Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A “Complicated” and “Violent” Fight

One of the top fighters in the world, Juan Manuel Marquez says that Saturday's fight against Juan Diaz is must see TV.

Juan Manuel Marquez, the #2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, said on Tuesday afternoon that this weekend’s fight against Juan Diaz, “Is going to be a complicated fight and it’s going to be a violent fight.”

Marquez and Diaz will clash Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Diaz’ hometown of Houston, Texas. Up for grabs is The Ring magazine 135-pound championship as well as the vacant lightweight belts from the WBA and WBO.

It is a much anticipated fight and the winner will have almost unlimited opportunities.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told a group of reporters, also on Tuesday afternoon, "That this is the biggest gate - dollar wise - in Texas history. 15,000 people and it is a sell-out. It will be an amazing, amazing night.”

Although he is traveling to Juan Diaz’ backyard for the fight, the fearless Marquez claims that is of no consequence to him.

“I feel calm and I have no worries about fighting in Texas,” said the 35 year old, 54 fight veteran who will be facing a fighter 10 years younger. Marquez, who lost his first pro fight way back in 1993, claims that his “clean living” and the fact that he trains “very, very hard” and that “I’m young at heart” will all help him to overcome the challenge of Diaz.

Marquez, who goes by the nickname 'Dinamita' said that Diaz, “Is a smart fighter and a strong volume puncher. However, I believe that we have the strategy to beat him.” When asked to explain exactly what the game plan that he and Nacho Beristain have developed to beat Diaz, he declined to elaborate.

“You’ll have to wait until Saturday night to see,” he coyly said.

Promoter Richard Schaefer (center) pictured with Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi.

In terms of the future for either Marquez or Diaz, whom are both promoted by Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer said that both could be a future opponent for the winner of Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton.

“Absolutely,” exclaimed Schaefer. “The winner of this fight could move up. But at lightweight there is a lot of opportunities there, too.”

For his part, Marquez is still craving a third fight against Pacquiao.

“Hopefully, there is a third fight between us,” he said.

The clash would be a natural should Marquez get by Diaz and should Pacquiao prove victorious over Hatton in May. When Marquez was asked if anything surprised him about Pacquiao’s recent fight against Oscar De La Hoya he was very candid with his answer.

“The fact that he won was very, very surprising,” chuckled Marquez. “We all expected Oscar to win.”

Despite the horrendous world economy there is some encouraging news for boxing fans. Richard Schaefer seems quite excited with the recent box office performance of fights that have taken place away from Las Vegas. Saturday night’s sell-out in Texas seems to have convinced him (along with Bob Arum) that boxing needs to go back to the people - so to speak.

“There’s probably been too many fights in Las Vegas,” admitted Schaefer. “We need to develop fighters as a local attraction and then take them to Vegas. This is great news for the fight fans. It will help to build fighters in their hometown and also develop them into big stars.”

February 2009

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