Letter from Benny concerning Marquez/Vasquez fight

Israel Vasquez, local and international hero in the sport of boxing.

Sometimes you have to admit when someone does a better job than you and acknowledge that fact by putting their work in front of your readers so they too can benefit from a well written piece. That’s what I’m doing now.

This letter was received May 23, 2010, from Benny Ricardo, former NFL kicking great, play by play announcer for tennis, soccer, football, boxing commentator, standup comic, master of ceremonies, etc. who was one of the boxing announcers at the recent Marquez/Vasquez fight on Saturday evening. Benny is like so many boxing fans, he cherishes every memory he has concerning these two great boxers, especially since Vasquez is considered a local boy who fought and trained in Tijuana and San Diego. At this point in his career it appears our local hero has fought his last boxing match.

Dear Jim,
Regarding the Marquez/Vasquez fight on Saturday night. This is the kind of thing that keeps boxing in your blood. It is simply about seeing two guys in the hurt business really bringing the hurt on each other and we marvel at their courage knowing what the outcome is going to mean to each of them. In this case, you may have a favorite, but it is almost impossible not to have two.

What an amazing experience to witness for the fourth time these two warriors, so evenly matched they literally ended each other’s careers and yet their legacy will live forever tied to each other.

This time it was the KO Artist, Rafael Marquez notching his 35th and most gratifying knockout of his career. Israel Vazquez, the Marquez nemesis who was coming off consecutive wins over Marquez had his left eye cut very early in the fight. Again showing how evenly matched these two fighters are, Vazquez actually won the second round before the end came in the third. Vazquez took a knee after a wicked combination by Marquez and it was just a matter of time. At 1:33 of the third round, Referee Raul Caiz Jr., stopped the bout.

This ended the great rivalry between these two great warriors at 2-2. Yes Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta met six times and there were other great evenly matched rivalries that literally ended careers. Diego “Chico” Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo comes to mind. When after the first fight they asked Corrales’ trainer Joe Goosen about a rematch Joe responded “Why? They’re just going to kill each other.”

I was glad to hear after the fight from Vazquez’s manager Frank Espinoza that: “There won’t be a fifth fight and his career (Vazquez) is over.”

In the end the scars from all the blows he received in his 49 professional fights began to shed his blood. The face of this great warrior can no longer take the punches. When Marquez saw the cut, he became like a White Shark going after the scent of blood. Nothing could deny him his win and the chance to even up the record with Vazquez.

Over Vazquez’s career, there are no draws, just 44 wins, 5 losses and 32 knockouts. There are no draws on Marquez’s record, just 39 wins, 5 losses and 35 knockouts. You might say the only difference between these two is the first three letters of their last names.

Class personified, wills intact, uncompromised courage and totally even after four fights. To achieve greatness in boxing you need an opponent that can bring greatness out of you. Marquez/Vazquez or Vazquez/Marquez, no matter how you write it, it is and I hope will remain forever dead even.


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