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Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez is WBC 'Fight of the Year'

December 23, 2008 |  7:00 pm

Referee Pat Russell raises the arm of Israel Vazquez after he defeated Rafael Marquez during a March 1 bout at Home Depot Center.

The World Boxing Council has selected the third fight between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez as its "Fight of the Year" for 2008.

The fight that was staged in March at Home Depot Center marked the third time that the two fighters had gone up against each other. Vazquez overcame a fourth-round knockdown to knock down Marquez during the 12th round.

That led to a split-decision that gave Vazquez the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title.

Here's how The Times' Lance Pugmire described the action from the three fights:

Both fighters raised their arms in triumph at the bell, ending a 25-round series that began in this same location last March.

Marquez won that first fight when Vazquez failed to answer the bell for the eighth round because of a badly damaged nose. In the August rematch in Texas, Vazquez returned to win by sixth-round technical knockout -- a bout that has been called the fight of the year and the round of the year for the classic exchanges that left both wobbled.

-- Greg Johnson

Photo: Referee Pat Russell raises the arm of Israel Vazquez after he defeated Rafael Marquez during a March 1 bout at Home Depot Center. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

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