The continuation of a slugfest and "Fight of the Year" candidate which was halted prematurely last March 3 takes place Saturday, Aug. 4, when Rafael Marquez defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight title against former WBC 122-pound titleholder Israel Vazquez in "Vengeance!" at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
This is the highly anticipated rematch of an exhilarating, toe-to-toe, give-and-take battle that was won by Marquez (37-3, 33 KOs) when a broken nose forced Vazquez (41-4, 31 KOs) to retire on his stool after the seventh round.
Also on the card presented by Gary Shaw Productions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions in association with Romanza Productions and Golden Boy Promotions is World Boxing Association super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero defending against Jorge Lacierva.
Tickets, priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100, $200, are on sale through all Ticketmaster outlets and on-line at ticketmaster.com. Tickets also may be purchased at the Dodge Arena box office Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Central) plus the day of the event, online at dodgearena.com or by phone at 956-668-7740.
Going into their initial encounter, a fight fans' dream match up if ever there was one, the Mexico City-born fighters were fixtures on many experts' pound-for-pound lists. After their stirring, non-stop bout, both remain on those lists.
Marquez, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) bantamweight champion, was regarded as the best bantamweight in the world.
Vazquez, the defending WBC super bantamweight and former International Boxing Federation junior lightweight boss, was regarded as the world's best at 122 pounds.
Making his long-desired step up in weight after successfully defending his IBF 118-pound crown seven times, Marquez rallied from an early knockdown to dethrone Vazquez and win his 16th start in a row and 13th inside the distance.
Marquez is managed and trained by Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain and co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Romanza Productions.
Vazquez, a two-time world champion at 122 pounds, had a nine-fight winning steak end March 3 in Carson, Calif. In one of the great fights of 2006, Vazquez overcame two knockdowns to retain the WBC belt with a devastating 10th-round technical knockout over Jhonny Gonzalez Sept. 16 in Las Vegas.
"Vazquez is the fiercest opponent I have ever faced and I wear my super bantamweight championship belt with pride because I won it by defeating him,'' Marquez said. "But make no mistake, I was the better man when we fought in March and I will prove it again in August.
"This fight is not just for the world title, it is for the people of Mexico," said Marquez. "I am training very hard and will be prepared for the very best of Israel Vazquez."
"As the song goes, the best is yet to come,'' said Shaw. "Those seven rounds Marquez and Vazquez fought in their first fight were every bit as exciting and memorable as the three rounds Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns fought when they tangled.
"Speaking as a boxing fan, I can't wait to see them go at it again, because they will be going at it tooth and nail," said Shaw.
Said Vazquez, "It really doesn't matter where we're fighting this time around. I'm happy to be fighting in Texas. But, the winner will be decided by what happens in the ring, not the city in which we're fighting. I am very confident the outcome will be different this time."
Managed by his long-time friend, Frank Espinoza, Vazquez is co-promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.
"All of us are excited to be back in the Rio Grande Valley," said Scott Woodworth, vice president of Sycuan Ringside Promotions. "We enjoyed success at the Dodge Arena when Joan Guzman successfully defended his WBO (World Boxing Organization) title during 2005. We anticipate continued success there when Israel Vazquez regains his WBC super bantamweight title Aug. 4."
Said Espinoza, "Israel is determined to get his title back. You see it in how he trains, the way he looks you in the eye when he talks about the fight. He has the passion that only great fighters possess."
Caballero, dubbed "The Towering Inferno" because he stands 6-foot tall, has a record of 26-2 with 18 knockouts and is making his second defense of the title he won last November.
Lacierva has a record of 32-6-6 with 22 knockouts.
Caballero, from Panama, is co-promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions and Seminole Warriors Boxing Promotions while Lacierva, from Mexico, is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.