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Israel Vazquez keeps WBC belt by defeating Rafael Marquez

Israel Vazquez keeps WBC belt by defeating Rafael Marquez In a top-fight Saturday night, Israel Vazquez retained his WBC belt with a split-decision victory over Rafael Marquez. Vazquez (43-4, 31 KOs) and Marquez (37-5, 33 KOs) pulled no punches last night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, turning the fight into almost a replica of their two previous encounters - Marquez won the fight last March and Vazquez regained the title in September. Prior to the fight, Israel Vazquez was favorite at the online sportsbook BodogLife with odds -180 and Rafael Marquez was listed as the underdog with odds +150.

 Last night's fight turned into a real bout right from the beginning. Punches were equally exchanged up until the fourth round, when a left hand that was followed by an uppercut sent Vazquez down. But when Marquez went all in to finish the job, a hard right hand by Vazquez quickly turned the tables around, only to find himself battling Marquez off for the fourth-round bell. The fighters went point-for-point until the 10th round, when Marquez lost a crucial point after being warned for numerous low blows during the fight. This rejuvenated Israel Vazquez, who went all in in the final round, sending Rafael Marquez on the ropes, holding himself until the finals seconds expired. Judge Tom Kaczmarek gave Marquez the fight by 114 points to 111, but Vazquez gained the other two verdicts 114-111 and 113-112 to win the fight and WBC belt.

 The boxing action continues tomorrow with the BBBofC British Super Featherweight Title fight between Kevin Mitchell and Carl Johanneson in London, United Kingdom. At BodogLife Kevin Mitchell is the favorte to win the title with odds -350 and Carl Johanneson holds the dog odds of +250.

 Published on 03/02/2008

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