By Jake Donovan
For the moment, there is no longer a fight for Wilfredo Vazquez to finish preparing for as Rafael Marquez was forced to withdraw from their scheduled August 4 showdown. A severe hand injury suffered by Marquez in training camp has now pushed their fight back at least two months.
All was not lost for Vazquez Jr, though. The time spent in camp proved to be a spiritual cleansing, as well as proof that he doesn’t need to share every detail of his life 140 characters at a time.
“I’ve shut everything down, Twitter and all that. I want to stay away from everything,” Vazquez Jr. stated during what was supposed to be the final days of training camp. “I’m 128 (two weeks) to the fight for the first time in my career. I wanted everything to be perfect, that’s why I shut everything down and just kept focused in the gym.”
The command decision to go unplugged was a complete 180 from the traveled path of his last fight, a split decision loss to Nonito Donaire in San Antonio earlier this year.
The fight itself didn’t quite meet expectations, but the pre-fight war of words between camps through social media turned just another showdown into an unexpected grudge match. The fighters eventually traded words (and Tweets), but the true war of words was between the fighters’ wives, going back and forth all the way through the weigh-in, where Vazquez and Donaire nearly came to blows.
“A lot of people claimed that we started all of it, even HBO claimed it,” Vazquez Jr. painfully recalls. “Nonito was disrespectful towards my wife to start all of it. As far as I’m concerned, we weren’t in the wrong. I was just defending my wife.”
Regardless of who was at fault, Vazquez Jr. made sure that history wouldn’t repeat itself. The second generation Puerto Rican star was focused on getting his career back on track, having lost two of his last three – the aforementioned fight with Donaire and last year’s gut-wrenching 12th round title fight stoppage loss to Jorge Arce, ending a 15-month stay as an alphabet titlist.
Simply being the son of former three-division world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Sr. (who serves as head trainer for his fighting son) came with a certain amount of fame, though all Vazquez Jr. was ever after in the pro ranks was a little bit of fortune.
“I didn’t get into this to be famous. I got into it for the money, to support my family. You can do well if you win. If you train properly, the job pays well. I fight for my family, to give them what they need. I don’t need the publicity; I don’t need to be famous. I just need to provide for my family.”
Vazquez Jr. will now have to wait another two months before being able to eat off the paycheck that comes with facing Marquez. It’s possible that the media will have to wait just as long for any chance to freely speak with the former 122 lb. titlist.
“I want to let the press know, not that you don’t do a great job because you do. It’s so important that I look good. It’s nothing you are saying or doing, it’s just that I want to remain focused on (this fight).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox