Despite taking the fight on late notice, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz was itching to rid himself of the leftover taste from a close loss to Lamont Peterson last October.
In order to bounce back, he was put in against undefeated Sammy Vasquez Jr., who was also facing the toughest challenge of his career.
Diaz was able to build an early lead on the scorecards by controlling the ring and staying busy. His high work rate proved to be most effective when he was able to pin Vasquez into the corners and go to work both up top and to the body.
But the U.S. Army veteran Vasquez showed just how tough he is, fighting through bad cuts on his face to push forward all the way through the 10th round. Vasquez rallied late to even out the fight in the closing rounds, but then lost a crucial point in the final round for losing his mouthpiece despite earlier warnings for it falling out.
That one point ended up moving the fight from being a majority draw to a unanimous decision narrowly in favor of Diaz (96-95, 95-94 x2). With the win, Diaz improved to 18-1 (8 KO), and affirmed himself as a force to be dealt with in the welterweight ranks, while Vasquez’s first loss pushed him to 21-1 (15 KO).
All photos by Ryan Hafey/PBC
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