|Israel Vazquez: “Rafael Marquez, let’s make this fight happen!”
INTERVIEW by Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Jan 12, 2007) Photo © German Villasenor
What would the boxing world have if you get Ring Magazine’s 122-pound champ and pit him against their number seven pound-for-pound fighter and throw them into the ring together? One hellacious scrap! And that is exactly what WBC super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez, 41-3 (30), craves: a face off against the number seven P4P Rafael Marquez, 36-3 (32), and ‘Magnifico’ will even put his 122-pound strap online for this one.
Coming off a barnburner of a bout this past September, Vazquez proved to be a ring warrior by climbing up off the
canvas not once, but twice to pound Jhonny Gonzalez into submission, defending his title successfully with a tenth round TKO. Vazquez has wreaked havoc on his opponents including the likes of Jorge Eliecer Julio, Artyom Simonyan and Oscar Larios, and now the hard hitting Mexican born boxer wants the IBO and IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez!
Read on to see what Vazquez had to say on a match-up against Marquez, and what he thinks of his future, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off Israel I would like to say Happy New Year from Doghouse Boxing! This past year was an exciting year for yourself, how would you sum up 2006, and what does 2007 have in store for the fight fans and ‘Magnifico’?
Israel Vazquez: Thank you and Happy New Year to Doghouse boxing and all your readers. I’m very happy how last year went and expect bigger things for 2007.
BH: What over all grade would you give yourself for your two championship match-ups this past year?
IV: I think I had a good year but there is always room for improvement. I’m still young, in my prime, and always willing to learn. I feel I’m better than what I’ve showed last year. And will continue to work on getting better.
BH: You know it is no secret that you want a piece of the IBF Bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez. What weight (122) or (118) would you two be meeting at or which one are you interested in since you both hold title in those respected classes?
IV: Marquez said he is moving to move up in weight. And I would be willing to give him a shot at my title. So the fight would take place at 122lbs.
BH: Looking at Marquez’s skill and style, what do you see as his strengths that could possibly give you trouble and how about the weaknesses that you feel you could capitalize on if you two were to square off?
IV: Marquez is an excellent boxer/puncher. There is a reason why he is considered by most to be a top 10-pound for pound fighter. He has more strengths than weaknesses. But I feel I can exploit those weaknesses and defeat him. I feel I am stronger than him and believe in my boxing ability.
BH: If you could personally send out a message to Rafael, what would it be?
IV: Let’s make this fight happen. We are two Mexican warriors and it would be a great fight. You have already proved you are the best at 118lbs. and I’m the best at 122lbs. And with you now moving up in weight, this fight makes sense. Not only would I like this fight to happen, but the fans want this fight as well.
BH: For the past ten years you have competed in the 122-pound division and done very well, but what are your thoughts on bumping up to the 130-pound division and maybe taking on the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Edwin Valero, Joan Guzman or Marco Antonio Barrera?
IV: I want to eventually make that move up to 130lbs. I want to be remembered as a great champion. Mexico has produce so many champions, that it’s hard to stand out. That’s why I want to become a three-time champion, in three different weight classes.
BH: Other than Rafael Marquez, what are some others possible match-ups that you would like to compete in for 2007?
IV: Well as you mentioned earlier, I’ve been at 122lbs for ten years. With that said, I would like to move up in weight this year. I want to compete at 126lbs and challenge myself at that weight class. I’d be willing to fight any of the current champions.
BH: Anything you would like to say to the fight world, your division, or any other fighter out there, and is there anything you’d like to add or say in closing?
IV: I just want to thank all the fans out there. I truly appreciate your support and will continue to do my best to entertain you. I also want to thank Doghouse Boxing for always supporting me!
I’d like to thank Frank Espinoza for setting up this interview and a thanks goes out to Israel Vazquez for his time and thoughts.
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