Staples Center, Los Angeles, Jan. 23
By Peter Lim
What makes this matchup so intriguing is that both fighters have posted impressive wins in their last bouts over opponents with the same attributes they will face against each other. A southpaw, Vasquez stopped tough guy Jose Lopez who had previously gone the distance against Victor Postol and Humberto Soto. On the same token, Martinez upset southpaw and former titleholder Devon Alexander in his last fight; prior to that, he dropped and almost stopped Robert Guerrero, also a southpaw and former titleholder, before being robbed of the decision.
But Martinez's success against accomplished southpaws ends with Vasquez. Vasquez's ability to both box and brawl, coupled with Martinez's lack of knockout power will be the determining factors in this fight. Vasquez dictates the action from the outside and when Martinez tries to crowd him, he willingly engages Martinez in the trenches and dominates the exchanges. Martinez will be a battered and beaten fighter by the late rounds, more from the accumulation of punishment than from any single punch or combination, and the referee mercifully calls a halt to the contest in the eighth round.
When one fighter is a better boxer and harder puncher than the other fighter, the outcome is almost always a no-brainer.