and a split decision defeat in their epic March ’08 war. Both fighters stepped away from the game after their third fight, but returned a year later. Marquez has since won four of his last six, including a stoppage win over a shot Vazquez in their fourth fight two years ago.
A third title reign has been on Marquez’ mind since returning to the ring in May ’09, but he has fallen short in failed bids against Juan Manuel Lopez and Toshiaki Nishioka.
Tickets for the fight – ranging from $20 to $250 - go on sale Friday and will be available through Ticketcenter, online (www.tcpr.com) or on-the-line (787-792-5000). A press conference is being planned next week in Puerto Rico to formally announce the fight.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:
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