By Jake Donovan
Former 122 lb. titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. will headline the 2014 season premiere of Boxeo Telemundo, which takes place on March 14 at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
“It was a big deal when Papito returned to Telemundo last year, so we wanted to come back just as big for our first show in 2014,” Felix ‘Tuto’ Zabala Jr. said of the forthcoming event.
An opponent has yet to be sought for Vazquez Jr. (23-3-1, 19KO), who has endured a strange pattern of win-one, lose-one in recent bouts. The second generation boxer has lost three of his last six contests dating back to his surprise knockout loss to Jorge Arce in May ’11, ending his stay as a 122 lb. titlist.
Even more shocking was the start of his 2013 campaign, traveling all the way to Macau for Top Rank’s debut show at the Venetian Macao last April. The trip proved disastrous for Vazquez Jr. who suffered a shocking 10-round points loss at the hands of unheralded Yasatuka Ishomoto.
The defeat prompted the Puerto Rican to rediscover his roots, returning to Telemundo, where he spent most of his first three years as a professional boxer. His homecoming managed to provide a scare, going tooth and nail with unbeaten Guillermo Avila last September, before escaping a with a disputed unanimous decision win.
Prior to his bout with Avila, Vazquez Jr.’s last trip to the Kissimmee Civic Center came in Nov. ’09, scoring a 7th round knockout over Genaro Garcia. The bout marked his last days as an unbeaten contender, going on to win a 122 lb. title in his very next fight with a 4th round stoppage of Marvin Sonsona in Feb. ’10.
The Civic Center is near and dear to Vazquez Jr’s heart, having turned pro at the venue in Dec. ’06 and where he has spent more than half of his pro career to date. His forthcoming appearance in March will mark his 15th pro fight (out of 28 overall) in the intimate arena which holds 5,000 or so.
Also appearing on the crowd, younger brother Israel Vazquez will face an opponent to be determined in a scheduled six-round affair.
Both bouts will air live on Telemundo.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox