Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Forthcoming __ael __quez Trilogy

Yes, this was the best I've seen in 2007, the re-airing of this weekend's affair featuring Rafael Marquez and Israel Vasquez.

Both men have tremendous offensive arsenals. Both, no matter how often they've hit the mat in their careers, can really, really take a punch; lesser fighters would still be unconscious after the kind of heavy blows that landed three or four times each per round. Both demonstrate no fear whatsoever. Each have a preponderance of "aels" and "quezs" in their names, as a friend pointed out. The combination led to breathtaking displays of skill, power and bravery, especially in the unbelievable third round, where Marquez nearly turned to jelly early on before rallying to land some punches that twisted Vasquez' neck in every direction. The constant seesawing that followed would leave both men returning to their corners looking like badgers or wolverines had gotten a hold of their faces.

What ultimately made the difference in this struggle for super bantamweight (122 lbs.) supremacy was what Al Bernstein, Showtime color man, identified as Marquez' inability to dodge Vasquez' killer left hook. It shuddered his legs several times, finally leading to his knockdown in round six. It's a shame, really, that it came down to a strategic mistake. Marquez blocked plenty of left hooks by moving his right glove up just a few inches higher than it was when he got floored. Marquez made a few other mistakes, too, such as not dancing in between jabs to avoid getting backed up and cornered by Vazquez, a superior inside fighter as I warned here. But the last left hook was the beginning of the end.

A final note. The decision by the referee to end the fight has been controversial, but I'm in favor of it. In the immediate aftermath of getting to his feet from the round six knockdown, Marquez was punching back and he was defending himself, two important reasons for a referee to let him continue. But Marquez was glassy-eyed and clearly in grave danger. That he had any wits about him at all speaks well of him, but it's no reason to risk the rest of his life. The referee then stepped in to stop the fight, appropriately. Marquez will have another day to prove himself, because the future holds...

Next for the winner and loser: A conclusive third fight. It will be early next year, giving each boxer more time than before the rematch to rest and recuperate. Fantastic idea. I might even be in favor of a longer layoff. Boxing regularly showcases feats that are stunning to behold for their apparent impossibility, but rushing these two back to the ring and expecting a fight anywhere near as good as the first two would be futile and reckless.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I, of course, no nothing about boxing and wish I wasn't so dense on the subject of grown men (and women I realize) beating the living daylights out of each other. Then, I might be able to comment to you as you do to me. However, I can say this...I like your picture!

beetqueen said...

I just realized that in my hurry, I typed no instead of know. I am also an idiot when it comes to spelling. You can start a language blog as well and then there will be two places I can't comment!

THE BRYGUY said...

Once again I have to agree with you, I wouldn't mind a longer layoff as well. I don't understand what the rush is. Both guys are young and still have plenty of boxing in them, let them each have a tune up or two. They could even fight on the same card. Holyfield and Bowe didn't fight three times in one year, Barrera and Morales was better because of the time between fights. Maybe had Castillo and Corrales taken more time they could have fought at a higher weight class and not made such a mockery of their trilogy.(That one might be stretching it, but you get my point).

Tim -- tstarks2@gmail.com said...

anonymous/beetqueen:
Feel free to stick to comments on topics of potentially broader interest, such as my item on hugging, boxing villains and so forth. In the meantime, glad you like the picture.

bryguy:
You're not stretching the point on Castillo-Corrales. Maybe they were just both too beat up from that one fight to ever be the same; but maybe a longer delay and/or higher weight class would have helped. I see that as quite feasible.