CARSON, Calif. -- Challenger Rafael Marquez broke Israel Vazquez's nose with a hard right in the first round, then took the
WBC super bantamweight crown when Vazquez couldn't continue after
Although Vazquez had trouble breathing because of his swollen
nose, he kept going and caught Marquez with a left hook that sent
him to the canvas in the third round of their bout Saturday night.
"I was only able to breathe through my mouth and that's why I
was taking a lot of shots," Vazquez said through a translator.
"When I came back to my corner the last round, I couldn't breathe
at all and I told Freddie [trainer Freddie Roach], that's it."
Marquez didn't realize he had broken Vazquez's nose and was
surprised when the referee ended the fight. Vazquez immediately
came over to congratulate the new champion.
"I was surprised when he stopped it because he had dropped me
in the [third round]. I thought it was close," Marquez said, also
speaking through a translator.
Both fighters said they would like to have a rematch.
Marquez (37-3, 33 knockouts), a 118-pound titlist who moved up in weight to challenge Vazquez, was ahead on two judges' cards
through seven rounds, and the third had it even. Vazquez is 41-4,
with 31 knockouts.
"He [Vazquez] told me right after the first round that his nose
was broken," Roach said. "He wanted to stop a couple of rounds
earlier, but I told him to suck it up because I thought Marquez was
"He went a couple more rounds and said, 'I can't do this
Marquez, from Mexico City, weighed in at 121½ pounds. Vazquez,
who was born in Mexico City and lives in the Los Angeles suburb of
Huntington Park, weighed 121½.