The scale fail was a nasty lesson learned, one he promises won’t be repeated, but the actual ring-work shown by Bryan Vasquez (now 34-1 with 18 KOs) last week did quite a bit to overshadow that negative, and paint a picture of the Costa Rican as one to watch with a bit more intensity next year.
In case you missed it, the kid lost his WBA interim 130 title at the weigh in, as he was unable to make the super featherweight limit…but once that hurdle was stumbled over, Vasquez showed much to like against Sergio Thompson, a Mexican who entered with a 30-3 mark.
I find Vasquez, who was three pounds over 130 on Friday, an entertaining fighter to watch, as I like his combination of mobility, volume, in-ring charisma, just the overall package. Thompson, he couldn’t have been as big a fan.
Vasquez is so relaxed in the squared circle, maybe in fact, some might gripe, too relaxed at times. I like his manner, which shows he’s having fun as he gets it done. He hops, pops, backs off, resets, shows smart head movement and the ability to slip a shot to the millimeter.
Thompson landed some clean shots, as in round three, but Vasquez’ beard withstood the vibrations. He answered with combos against a level of fighter who’d he’d be able to get the better of an even an off night. Vasquez raised his hand in triumph after the fifth, and his mood was like that of a guy engaged in high-level but not bombastic sparring.
Thompson, though, is a plugger. He’s going to keep advancing, even if the writing is clear on that wall. He got whacked with one-twos, time and again, as the fresher guy with better reflexes scored time and again. Later in the fight, he was more inclined to cover up, just try and not eat that deal-breaker blow. But he was still slinging, though his face was puffed, his breathing a bit labored. And then, the inevitable was acknowledged, and the plug was pulled. Wisdom prevailed and after nine rounds, Thompson’s night was complete. He didn’t pull butt off stool to start the tenth.
I chatted with the 27-year-old Vasquez to get his take on the bout, and the future, this week.
How did he think it went in Cancun? “I am happy with my work in the ring, I am obviously upset about losing my title on the scale, but I think I know what went wrong, my team is aware and we won't make the same mistake again,” he told me. “I need to extend my camps to at least 6-8 weeks to prepare for a title match, four weeks isn't enough. But I'm happy with my work in the ring, there are always things I can improve, but I think I delivered a good fight for the fans and I showed why I had the belt… those were my objectives and I feel that I accomplished them.”
Did you sense that Thompson would bring this level of difficulty for you? “I studied Yeyo a lot, I watched a lot of videos, I had great sparring, I felt confident going into this fight. I am used to fighting outside with the audience against me… that is normal for me, and I try not to let it affect me. I knew before getting in the ring that I was coming out the winner. Thompson is a good fighter, but Jose Felix was better.”
And what's on the wish list and agenda for 2015? “My next objective is to get my belt back, I would like to get a chance to fight early next year and recover my belt, I don't really care about who my opponent will be,” he said. “At this point in my career I know I need to fight the best to prove I'm the best. I don't care who it is as long as I can get my belt back or preferably the belt Takashi Uchiyama (who he fought and lost to in 2012) has.”