Rafael Marquez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, Ivan Calderon vs. Moises Fuentes on October 6th
By Dan Ambrose: 37-year-old former two division world champion Rafael Marquez (41-7, 37 KO’s) will be taking a really tough bout for him on October 6th against former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-2-1, 18 KO’s) for the vacant WBO International super bantamweight title at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Marquez, the younger brother of WBO light welterweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, is trying to turn his career around after losing two out of his last four fights. Marquez was one of the best fighters in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions at one time, but his three wars with knockout artist Israel Vazquez took a lot of out of him as well as Vazquez. In November 2010, Marquez was beaten by Juan Manuel Lopez in an 8th round stoppage after suffering an injury in a fight he was losing. And then last year, Marquez was beaten by former WBO super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka by a 12 round unanimous decision in a fight that was fairly close. That fight showed that Marquez still has a little left in the tank even after all these years and all the wars he’s been involved with. Whether he has enough left to beat a young fighter like 28-year-old Vazquez Jr. remains to be seen.
Vazquez Jr. has had his own share of recent problems, losing two out of his last three fights. He was beaten by Jorge Arce by a 12th round TKO in May of last year in losing his World Boxing Organization super bantamweight title He then defeated Roberto Carlos Leyva by a 3rd round TKO, but was then beaten in his next fight against Nonito Donaire by a 12 round split decision last February in a failed attempt to recapture the WBO super bantamweight title. Vazquez Jr. showed in that fight that he’s still one of the best fighters in the super bantamweight division, as he gave Donaire one of his toughest fights of his career and could have beaten him if he had found a little more power to go with his great jab.
In addition to this fight, 37-year-old former two division world champion Ivan Calderon (35-2-1, 6 KO’s) will be taking on WBO minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes (15-1, 7 KO’s) for his World Boxing Organization title. Calderon, a former WBO minimumweight champion from 2003 to 2007, has lost two out of his last three fights after moving up in weight to the light flyweight division. Calderon has finally got a clue that that’s not a good weight division for him, so he’s moved back down to minimumweight and won his last fight against journeyman Felipe Rivas (12-11-1, 7 KO’s) in a 10 round split decision last October.
It’s not a good sign for Calderon that he had to struggle badly just to beat a journeyman level fighter, because the 26-year-old Fuentes figures to be a lot tougher than Rivas. It could be that Calderon’s game has slipped too dramatically due to his advancing age for him to still be the dominant force that he once was in the minimumweight division.