|Israel Vazquez: "I'm ready to go to war!"
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Sep 11, 2006) (Photo © German Villasenor)
This Saturday night at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV the reigning WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Israel Vazquez, 40-3 (29), will make the second defense of his world title hardware against the hard-hitting WBO Bantamweight title toting Jhonny Gonzalez, 33-4 (28), in a scheduled twelve round scrap that will fall on Mexican Independence Day.
The twenty-eight year old Mexican born boxer who is also recognized as the number one man by Ring Magazine’s rankings earned the world title in December of ’05 when he defeated Oscar Larios in their third go around and in his first title defense just three months back, Vazquez secured his strap by banging out a fourth round victory over Ivan Hernandez after a broken nose halted the bout.
This Saturday night would appear to be a barn burner of an event when these two face off for Vazquez’z title, and Vazquez plans on making this his forty-first victory by stating that he is ready for war! See what the champ had to say on his upcoming fight as well as fighting on the Mexican holiday as well as his future, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off Israel I would like to thank you and Frank for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, give us your thoughts on your upcoming title defense against Jhonny Gonzalez?
Israel Vazquez: Thank you Benny and to Doghouse Boxing for having me. Well on September 16th I will be defending
my title against Jhonny Gonzalez. I have been training very hard for this fight and I’m confident that I will come out victorious.
BH: How about the bout being held on Mexican Independence Day, does that add importance to the fight?
IV: Absolutely it does! Being born and raised in Mexico City it gives me more motivation. I consider it an honor to defend my title on such an important date, like September 16th. I would like to also like thank my promoters Sycuan Ringside Promotion and Golden Boy Promotions, for giving me the opportunity to fight on this significant date.
BH: Your opponent Gonzalez hasn’t lost a bout since 2002, and since that point has knock out fifteen of his last nineteen opponents. In my opinion he is one tough customer, but what is your opinion on Gonzalez, and is his power a great concern?
IV: Jhonny is a good fighter and was a good champion at 118 lbs. But that was at 118 pounds. He is coming up to my division now and he will soon find out how much of a difference there is by moving up. Jhonny does have power but I’ve been sparring with guys who weigh around 140 lbs. And I feel I have adjusted to their power.
BH: You often say that you want to prove that you are the best 122-pounder in the world. Well, you have beaten some of the most notable names in your division, and as well you carry Ring Magazine’s top spot, so in most opinions you are the top of the crop, certainly in my mind. But what will if take for you to feel that you are the best, how will you prove that you are the best of the best?
IV: I feel if I keep that hunger that burns inside of me and stay focus in boxing, I can achieve more. With Sycuan Ringside Promotion, Golden Boy Promotion and my manager Frank Espinoza, all by my side, my dreams are becoming realistic. It feels good to be considered The Ring Champion and to be considered the best in my division by the fans and the boxing media. I want to give them what they want to see. And that is seeing me fight the best out there. To me the risk is worth the reward. A lot of fighters say they want to fight the best, but in reality few actually do fight the best. I feel my actions are speaking louder than my words.
BH: What type of fight are you expecting, and what is it about his style that you feel will pose a threat and what do you see as his weaknesses?
IV: Jhonny is a smart fighter and has a reach advantage over me. He also has a good defense and comes to fight. I feel he will try to outbox me, but I’m ready for anything he brings. I feel I’m more experience and stronger than Jhonny Gonzalez. I plan to put pressure on him and go to the body. I feel I can break him down in the later rounds. And in God’s will, I will come out victorious.
Question for Israel’s manager Frank Espinoza
BH: What is your opinion on this upcoming fight, and how do you see it panning out?
Frank Espinoza: Well this is a big fight for Israel. I see him very focus, very strong and confident for this fight. Israel is at a point in his career where I’ve always believe he would reach someday. And all though he will have his hands full on September sixteenth, I see him coming out on top. He has more experience and an overall better fighter than Gonzalez. I wouldn’t be surprise if he stops Gonzalez.
BH: Your thoughts on your fighter Israel Vazquez, and what match-up after this bout would you like to see him in?
FE: I feel Vazquez has already proven that he is the best in his division and with that said, after this fight we will be looking for bigger and better things for Israel Vazquez. I think after this fight, it will be time for Israel to move up in weight and possibly fight guys like Manny Pacquiao, Barrera, or even Erik Morales.
Back to Israel Vazquez
BH: What can the ringside fans expect from you come the sixteenth, and is there anything you would like to add or say in closing, you have open forum to speak your mind.
IV: I would like to take this time and thank my fans and Doghouse Boxing! I truly appreciate all the support you have given me through the years. I feel very good and I’m anxious for this fight against Jhonny. The gym work is just about done and I’m ready to go to war! So, make sure you watch September sixteenth!
I would like to thank Frank Espinoza for setting up this interview as well as giving his thoughts, and a thank you goes out to Israel Vazquez as well.
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