Wilfredo Vázquez

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Wilfredo Vázquez
Statistics
Real name Wilfredo Vázquez Olivera
Nickname(s) Wil
El Orgullo de Puerto Rico
("The Pride of Puerto Rico")
Rated at Bantamweight
Super bantamweight
Featherweight
Height 5 ft 4 12 in (164 cm)
Nationality Puerto Rican
Born (1960-08-02) August 2, 1960 (age 56)
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 56
Wins by KO 41
Losses 9
Draws 2
No contests 1

Wilfredo Vázquez Olivera (born August 2, 1960) is a former Puerto Rican professional boxer. He is a former world champion at three different weights; bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight.

Life and amateur career[edit]

Vázquez was born in Río Piedras, one of the largest districts of San Juan, but he was raised in Bayamón.[1] Unlike most Puerto Rican boxers, he began practicing the basics of boxing when he was 18 years old. Vázquez began training on November 1978, two weeks after the death of his father, Juan Vázquez.[2] His decision was directly influenced by his father's desire of having a son that practiced boxing. Juan Vázquez was a follower of Wilfredo Gómez and died shortly after purchasing tickets for his fight against Carlos Zarate.[2] This affected Vázquez, who decided to mimic Gómez and win a professional world championship, drawing motivation from his accomplishments.[2] He began training at Ruiz Soler gym, where he met several boxers that he regarded as "world class" material, but all of them failed to reach success after following other paths. As an amateur, Vázquez fought 17 times, losing three contests.[2] He didn't pursue a spot in Puerto Rico's national boxing team, considering that at his age it would be hard to earn a spot, while being expecting to earn money quickly as a professional. Vázquez married Alice Lozada, with whom he has three sons, Wilfredo, Jr., Noel and Israel.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Vázquez debuted as a professional on January 29, 1981, training under the guidance of Manny Siaca. In this contest, he lost to William Ramos by unanimous decision in a four-round fight.[3] After this fight, he won his first fight, defeating Felix Cortez by knockout in two rounds. This was followed by a second knockout against Roberto Mercedes, who debuted against Vázquez.[3] On April 30, 1981, he scored the first draw of his career, in a six-round fight against Eusebio Espinal. Vázquez's first contest outside of Puerto Rico was against Reinaldo Roque, whom he defeated by knockout in Miami, Florida. In his next match, he won the first decision of his career scoring a points victory over Herminio Adorno. Vázquez was scheduled to participate in Don King's Carnival of Champions card, where Gómez and Wilfred Benítez competed, but an injury suffered during training left him out of the event.[3] In the last fight of this year, he defeated Pedro Alindato by knockout. On March 3, 1982, Vázquez beat Orlando Perez by points. He would fight eight more times during this year, all of them in New York City or Las Vegas. In these fights, Vázquez defeated Ion Trian, Jose Luis Martinez, Sonny Long and Rudy Perez twice. In 1983, he fought five times, winning every contest by knckout.[3] His opponents during this time frame were: Euginio Paulino, Andres Torres, Robert Mullins, Ramón Cruz and Pedro Rodriguez. On March 17, 1984, Vázquez defeated Juan "Chiqui" Torres by knockout in the fourth round to win the vacant Puerto Rican bantamweight title.[3] This marked the first occasion that he and Gómez fought in the same card.[3] In his next fight, Vázquez received the first no contest of his career against Julio Guerrero. He closed the year defeating Javier Barajas and Norgie Castro.[3] In 1985, Vázquez had a slow year, only fighting twice. His only contests were against Jeff Whaley and Osvaldo Acevedo, both of whom he defeated by technical knockout.[3]

First title shot[edit]

On February 8, 1986, Vázquez received his first opportunity for a world championship against Miguel "Happy" Lora, who held the World Boxing Council's bantamweight championship. Vázquez received a knockdown the second round, before scoring one in the fourth round. After twelve rounds, the judges awarded Lora a unanimous decision.[3] His next fight was against José "Pambelito" Cervantes, who had fought for the WBC's super bantamweight championship five years earlier. Vázquez won this contest by knockout in the third round.[3] After losing to Antonio Avelar, he concluded the year defeating Jesus Muñiz. On March 14, 1987, Vázquez defeated Juan Carazo by technical knockout in the first round.[3] Less than a month later, he defeated Lee Cargle in five rounds.[3]

Bantamweight champion[edit]

On October 4, 1987, Vázquez earned a second titular opportunity, receiving a fight against Chan-Yong Park in South Korea. He won the fight by knockout in the tenth round to become the World Boxing Association's champion.[3] Vázquez's first defense was versus Takuya Muguruma in a card organized in Osaka. The fight was declared a draw, although two of the judges scored it 116-114 and 117-112 in favor of Vázquez, while the third considered it a 115-115 tie.[4] Subsequently, he defended against Kaokor Galaxy in Thailand, losing by split decision. The scores were 112-115 and 113-115 in favor of Galaxy and 114-113 in favor of Vázquez.[4] Three months later, he returned to action against Raúl Pérez, but lost by unanimous decision in 10 rounds. Following this defeat, Vázquez signed a contract with Felix "Tutico" Zabala who managed to secure a regional title fight against Fernie Morales.[4] The contest was for the International Boxing Federation's Inter-Continental bantamweight championship, in twelve rounds, Vázquez earned a points victory. This was followed by a knockout victory in preparatory fight against Patrick Kamy, which was part of a card organized in Spain. On June 19, 1990, Vázquez fought against Israel Contreras, who won by knockout, earning what was regarded as an unexpected victory.[4] After recovering from this loss, he defeated Joe Orewa to win the International Boxing Council's super bantamweight title on September 10, 1990. Vázquez closed the year with a technical knockout victory over Atenor Solar.[4] On April 8, 1991, he defeated Paquito Openo by knockout in seven rounds.

Super-bantamweight champion[edit]

This win earned Vázquez an opportunity for the WBA's super bantamweight championship. The fight was a rematch against Raúl Pérez and it took place on March 27, 1992. After scoring a knockdown in the second round, Vázquez defeated Pérez by technical knockout in the third, when the fight was interrupted seconds after a second knockdown.[4] After defeating Juan Batista Bisono in a preparatory fight, Vázquez began a series of successful defenses. The first of these was a majority decision over Freddy Cruz in Italy. This was followed by victories over Thierry Jacob, Luis Enrique Mendoza, Thierry Jacob, a controversial points win against Juan Polo Perez in France, Hiroaki Yokota and Yūichi Kasai in Japan and Jae-Won Choi and Orlando Canizales in the United States.[4] Due to his tendency of competing in title fights outside of Puerto Rico, Vázquez became known as El Viajero, Spanish for "the traveler".[1] His fight against Canizales was recognized by Home Box Office as the best in the division.[4] On May 13, 1995, he competed in his first defense in Bayamón, losing the fight against Antonio Cermeño by points.[5] In his first fight since this loss, Vázquez scored a solid victory over Pablo "Mulato" Valenzuela.[5] After this fight, he returned to action in Ponce, defeating Carlos Rocha by knockout in the first round. His last fight of the year was against Jose Luis Velazquez whom he defeated by technical knockout to win the vacant WBA Fedelatin featherweight championship.[5]

Featherweight champion[edit]

On May 18, 1996, Vázquez fought Eloy Rojas for the Lineal & WBA featherweight championships in Las Vegas. Rojas held the championships and entered the fight with a record of 33-1, which made him a favorite to retain the titles.[5] Until the eleventh round, Rojas had a lead in all of the judges' scorecards, with scores of 98-92, 92-100 and 94-96. During the break between rounds, his corner told Vázquez that he was losing, surprising him since he considered that the fight was close to the point of being tied.[5] Realizing this fact, he pressured the offensive, scoring two knockdowns which prompted the referee to stop the fight as a technical knockout. On December 7, 1996, Vázquez made his first defense of the titles against Bernardo Mendoza. He dominated the first four rounds by boxing, limiting his offense while Mendoza presented a timid offensive.[5] During the final minute of the fifth round, Vázquez noticed an opening in Mendoza's defense and landed a combination that scored a knockdown. Mendoza was able to stand before the conclusion of the protection count, but his corner submitted following a second knockdown.[5] On August 23, 1997, Vázquez defended against Roque Cassiani. Throughout the fight, Cassini moved his head from side to side, which resulted in multiple head butts.[5] Due to this, Vázquez pursued the offensive but retained a cautious approach. In the tenth round, he slipped and fell to the floor as Cassini threw a punch, which was scored as a knockdown.[6] Vázquez was eventually declared the winner by unanimous decision, with scores 118-110, 116-112 and 116-110. On November 8, 1997, he defeated Genaro Ríos to retain for the third time. In March 1998, the WBA stripped the championship from Vázquez, citing that he failed to meet the organisation's regulation by not signing a combat against their first contender, Antonio Cermeño, within the established time.[6] He openly expressed anger over the issue, citing that a contract was solicited but not signed due to managerial differences with Don King.[6]

Hamed vs Vasquez[edit]

This was followed by a contest against the World Boxing Organization's champion, Naseem Hamed. The fight took place on April 18, 1998, being held in Manchester.[6] Hamed used his speed to control the offensive, scoring four knockdowns. In the seventh round, the referee stopped the contest following a second consecutive knockdown. Vázquez's best round was the fifth, where he outscored Hamed, landing 26 punches against 4.[7] Vázquez would lose his lineal championship to Hamed. This was the most lucrative fight of his career, when he received $600,000 as payment.[7] This fight caused tension within his family, who were being informed by telephone of the results. From this point onwards, Vázquez began fighting sporadically.

Later career[edit]

In 2000, he returned after a year on inactivity, defeating Antonio Oscar Salas and Russell Mosley before losing to Juan Lazcano in a contest for the vacant NABF lightweight championship.[8] On December 13, 200, he announced his retirement, but returned to action on February 22, 2002, defeating José Alfonso Rodríguez. Vázquez closed his career that year after defeating Julio César Cardona and Eddie Saenz twice, including his last fight that was held in Bayamón.[8]

Retirement and legacy[edit]

Following his first retirement, Vázquez followed a practice done also by other pugilists, such as Juan Laporte, Félix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez, Bobby Czyz, Sean O'Grady, Sugar Ray Leonard, Santos Laciar, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr. and Héctor Camacho among others, deciding to become a boxing commentator. Since he was sure that this retirement was definitive, the pugilist joined Univision and began narrating fights along the network's other sportscasters.[8] Following his second retirement, Vázquez began working as a boxing trainer. Under this office, he has most notably trained his two sons, Wilfredo and Israel. Vázquez, Jr. debuted as a professional on December 8, 2006, being managed by Rubén Zavala and his promotion All Star Boxing. Vázquez has expressed that he didn't want his son to become a boxer, expecting him to study and develop a profession within the fields of law, but he accepted to train him after noticing real interest, despite knowing that he lacked any amateur experience.[9] Subsequently, he noted his interest to be one half of the first father and son duo to win world championships in Puerto Rico. On September 12, 2008, Vázquez, Jr. won his first professional championship, the WBO Latino super bantamweight title, before incorporating the WBA Fedecentro super bantamweight title to his résumé two months later.[10][11] On February 27, 2010, Vázquez, Jr. won the WBO's super bantamweight world championship joining his father as the third father-and-son combination to win world championships. They also became the first to do so in the same division. Israel Vázquez debuted on his brother's second defense, competing in the light flyweight division.

Outside of the championships won as an active boxer, Vázquez also received other recognitions due to his work. In 1996, he received the Frank Parilla Award from the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission, which is awarded to the boxer that is universally regarded as the best Puerto Rican Boxer of the year.[8] He won this recognition after he made history by becoming the first boxer to win three separate titles within the same organisation, in this case the World Boxing Association.[12] That same year, the WBA gave him the award for "Best Latin American Boxer of the Year". Vázquez subsequently commented that he expected to win the "Boxer of the Year" award that was won by Evander Holyfield, but he accepted the selection under the circumstances.[12] He is the only Puerto Rican boxer to be honored by having a long-distance foot race named after him, with the "Maratón Wilfredo Vázquez" being held annually in Bayamón since 1988.[12]

Prior to many of his fights, Vázquez spent months training for them at Toluca, Mexico, a city that was also favored by such other boxing luminaries as Chávez and Salvador Sánchez for such practice

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
67 fights 56 wins 9 losses
By knockout 41 4
By decision 15 5
Draws 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
69 Win 56–9 Nicaragua Eddy Saenz KO 2 Mar 17, 1990 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
68 Win 55–9 Nicaragua Eddy Saenz TKO 4 (8), 1:56 Dec 16, 1989 Mexico Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico Retained WBC light welterweight title
67 Win 54–9 Puerto Rico Julio Cesar Cardona TKO 2 (8), 1:45 Nov 18, 1989 Mexico Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC light welterweight title
66 Win 53–9 Nicaragua Juan Alfonso Rodriguez UD 8 Oct 27, 1989 Mexico Mazatlán, Mexico
65 Loss 52–9 Mexico Juan Lazcano TKO 9 (12), 0:59 Oct 9, 1989 Mexico Bullring by the Sea, Tijuana, Mexico
64 Win 52–8 United States Russell Mosley KO 3 (8), 2:43 Jul 30, 1989 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
63 Win 51–8 Mexico Antonio Oscar Salas UD 8 May 13, 1989 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Won WBC light welterweight title
62 Loss 50–8 England Naseem Hamed TKO 7 (12), 2:29 Oct 29, 1988 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
61 Win 50–7 Nicaragua Genaro Rios UD 12 Aug 1, 1988 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
60 Win 49–7 Colombia Roque Cassiani UD 12 Jun 4, 1988 Mexico Mazatlán, Mexico
59 Win 48–7 Japan Yuji Watanabe KO 5 (12), 0:31 Apr 16, 1988 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA lightweight title
58 Win 47–7 Chile Bernardo Mendoza KO 5 (12) Mar 5, 1988 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
57 Win 46–7 Venezuela Eloy Rojas TKO 11 (12), 2:38 Nov 21, 1987 United States Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Won WBA lightweight title
56 Win 45–7 Venezuela Jose Luis Velazquez UD 12 Aug 21, 1987 Mexico Agua Caliente Racetrack, Tijuana, Mexico Retained WBC super featherweight title
55 Win 44–7 Colombia Carlos Rocha KO 1 (10), 0:57 Apr 18, 1987 France Nîmes, France Retained WBC super featherweight title
54 Win 43–7 Mexico Pablo Valenzuela UD 12 Dec 12, 1986 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC super featherweight title
53 Loss 42–7 Venezuela Antonio Cermeno SD 12 Aug 3, 1986 Monaco Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monaco Retained WBC super featherweight title
52 Win 42–6 United States Orlando Canizales SD 12 Jun 13, 1986 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC super featherweight title
51 Win 41–6 Colombia Juan Polo Perez UD 12 May 15, 1986 France Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris, France Retained WBC super featherweight title
50 Win 40–6 South Korea Jae-Won Choi TKO 2 (12), 1:46 Mar 22, 1986 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
49 Win 39–6 Japan Yuichi Kasai TKO 1 (12), 2:05 Dec 19, 1985 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Unanimous TD after Chávez sustained a cut from an accidental head clash
48 Win 38–6 Japan Hiroaki Yokota UD 12 Sep 21, 1985 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super featherweight title
47 Win 37–6 France Thierry Jacob KO 10 (12), 1:30 Jul 7, 1985 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super featherweight title
46 Win 36–6 Colombia Luis Mendoza UD 12 Apr 19, 1985 United States The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Retained WBC super featherweight title
45 Win 35–6 France Thierry Jacob TKO 8 (12) Jan 1, 1985 Mexico Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City, Mexico
44 Win 34–6 Dominican Republic Freddie Cruz MD 12 Sep 13, 1984 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Won vacant WBC super featherweight title
43 Win 33–6 Dominican Republic Juan Batista Bisono TKO 3 Jun 13, 1984 Mexico Hermosillo, Mexico
42 Win 32–6 Mexico Raul Perez TKO 3 (12) May 4, 1984 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
41 Win 31–6 Philippines Paquito Openo KO 7 Sep 1, 1983 Mexico Mazatlán, Mexico
40 Win 30–6 Colombia Atenor Solar TKO 2 Jul 16, 1983 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
39 Win 29–6 United States Joe Orewa TKO 12 (12) Dec 30, 1983 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
38 Loss 28–6 Venezuela Israel Contreras KO 1 (10), 2:57 Jun 15, 1983 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
36 Win 28–5 Uganda Patrick Kamy KO 1 (8) Apr 4, 1983 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
35 Win 27–5 Mexico Fernie Morales SD 12 Feb 25, 1983 Mexico Ensenada, Mexico
34 Loss 26–5 Mexico Raul Perez SD 10 Dec 11, 1982 United States Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, California, U.S.
33 Loss 26–4 Thailand Khaokor Galaxy SD 12 Oct 23, 1982 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
32 Draw 26–3–2 Japan Takuya Muguruma MD 12 Sep 28, 1982 Mexico Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez Moreno, Tijuana, Mexico
31 Win 26–3–1 South Korea Chan Young Park TKO 10 (15) Aug 20, 1982 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
30 Win 25–3 United States Lee Cargle TKO 5 Jul 19, 1982 Mexico Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez Moreno, Tijuana, Mexico
29 Win 24–3 Puerto Rico Juan Carazo TKO 1 May 8, 1982 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
28 Win 23–3 Mexico Jesus Muniz KO 8 (10) Apr 26, 1982 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
27 NC 22–3 Mexico Antonio Avelar TKO 8 Mar 11, 1982 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico Originally a TKO win for Avelar, later ruled an NC after an incorrect referee call
26 Win 22–2 Colombia Jose Cervantes KO 3 Feb 19, 1982 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
25 Loss 21–2 Colombia Miguel Lora SD 12 Feb 4, 1982 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
24 Win 21–1 Colombia Osvaldo Acevedo TKO 5 (10) Jan 29, 1982 Mexico Guamúchil, Mexico
23 Win 20–1 United States Jeff Whaley TKO 3 (10) Jan 12, 1982 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
22 Win 19–1 Mexico Norgie Castro KO 2 Dec 17, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
21 Win 18–1 United States Javier Barajas UD 10 Oct 19, 1981 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
19 Win 17–1 United States Juan Torres KO 4 (12) Aug 31, 1981 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
18 Win 16–1 Mexico Pedro Rodriguez TKO 3 Aug 7, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
17 Win 15–1 Mexico Ramon Cruz KO 1 (10) Jul 27, 1981 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
16 Win 14–1 United States Robert Mullins KO 3 (10) Jul 10, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
15 Win 13–1 Puerto Rico Andres Torres KO 8 Jun 26, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
14 Win 12–1 Mexico Euginio Paulino TKO 5 (8) Jun 5, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
13 Win 11–1 Mexico Rudy Perez KO 2 May 8, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
12 Win 10–1 United States Sonny Long UD 10 Mar 4, 1981 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
11 Win 9–1 United States Jose Luis Martinez KO 2 Feb 2, 1981 Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
10 Win 8–1 Colombia Ion Trian KO 2 Dec 15, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
9 Win 7–1 Mexico Rudy Perez UD 6 Nov 26, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
8 Win 6–1 Mexico Orlando Perez KO 7 Oct 13, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
7 Win 5–1–1 United States Pedro Alindato KO 6 Sep 22, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
6 Win 4–1–1 United States Herminio Adorno UD 6 Sep 5, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
5 Win 3–1–1 United States Reinaldo Roque KO 2 (6) 3:00 Jul 18, 1980 Mexico Guamúchil, Mexico
4 Draw 2–1–1 Dominican Republic Eusebio Espinal TKO 6 (6) May 20, 1980 Mexico Guaymas, Mexico
3 Win 2–1 Puerto Rico Roberto Mercedes KO 3 (6) 3:00 Apr 8, 1980 Mexico Navojoa, Mexico
2 Win 1–1 United States Felix Cortez KO 2 (2) 3:00 Mar 3, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico
1 Loss 0–1 Puerto Rico William Ramos UD 4 Feb 5, 1980 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico Professional debut

Professional championships[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Chan-Yong Park
WBA Bantamweight Champion
4 October 1987 – 9 May 1988
Succeeded by
Khaokor Galaxy
Preceded by
Raúl Pérez
WBA Super Bantamweight Champion
27 March 1992 – 13 May 1995
Succeeded by
Antonio Cermeño
Preceded by
Eloy Rojas
WBA Featherweight Champion
18 May 1996 – 3 April 1998 (stripped)
Succeeded by
Freddie Norwood
Lineal Featherweight Champion
18 May 1996 – 18 April 1998
Succeeded by
Naseem Hamed

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fonseca et al., p.264
  2. ^ a b c d Fonseca et al., p.265
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Fonseca et al., p.268
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Fonseca et al., p.269
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Fonseca et al., p.270
  6. ^ a b c d Fonseca et al., p. 271
  7. ^ a b Fonseca et al., p. 272
  8. ^ a b c d Fonseca et al., p. 273
  9. ^ Ismael Rubio (2009-05-24). "Con esfuerzo y humildad continúa su paso en el boxeo Wilfredo Vázquez Jr" (in Spanish). BoxeoMundial.com. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  10. ^ Carlos González (2008-09-23). "Su famila es su razón de ser" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  11. ^ Jake Donovan (2008-11-22). "Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Stops Victor Martinez In Twelve". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  12. ^ a b c Fonseca et al., p. 274

Sources[edit]

  • Marvin Fonseca Barahona (2007). Puerto Rico: Cuna de Campeones (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Puerto Rico. ISBN 978-1-60643-254-9. 

External links[edit]