LAS VEGAS — Sitting in the food court of the MGM Grand a couple of hours after having routed previously undefeated Filipino southpaw Mercito Gesta over 12 rounds in the nearby Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night, IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez dined on some tasty morsels while discussing his triumph and his future with friends.
The victory marked the fifth defense for Vazquez (33-3, 13 knockouts), a winner of 12 straight fights during which he has scored three stoppage wins.
Vazquez’s triumph over Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs) was accomplished on the undercard of a main event featuring a sixth-round knockout by Mexican four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez over welterweight rival Manny Pacquiao.
A boxer-puncher, Vazquez’s ignored the whistles and boos from the largely Latino, sold-out crowd of 16,348 who wanted him to stand toe-to-toe with Gesta.
Instead, Vazquez was able to land freely with his right cross and jab as Gesta lunged in with right hooks and left crosses that rarely found the mark.
Late in the first round, Gesta raised his arms and dared Vazquez to stand and trade punches, but Vazquez refused, and, instead, continued his game plan of boxing and moving.
“I stick to my style and train very hard. I am dedicated to bringing out the best in myself in this sport,” said Vazquez. “All of the fighters are good fighters, and you may have little problems, but with this fight, tonight, was a good fight.”
After beating Gesta, Vazquez said he wanted to face WBC counterpart Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 KOs), a 23-year-old who is coming off last month’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco, and who is scheduled to return to the ring on Feb. 16, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“I would like to fight Adrien Broner. That would be my choice, to fight Broner and face him and unify the titles. I want to prove myself against him,” said Vazquez.
“Broner is a really tough fighter, and I want to train hard to show the people and the fans that in training hard, I could beat a top fighter like him. I am willing to fight Broner, if he would fight me.”
Unlike DeMarco, Vazquez said he would not stand and fight Broner.
“The only mistake that DeMarco made was that he stood straight in front of Broner and traded punches. That was his mistake,” said Vazquez.
“I would be smart. I would prepare myself really well for that fight. It will be a tough fight, but I will be really smart for that fight.”
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez, however, said that Vazquez’s camp bypassed an offer to fight Broner, who defeated DeMarco instead.
“Before we fought DeMarco, I offered [promoter] Fernando Beltran the fight earlier this year to fight Adrien Broner, and they turned down $350,000 for that fightt,” said Gomez. “Fernando Beltran said that he was the co-promoter for Vazquez, and he turned down that offer.”
In the meantime, Schaefer said that Broner is awaiting the result of Saturday night’s defense by WBO 135-pound beltholder holder Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KOs), a 29-year-old who will pursue his 21st consecutive win and his eighth stoppage during that run against an opponent to be determined in London after scheduled rival Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12 KOs) of the Philippines was apparently ruled out.
A 25-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, Vazquez has not suffered defeat while competing at 135 pounds, having fallen by decisions against current WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley.
Vazquez lost his professional debut by split-decision to Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) over four rounds as junior welterweights in January of 2006, and was decisioned by him again over 10 rounds as 148-pounders in June of 2008.
Vazquez was beaten in a junior welterweight bout by Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) — a split-decision winner against Pacquiao in June — over 10 rounds in July of 2007.
Late Saturday evening, Vazquez revealed a secret: He had eaten ice cream “about three or four hours” prior to facing Gesta.
“It’s true that before the fight, I was eating ice cream, and I was enjoying it. It was pineapple with coconut,” said Vazquez. “It was about three or four hours before the fight, and I really wanted to eat it. You could say that I was just craving it.”
Just like he does a clash with Broner.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org