Former world champion Miguel Vazquez (41-7, 15KOs) comes to the UK for the second time in his career to face Ohara Davies (18-2, 14KOs).
BBN set out to discover 10 interesting facts that you might not already know about the Mexican:
Born Miguel Ángel Vázquez Bautista on January 6, 1987, he first turned to boxing because his father had previously been a prize-fighter. The young man trained with his dad from the age of 12 to 21 and attributes his smart, intelligent boxing style to his influence.
Vázquez made his professional debut on January 20, 2006 just two weeks after his 19th birthday against a 15-year-old Canelo Álvarez (2-0, 2KOs) in a four-round welterweight contest, losing on a split decision. Judge Roberto Rodriguez Barajas saw it 39-37 for Alvarez, but Jesus Hernandez had it going the other way: 39-37 for Vazquez; with deciding Judge Juan Jose Chavez ruling it 40-36 in favor of Alvarez.
Miguel Vázquez said of his pro bow: “We knew each other since we were amateurs, we fought as junior welterweights. I felt that I won that fight, but the judges decided to give it to him.
The rivals would eventually meet again in June 2008 in another 147lbs match-up. The rematch was unanimous for Álvarez after 10 rounds.”
After a tough start to his paid career, in which he lost three times, he met up with former Antonio Margarito trainer Javier Capetillo, who revitalised and transformed him.
He quickly made an impact by becoming the first man to beat Breidis Prescott (21-0), who had previously knocked out Amir Khan in less than a minute.
Vázquez commented, “It was very hard. I was thrown to the wolves at a young age when I turned pro. If you look at my record, you can see I wasn’t managed right. Things happen for a reason; it’s helped me become a stronger and better fighter.”
Another winning move was to drop down to 135lbs, which is where his career really became successful.
Manager/trainer is Javier Capetillo and they train at the Azteca Boxing Club in Bell, California; Ricky Mota is an advisor; and his promoter is Zanfer.
His nickname ‘El Titiere’ literally means ‘The Puppet’, chosen for his ability to control opponents, which he explains as: “I move but you can’t hit me. I got it when I was an amateur.”
IBF Lightweight King
Miguel Vázquez is the longest reigning IBF world lightweight titleholder ever in history, holding the crown for 1491 days, from August 14, 2010 to September 13, 2014. Paul Spadafora is second, Pernell Whitaker third.
Vázquez won the vacant belt by beating Ji-Hoon Kim (21-5) via unanimous decision in Texas. He went on to defend the title successfully on six occasions to Ricardo Dominguez (32-6-2); Leonardo Zappavigna (25-0); Ammeth Díaz (30-10); Marvin Quintero (25-3); Mercito Gesta (26-0-1); and Denis Shafikov (33-0-1).
His 13-fight winning streak came to an end on September 13, 2014, when the long-reigning champion faced Mickey Bey on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Marcos Maidana II, conceding his IBF title in a split decision, which was his first defeat in six years.
Mexican fighters are widely known for their all-action, aggressive, lay it all on the line, blood and guts styles but Vázquez changed perceptions with his defensive, awkward style of fighting.
He is recognised by many in boxing as one of the best pure boxers of the sport.”
The Jalisco native is far from the Mexican archetype and doesn’t favour the volume-punching attack employed by so many other of his compatriots, he said, “I am trying to change the stereotype of Mexican fighters as just being about purely attacking. Defense is important. Mexican fighters can be defensive just like any other boxer.”
He often came under fire for his negative, frustrating form of fighting, but he wouldn’t change that for his critics, he explains, “I don't want to change my style because it has given me everything.”
His ability to control opponents using his superior intellect and boxing skills to gain the upper hand, throwing punches from all angles and frustrating foes with his movement is an approach that has made Vazquez one of the world’s top fighters at 135lbs.
The defensive genius lists Floyd Mayweather Jr., Tommy Hearns, and Bernard Hopkins as his heroes.
The 5ft 10” tall Mexican, now 32, has fought in a whopping 345 rounds over 48 bouts during his 13-year professional career.
He has competed in 14 championship contests – eight of those were world title fights - collecting the following titles: Jalisco super-lightweight title (2007); WBC FECARBOX super-lightweight title (2008); IBF world lightweight (2010); WBF Mexican welterweight Title (2018).
He has fought in seven different countries (soon to be eight when he faces Ohara Davies in England on June 28) – Mexico; America; Nicaragua; China (Macau); Scotland; South Africa; Canada – and four separate continents during his 13-year career – Asia; Europe; North America and Africa.