By Jake Donovan
Miguel Vazquez enjoyed a successful return to the super lightweight division, outpointing Erick Bone over 10 rounds Saturday evening at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas.
Scores were 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 in favor of Vazquez, who moved back up to 140-pounds after a lengthy stay at lightweight, where he previously served as a longtime titlist.
The former champ had no intention of relying solely on past credentials, promising a more aggressive, fan-friendly version moving forward. Bone wasn't quite the right opponent for the job, a late replacement for the injured Felix Diaz and not as willing to engage whenever Vazquez attempted to force a fast-moving pace.
Still, Vazquez did his best to entertain in the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FS1 headlining act. The 29-year old veteran boxer from Mexico stood his ground, inviting Bone to fight at close quarters in effort to smother his opponent. His wild, looping punches frustrated the visiting Venezuelan boxer, who often moved in reverse the moment Vazquez began to wind up with his punches, though often as to avoid a clash of heads due to his foe's awkward style.
Bone had his moments on the occasions he opted to counter and trade. Still, Vazquez carried a rare power edge in the bout, scoring effective with his right hand shots upstairs.
Vazquez had lost two of his past three starts heading into Saturday's affair, but looked stronger and a bit more fluid adding five more points to his frame. The win ups his record to 36-5 (13KOs). as he now seeks bigger game in and around the 140-pound division.
Regardless of whom he lands next, it will be a major step up from Bone, who falls to 16-4 (8KOs). The lost is his third straight, having previously fallen well short in welterweight bouts versus Chris Algieri and Shawn Porter.
The next step for Vazquez isn't quite mapped out, although the lightweight champ of four years (2010-2014) hopes that former four-division titlist Adrien Broner opts to stick around 140 for at least one more fight.
Brandon Figueroa (7-0, 5KOs) powered his way to a 5th round knockout of Jonell Nieves.
The younger brother of former lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa - who sat ringside as part of the PBC on FS1 broadcast - scored two knockdowns in the pivotal round five, both coming courtesy of body shots. Nieves managed to beat the count the first time, but referee Rafael Ramos opted to wave off the contest following the second knockdown.
The official time was 1:48 of round five.
Miguel Flores remained unbeaten following a hard-fought but well-earned unanimous decision victory over Ruben Tamayo. Scores were 98-92 (twice) and 100-90 in favor of Flores, who was cut from a headbutt in round two but maintained his composure and rallied to take over the balance of the bout to preserve his unbeaten record.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2