You could reasonably assume Miguel Vazquez never did a stint in the Boy Scouts, judging by his Greatest Hits.
The 135-pound stalwart has been in with some of the toughest names in the game, but it was an early meeting with a top fighter who set him on a path that had him ready for any other challenge that was thrown at him. The results speak for themselves.
Now Miguel Vazquez will square up with former champ Algenis Mendez on Tuesday in the latest edition of Fox Sports 1’s Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), where he expects to put a key theory into practice.
3 vs Mercito Gesta, December 8, 2012, at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York
The importance of preparation was a lesson Vazquez said he had to learn as he progressed through his career. By 2012, on his fifth title defense, it was a lesson that had taken root.
Mercito Gesta may have earned his way to the fight with a pretty 26-0-1 mark, but Vazquez schooled him that night, earning 117-111, 118-110 and 119-109 marks from the judges.
“He was a very tough opponent. But I prepared myself really, really well. It turned out to be one of my easiest fights. From the beginning, from the first round, he wasn’t able to hit me. I wasn’t letting him hit me.”
2 vs Breidis Prescott, July 17, 2009, at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas
Speaking of previously unbeaten fighters, Breidis Prescott was a highly touted prospect just a fight removed from a stunning first-round knockout of Amir Khan when he matched up with Vazquez in 2009.
It looked like that quick KO power might manifest again when Prescott knocked Vazquez down in the first round—for the first time in his career—but this time Prescott’s opponent pulled himself off the canvas.
“That fight, he didn’t really hurt me to where I didn’t know where I was,” Vazquez said. “It was a flash knockdown. I just started moving around more and being more cautious. That’s how I was able to come back and win that fight.”
Even with the benefit of the knockdown, Prescott couldn’t overcome a determined Vazquez, who went on to earn a narrow split decision.
1 vs Timothy Bradley, July 27, 2007, at Omega Products International in Corona, California
Vazquez was 20 years old and 19-1; Timothy Bradley was 23 and 20-0 when the two rising stars met at 140 pounds.
Remember the part about learning the importance of preparation? This fight was why. Bradley was able to impose his will on Vazquez over the course of the match, nearly earning a shutout in the process with judges' scores of 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90.
“I learned a lot there,” Vazquez said. “I felt that I needed a little bit more preparation for that fight. I didn’t feel like I did enough. That’s what I took out of that fight is that you have to be better prepared.”
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