The promoter of Mexican IBF lightweight beltholder Miguel Vazquez says that his fighter would be willing to come to Cincinnati, home town of unbeaten WBC counterpart Adrien “The Problem” Broner, and “spank” Broner after Vaquez gets beyond a likely March 16 bout with the WBO’s British 135-pound titleholder Ricky Burns at London’s Wembley Arena.
IBF Championships Chairman Lindsay Tucker said that he expects to grant permission for Vazquez (33-3, 13 knockouts) to face Burns as early as Monday evening in response to a request for the bout by Burns’ English promoter Frank Warren.
“We’re ready to rumble against Ricky Burns,” said Sean Gibbons of Zanfer Promotions, which handles Vazquez. “Adrien Broner don’t want none of Miguel Vazquez.”
A technical, mobile boxer, Vazquez, 26, is coming off a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten southpaw prospect Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), a victory that marked his fifth title defense and his 12th straight win during a run that includes three stoppages.
A 29-year-old boxer, Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) would be after his 21st consecutive win and his eighth stoppage during that run against Vazquez. The Scotsman is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of world-ranked Kevin Mitchell last September.
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez, who handles Broner (25-0, 21 KOs), said that Vazquez’s camp bypassed an offer to fight Broner, a 23-year-old who responded, “Who is that?” when asked about Vazquez during the post-fight press conference following November’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco for his current belt.
“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 fight,” said Gomez. “[Zanfer Promotions’ President] Fernando Beltran said that he was the co-promoter for Vazquez, and he turned down that offer.”
Still, Gibbons insists that Vazquez’s goal is to face Broner, who is scheduled to defend against former 140-pound beltholder Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs), of Wales, on Feb. 16.
“At least Ricky Burns has got some balls and some stones and wants to step up and take on the best lightweight in the world. So put it out there,” said Gibbons.
“Adrien Broner can play around with these chumps and brush his hair and act like he’s doing something, but until you fight Miguel Vazquez, you can not call yourself the best lightweight in the world.”
After defeating Gesta, Vazquez informed RingTV.com of his desire to face Broner, who could not be reached for an immediate comment.
“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. 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,” said Vazquez.
“I am willing to fight Broner, if he would fight me. The only mistake that DeMarco made was that he stood straight in front of Broner and traded punches. That was his mistake. 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.”
Vazquez entered the Gesta fight following a split-decision win over left-handed IBF mandatory challenger Marvin Quintero last September, and has not suffered defeat while competing at 135 pounds.
“Left-handers are awkward to fight. The last two guys that Miguel has fought, Gesta and Quintero, they were lefties. But we do much better with right-handers than lefties. Ricky Burns is a right-hander, and Miguel does so much better with right-handers. So this is going to be a beat-down, and we’ll put the same on Ricky Burns. I want to give Ricky Burns credit, absolutely, for taking on a challenge like Miguel Vazquez,” said Gibbons.
“Miguel Vazquez is the most feared lightweight, maybe because his style is a little difficult to work with. But at the end of the day, styles make fights, and Ricky Burns is a tremendous fight. No problem coming to London and doing a number on him right there. After we’re done with Ricky Burns in London, we’ve got no problem coming to Cincinnati and to spank Broner right in front of his fans and his family at home.”
Bouts featuring super middleweight George Groves (16-0, 12 KOs) against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (22-1, 13 KOs), a winner of nine straight, five by stoppage, southpaw junior lightweight Liam Walsh (13-0, 10 KOs) opposite Logan McGuinness (19-0, 9 KOs), and heavyweight Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs) are also slated for the card.
Photo by Al Bello, Gettyimages
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org