Miguel Vazquez on breaking the 'Mexican Fighter' stereotype

Elias Cepeda
Lightweight boxing champion Miguel Vazquez isn't changing his style for anyone. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Miguel Vazquez

Lightweight boxing champion Miguel Vazquez isn't changing his style for anyone. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Miguel Vazquez says that few coaches have tried to change his defensive, awkward style of fighting. Though, the ones that did never got very far.

"People didn't really try to change me too much, but when they did, I always went back to my style before long," he tells Yahoo Sports.

"It's just who I am. I wasn't comfortable fighting any other way."

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Vazquez is recognized by those in the boxing know as one of the best pure boxers in the sport. However, the IBF lightweight champ doesn't get a whole lot of celebration for the distinction.

Unlike the Mexican fighter archetype, the Jalisco native is far from a blood and guts, all-offense type of fighter. And, he's more than fine with that.

In fact, Vazquez says he is proud to prove a point with his effective style. Mexican fighters are not just mindless sluggers, but fine technicians who are capable of avoiding damage as well, he says.

"That’s how I see it," he says.

"I am trying to change the stereotype of Mexican fighters as just being about purely attacking. Defense is important. Mexican fighters can be defensive just like any other boxer."

Vazquez first began to learn that type of smart boxing from his father. The young man trained with his dad from ages 12 to 21.

The fighter doesn't stick to his measured style just out of sentiment, however. Under current trainer Salvador Casillas, Vazquez continues to develop smart game plans and sharp tactics for the likes of his next opponent, Mickey Bey, who he will defend his belt against this Sat. on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana II ppv.

Vazquez may be relatively ignored, in large part, because of the way he fights but he doesn't think fighting more recklessly would help his career in any way. "With my style, I've become a champion," he explains.

"I don't want to change my style because it has given me everything."

That's pretty decent, if conservative reasoning Vazquez has. And, in his view, he's in good company when it comes to smart, defensive fighters who have gone on to become celebrated legends.

The fighter nicknamed "Titere," or, "Marionette," in English because of his awkward, jumpy way of moving, says he looks up to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Tommy Hearns, and Bernard Hopkins, as favorite fighters to watch. "Hopkins is a great fighter and has been an example to me," he says.

Vazquez also respects his opponent for Sep. 13, Bey, though he's confident that he'll continue his own six-year win streak. "I'm not going to criticize Bey but we don't have the same style," he says.

"It is going to be a very good fight. Bey is going to make a good fight but victory will go to the harder worker.

"I'm ready to win. I'm ready for the fight. I'm prepared and am never going to lose."

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooSportsBox





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