Wilfredo Vazquez Storms Back, Juanma Next?

    Wilfredo Vazquez Jr puts himself in line for a title shot

    After the disappointment of Rafael Marquez pulling out of the already postponed fight originally scheduled for August 4th, and the loss to Donaire earlier in the year, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr pulled a win from the bag last Saturday night against replacement 29yr old Jonathan Oquendo stopping him in round 7. Oquendo unable to meet the count.

    Oquendo sporting an impressive 15 ko’s and 22 wins against 3 losses, dominated the action from the first, repeatedly beating Vazquez to the punch and throwing the more meaningful, hurtful shots. Vazquez having occasional success with straight jabs seemed, unable to establish a rhythm, his work being nullified on the whole by Oqeendo’s spiteful combinations, particularly around the flanks of Vasquez.

    Rounds 2 and 3 continued in the same vein, with Oquendo bullying and Vazquez covering up and responding with single power shots connecting sporadically, but not doing enough to stop Oquendo’s barrage.

    Round 4 saw an increase in the tempo from both men, Vazquez finally managing to match Oquendo punch for punch, both men giving no quarter while they stood toe to toe slugging it out towards the end of the round, Vazquez nicking the first round of the fight. Round 5 started the same as round 4 had ended, latino machismo all the way. Most of the crowd now on their feet almost sensing a knockout,  albeit brief they nearly got it. During a brutal exchange Vazquez got tagged causing a glove to brush the canvas, ruled a slip, but for me a definite knockdown.

    Round 6 saw a definite change in direction, Vazquez becoming the aggressor ( whether Wilfredo senior had given Jr. a rollicking at the end of round 5), or whether it was the simple fact he was trailing by 4 rounds. Who knows? either way Vazquez seemed to be systematically punching what little energy Oquendo had left out of him, winning round 6 comfortably.

    Round 7 brought much of the same, Oquendo visibly exhausted retreated into a corner, making no attempt to retaliate. While Vazquez chopped away relentlessly as though felling a tree, spiteful left and right hooks finally forcing Oquendo to fold and collapse onto one knee, remaining firmly down until the count had ended.

    Onwards and upwards for Vazquez, now 22 wins with 19 ko’s; who after a shaky start redeemed himself and showed what he’s all about.  The future is bright, a showdown with Marquez beckons or an all Puerto Rican showdown with his rival Juan Manuel Lopez, who was apart of the Oquendo entourage that night.

    Vazquez and Lopez have traded words in the past, and seemingly did so in the ring that night after his victory. A bout would almost certainly have to take place at the featherweight division since Lopez has not fought below the 126 level since his life and death war with Rogers Mtwaga. However, its a fight that has bad blood and hopefully will happen. Other options for Vazquez include a Jorge Arce rematch or a Vic Darchinyan matchm who is coming off upsetting another Puerto Rican in Luis Del Valle.

    As for Oquendo, a spirited gutsy performance from a tough competent boxer, maybe some more conditioning required and the need to keep something in the tank. He took a gamble tonight going all out to stop Vazquez early, and to be fair, came close.


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