By Miguel Maravilla
IBF lightweight champion Miguel “Titere” Vasquez (33-3, 13KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico is gearing up for his next fight against Panama’s Ammeth Diaz (32-11, 23KOs). Vasquez vs. Diaz will take place Saturday September 28 at the Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico for Vasquez IBF lightweight title. Fightnews.com talked to the IBF lightweight champion at the Ponce de Leon Boxing Bym in Montebello, California.
“Right now we are preparing for my next fight which is September 28 against Ammeth Diaz, another mandatory challenger, and it’s time to open up my training camp,” Vasquez told Fightnews.com. “We have already fought, this is a rematch against him. I beat him the first time in my hometown.”
Not only beat him, Vasquez totally dominated the Panamanian fighter scoring a knockdown en route to a 120-107, 120-107, 119-108 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“This is the sixth defense of my title. I plan on defending it as many times as I can. One of them happens to be against Diaz since he has earned the right to fight for title once again,” Vasquez said. “In my last fight against Mercito Gesta, I was up against an undefeated fighter. Some doubted me and I came out winning.”
Vasquez now resides in Los Angeles where he trains at the Ponce De Leon Gym and is trained by Mexican trainer Javier Capetillo, known for his ‘in your face’ type training style as well as working with former champions Jorge “Maromero” Paez and Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez, who also works alongside with Capetillo training Vasquez. Capetillo however is best known as the man that illegally wrapped former champion Antonio Margarito’s hands with a plaster substance. Today the veteran trainer works with Vasquez in the gym and shouts out instructions from a paid seat at ringside.
“My work with Javier Capetillo is tough and strong. He’s a good trainer to be working with. He brings out the best. I’m focusing one hundred percent, I’m stepping up the intensity,” Vasquez said on his work with Javier Capetillo.
Vasquez was scheduled to face WBO lightweight champion Scotland’s Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KOs) in a unification bout on March 16 in the U.K. After unsuccessful negotiations, the Vasquez camp decided it was in their best interest to pull out, issuing a statement that Vasquez had come down with a stomach infection.
“I was supposed to fight Ricky Burns in March. The reason I didn’t was because his promoters made me an offer that I wasn’t going to accept and to travel overseas. It was said that I didn’t fight because I was ill, truthfully it was a business decision,” Vasquez said.
You begin to wonder how Vasquez goes from a potential unification bout with Burns to fighting a mandatory against an opponent he already beat in Diaz. With Adrien Broner having made the leap to welterweight, other titlists and notables in the lightweight division include newly crowned WBC interim champion Omar Figueroa, WBA champion Richard Abril, undefeated Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa, Russia’s Denis Shafikov also undefeated, and Terrence Crawford who is also undefeated. Only issue is Vasquez slick awkward style of hit from different angles and not be hit poses a high risk-no reward proposition for anyone in the lightweight division.
“I would like to take on all the champions at my weight which are Ricky Burns, Richard Abril, and there is no other champ aside from me now that Broner jumped up to welterweight, but I want to fight all the best in division,” Vasquez commented. “Broner is good but truthfully not as they make him out to be. I called him out multiple times but he never seemed interested. When a fighter calls himself the best well he has to face the best. I called Broner and Yuriorkis Gamboa out but they never accepted the challenge. Gamboa, if he would accept a fight, I would like to fight him.”
Avoided by some fighters at 135, Vazquez ruled a jump up to 140, where all three of his losses occured. “I have learned a lot from those losses. I fought Canelo and Bradley in a weight that I was not comfortable at 140, after that I became world champion,” Vasquez said.
For now it’s time to start putting in work and concentrate on Ammeth Diaz as Vasquez will look to make another defense and hopefully get a potential fight with one of the other titlist at lightweight.
“This will be a tough fight every rematch is even tougher because the opponent learns from it and comes hungrier. This guy is coming with everything but we are ready. I am confident that I will retain my world title for a sixth time,” Vasquez concluded.
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