By Derek Bonnett: William Shakespeare once wrote, "Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends." Over the past year, I have spent considerable time pondering this very idea, particularly when speculating about the futures of Rafael Marquez
and Israel Vazquez
: two of boxing’s greatest contemporary warriors.
On one hand, it seemed time off was exactly what these noble combatants needed following their epic trilogy, which saw both men bloodied, dropped, and stopped. How could one continue on without rest after facing the other three times in a 12 month stretch? On the other hand, could a lengthy hiatus also serve to soften both fighters, who quite possibly took a great deal away from each other throughout their hellacious 25 rounds together, and allow them to grow comfortable and satisfied with their previous accomplishments?
Marquez, 34, understandably, needed to return to go out the victor.
Regardless of how admirably he fought against Vazquez, he lost the trilogy and a champion cannot easily go out on a defeat, especially to his greatest rival. His comeback was successful. On May 23, he dispatched Jose Francisco Mendoza in three rounds to raise his record to 38-5 (34), but he elicited mixed reviews from boxing fans.
Vazquez, although in need of a long rest, was also sidelined due to a lengthy recovery after an eye operation following his successful completion of the Marquez trilogy. The rest was due and greatly warranted, but now that Vazquez has committed himself to coming back, one has to wonder: Is he giving up the perfect platform to retire on?
Vazquez was the victor of one of the sport’s greatest trilogies. He was a world champion and Ring champion. He was ranked highly among most boxing pound for pound compilations. He was universally recognized as the best fighter in his division.
Is there a better way to be remembered?
In speaking with the great Israel Vazquez
, 43-4 (31), it is clear he has a different opinion. As a world champion, he still has that drive to prove himself, and, likely, earn a little bit of the green stuff in the process. He’s already proven he’s superhuman in the past, so what’s one more super challenge?
In regards to Shakespeare’s words, only time will tell how things will end for Vazquez, but we can all be certain there will be considerable danger involved. The man lives for it.
Here is what Israel Vazquez
, boxing’s thrill-a-minute champion, had to say to SecondsOut: