By Jake Donovan
Bryan Vasquez was able to salvage the weekend if not his interim title reign, scoring a huge win in forcing to Sergio 'Yeyo' Thompson to quit after nine one-sided rounds Saturday evening in Cancun, Mexico.
The 130 lb. title that was to be at stake was instead vacated at the scales after Vasquez came in three pounds above the divisional limit. Unable to lose that much weight in the normally allotted two hours, the 27-year old agreed to proceed as an ex-titlist (of the interim variety), with the belt still at stake for Thompson, who came in at 129.2 lb.
Once the opening bell rang, it was clear that the next claimant to the belt would come in a future vacant title fight. Vasquez delivered arguably the best performance of his career, as Thompson struggled to develop any sort of rhythm.
The fight was proof that boxing can prove just as punishing as an all-out assault. Thompson's best chance at winning was always going to be by knockout, but Vasquez is too intelligent a fighter to foolishly fall into the trap of fighting for crowd approval. What instead came of the night was a near-flawless performance from the Costa Rican, while Thompson was unable to close the gap, and thus unable to maximize his punching power.
Vasquez planted his feet and threw with conviction when necessary. The proof was all over Thompson's face, showing physical and mental signs of a defeated fighter as early as round six. The onslaught continued, with Vasquez boxing, moving and pecking away at the local favorite.
Thompson sought a last ditch effort in round nine, landing on occasion but never with the type of conviction necessary to turn things around. The night already a lost cause, Thompson's corner informed the referee that their charge was unable to come out for round ten.
Vasquez improves to 34-1 (18KOs), with his follies at the scales his only hiccup on what was otherwise a sensational 2014 campaign. The veteran scored back-to-back time capsule wins on the year, with his previous performance an impressive showing in outpointing previously unbeaten Jose Felix Jr. this past April in Las Vegas.
Thompson ends a three fight win streak, falling to 30-4 (26KOs). His previous defeat also came at the title stage, dropping a competitive decision to visiting 130 lb. titlist Takashi Miura in another part of Cancun last August.
The only setback for Vasquez is that his showing up overweight temporarily stalls his chances of enforcing a rematch with his lone conqueror, the excellent - and unbeaten 130 lb. titlist - Takashi Uchiyama. Vasquez suffered an 8th round stoppage loss to the de facto divisional leader on New Year's Eve 2012 in Japan.
He has since won five straight, with each of his past two wins coming on the road.
The bout aired live on Televisa in Mexico, and is due to air Sunday on Fox Deportes in the United States via next-day tape delay.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the official records keeper for Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a voting member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox