The 25-year-old squeezed out the victory in a tightly contested 12 rounds in New York on Saturday that saw craftiness overcome Quintero’s power advantage.
Two ringside judges awarded the bout to Vazquez with scores of 116-112 and 118-110 while a third judge gave Quintero the fight at 115-113.
Quintero is the IBF’s biggest challenger to Vazquez’s belt, and the aggression with which he landed his harder punches made it clear why.
But apart from threatening moments during the middle rounds, the 25-year-old’s opponent ultimately outclassed him in both ring mobility and speed.
Vazquez recorded 189 punches to Quintero’s 159.
The result marks Vazquez’s 11th successive victory since 2008 when he suffered the second of two defeats to unbeaten Mexican light-middleweight Saul Alvarez.
Vazquez improved his professional record to 32-3, with 13 knockouts.
Quintero, who went into the fight having won nine of his past 10 bouts, fell to 25-4 with 21 knockouts.
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