Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sweet, Bloody, Violent Revenge

Photos by Chris Cozzone

Quite possibly, the fight of the year--which also features the round of the year--ended the way all ebb and flows fights end: in a stoppage.

Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez did something rare to a great original: They superceded it with an even more spectacular sequel. The action was fast and furious from the opening bell with both men trading power shots toward each other's faces with Marquez going to the body with greater efficiency.

The first two rounds featured both fighters punching with bone crunching intentions though neither fighter looked the worse for wear. That all changed in the hellacious third round.

Round three, a round of the year, consisted with action from the first two rounds--hard, straight jabs, digging hooks to the body, jolting uppercuts, and heavy hooks to the chin/jaw/face--on an even more frenetic level. Both fighters were stunned, Marquez more so by a left hook, and both fighters were cut, Vasquez more so with a cut over each eye.

The action died down very slightly--at least compared to this fight--until the sixth round. That's when a left hook, the same potent punch in the first fight, by Vasquez dropped Marquez hard onto the mat. Not wanting for history to repeat itself in the same regard as the the first fight, Vasquez would not release his stunned opponent and threw punches until referee Guadalupe Garcia (of Oliver McCall-Lennox Lewis fame) stopped the fight when a jab sent an already hurt Marquez stumbling backwards.

Vasquez, bloody and bruised, let out a vociferous, triumphant roar while leaping in the air in a state of nirvana. Marquez, though a gacious warriro, refused to accept the loss citing it a quick stoppage. In the end both men said they wanted a third fight.

What dreams will come from that one?

Next up: The Shogun of South America

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