Rafael Marquez didnt go at Israel Vazquez with a chainsaw, but with all the blood in the ring at the Staples Center, it sure looked like he had some sharp implement at his disposal. With a nasty gash on each eye, and blood obscuring his vision, Vazquez was saved by the ref Raul Caiz in the third round, after absorbing one knockdown. The official time of the stop of the bloodletting was 1:33 of round three.

The two Mexican born hitters, who are now 2-2 overall, went at it with zest from the start. A slice opened on the left eye, probably from a sharp right cross, of the the 32-year-old loser in round one.

The slice wasnt going to be able to be fixed, not even with a sewing machine, we could see after round two. Marquez did great work inside, working a left hook to the body, and then coming in with the right cross. He moved deftly, and mixed his punches to great effect. Man, even with all that hair BP is using to clean up the Gulf, that cut wasnt going to be closed. In the third, a slice opened on the right eye. Marquez smacked with two rights, and the loser dropped to a knee, on a delayed reaction, at the 1:55 mark. He got right up, but when Marquez, who promised a KO, went back to work, Vazquez didnt defend himself adequately. In came Caiz to save him from more damage.

In the stat department, Marquezwent 42-103, while Vazquez was 35-68. The 35-year old Marquez looked sharp, like he had more in the tank, from the start, and with the win, he leverages himself into a sweet payday. TSS U, who should he target?

With a disposition to cuts, Vazquez may have to call it a career. This tie may never be broken, and I think most would argue that is for the best. Vazquez said after that he didnt go into the fight gunshy, after having had multiple surgeries to reattach a dangling retina in his right eye. Will he fight again? Yes, he said, hed do it again, maybe after a five or six month healing break.

Man, unless plastic surgeons are doing something new and exciting to revitalize brittle tissue, its hard to see how he manages to keep going…
SPEEDBAG Yahoo, Showtime is counting punches. Er..was this the first fight doing so? Did I miss this developement earlier? Way to go, guys!

Come back for David Avilas ringside report.