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Bryan Vasquez Interview

Photo © Renger Infante RPMTV
Photo © Renger Infante RPMTV

By Anson Wainwright

Boxing is a global sport, in many of the less affluent countries around the world it is a way of life that allows a young person to make their way from the poorest of environs to be able to climb to the very top of society, in way’s that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

While boxing is doing well on the world scene thriving in many ways, just as it looks as though there is a down turn something comes along and reveres the fortunes.

For a country like Costa Rica with almost no boxing history, finding a niche in the market is tough. Over the years a eleven men have contested for world titles including Isaac Marin who challenged Ricardo Arredondo for the WBC 130 title in 1972, Orlando Hernandez was stopped in the final round of his WBC 108 attempt in 1977 while Humberto Aranda was stopped in four rounds in 1999 WBC Light Middleweight fight with Javier Castillejo. Before Bryan Vasquez succeeded in winning the WBA Interim Super Featherweight title beating Santos Benavides in late 2011.

It must be noted popular female boxer Hanna Gabriel who also happens to be Vasquez wife succeeded where the men failed when she became her countries first boxing champion when she won the Light Middleweight crown in late 2009, wearing the strap until she was stopped in the second round for the first reverse of her career earlier this year. During her reign she drew 14,000 patrons to a title defence in 2011.

Yesterday David Rodriguez won bronze at the World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the Flyweight division. In doing so he became the first Costa Rican boxer to win a medal at a major amateur tournament. Something that will surely increase the sports exposure in that region.

With that in mind boxing can draw in the this small latin American country, Mario Vega a representative of Vasquez agrees "Boxing was dead for like 20 years until Hanna came and won the first world title and became a star in Costa Rica for her titles and the huge social work with kids and women” going on to add “After Hanna be have Bryan as a star, people ask for pictures and their signature’s everywhere they go, Bryan is the first Costa Rican to win a world title. We hope for 5,000 people to come to his next fight on October 26 vs. Rene Gonzalez“.

The aforementioned fight for the 26 year old Vasquez vs. Gonzalez gives “El Tiquito” the opportunity to reclaim his WBA Interim 130 crown that he lost having made one successful defence before heading to Japan where he met Takashi Uchiyama for the full title, despite a solid start the heavy handed Japanese fighter poured on pressure which Vazquez eventually succumbed to in the eighth frame.

Since the lone reverse on an otherwise pristine 31-1 with 18 stoppage slate he’s won two bouts both inside the distance. Here’s what he had to say when we caught up with him.
Anson Wainwright - You have a chance to regain your old WBA Interim Super Featherweight crown?

Brian Vasquez - Next fight we’re going against #4Rene Gonzalez the fight will be here (Costa Rica) on Saturday for the WBA interim title.

 AW - You suffered you only loss as a pro late last year since then you’ve won two bout could you tell us about them?

BV - They have been fights to get me back on track to get a second chance to fight for what I have been working for most of my life, I know it’s going to be hard but now I know what it really takes to be at that level.

AW - Who are the members of your team, your manager, trainer & promoter?

BV - Mario Vega represents me, Ezequiel Obando is my coach, promoter is IBOP.

AW - I hear you had a tough childhood, could you talk us through your younger days?

BV - Well this is not really a subject I like to talk about much, despite the fact I was abandoned by my biological mother and father, I had the blessing to be taken care of by my grandmother and aunt, my grandma who I consider my mother gave me everything she could and I will be forever grateful with God for that. I really want people to focus not in that part of my life story, I would just like to tell people that If I was able to make it, they also can. Forget about the obstacles, they are there for you to defeat them.

This Youtube video shows Vazquez explain some of the hardships he had to endure. (Preview)
AW - Costa Rica isn’t really known for boxing, how did you first become interested and then take up boxing?

BV - It’s funny cause I was never interested in boxing, but a friend of mine took me to the gym, 3 days later, I was joining him and right there and then that they arranged for me to fight somebody that same day, so I fought and obviously I lost, but that experience made want to learn how to box so that I could fight him again and win.

AW - You had a pretty good amateur career, what titles/tournaments did you win? Could you tell us what being an amateur there is like?

BV - National champion in all categories since I was 13 years until 18.

In my country, unfortunately, the opportunities in sports are very limited, we have no support whatsoever, and to even think about going to foreign countries, is really not an option when you don’t even have money for the bus that takes you to the gym, right now things are changing a little, but we still have a long long way to go. I wish it was different..... But I still have been able to make it, due to effort and sacrifice. My final record 101-7.

AW - Now that you’re a pro and have been since your turned 18 most of your fights have been in Costa Rica but you have fought abroad, could you tell us how you feel your career has gone so far and what your goals are for the future?

BV - I feel like my career it’s starting, I have a lot of expectations, but I’m trying to take those to the gym on the daily bases, work hard on the way, to make sure I get the results I visualize.

AW - Your nickname is “El Tiquito” why is this and how did it come to be your nickname?

BV - Costa Rican’s are called ticos, my amateur coach named me tiquito, as if I was a very beloved Tico.

AW - Last year you travelled to Japan and lost for the first time when Takashi Uchiyama stopped you in eight rounds, can you tell us about fighting there and also about the fight?

BV - If was nice, the people were great, the media knew their stuff and my stuff as well Haha I found it interesting how they managed the boxing events. I am so grateful that Mr. Uchiyama gave me the opportunity to fight him and realize the level of training I needed to work on to be part of the greatest in this division, I am just hoping I could fight him again!

AW - What are your thoughts on the Super Featherweight division? What about the current champions WBC Takashi Miura, WBA Takashi Uchiyama, IBF Argenis Mendez & WBO Roman Martinez?

BV - That I want to fight them all!

That’s on my manager’s and promoter’s hands, I really want another opportunity to fight Takashi Uchiyama.

AW - Tell us about yourself away from boxing, what do you like to do? Hobbies, interests, family etc.
BV - Well I love being in the mountain’s breathing fresh air, mechanics, video games. My wife is a great partner, she is a former WBO Super Welterweight world boxing champion Hanna Gabriel, and our relationship is successful because we understand each other, our lifestyles are the same, and not many women understand how hard this sport is, we are hoping to make our family bigger one day, but that will happen whenever God wants it to happen, for right now, train hard and make things happen.

AW - Lastly do you have a message for the Super Featherweight division?

BV - I will try my best to get there, fight you all and make our fights legendary!

I’m on my way...... So, I’ll see you soon... 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at and you can follow him at

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