Vazquez, a Guadalajara native who trains in southern California, effectively stayed out of the way of Quintero, a southpaw who had the advantage in power but couldn’t pin down the crafty champion.
Judge Tom Schreck awarded the bout to Vazquez 116-112 and Don Trella saw it 118-110 for the champion, while Don Ackerman scored it 115-113 for Quintero.
Vazquez improved to 32-3 with 13 knockouts.
Quintero fell to 25-4 with 21 knockouts. He looked strong in the middle rounds, but Vazquez then answered his corner’s call to engage the challenger and appeared to come out on top in their exchanges.
For Vazquez it was his 11th victory in a row since 2008 — when he suffered the second of two defeats to unbeaten Mexican light middleweight Saul Alvarez.
His only other defeat was in 2007 at the hands of unbeaten Tim Bradley, who stunned Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao in a controversial decision in June to claim a portion of the world welterweight throne.
Quintero, who had won nine of his past 10 bouts coming in, was in his first world title fight.
His ninth-round TKO of Filipino southpaw Al Sabaupan in April had made him the mandatory challenger.
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