Vazquez vs Marquez III: A Fight For The Fans - Part I
By Realtorchill (Feb 29, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)         
What a week for boxing!  First, I witnessed the worst heavyweight title fight of my life.  Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov should be ashamed of themselves and offer public apologies, if not partial refunds to those who paid to enter Madison Square Garden last Saturday.  If that bout didn't inspire fight fans to see more of Sam Peter and less of the tentative heavyweight titlists, I don't know what will.  Then, Mayweather Jr. announced that he's facing the biggest opponent of his career.  Unfortunately, the 7 foot, 430 pound gentleman that he's challenging participates in acting, not real fighting.  Therefore, 2008 will be another year that Mayweather can
remain safe from Miguel Cotto's debilitating body punches.  I promise you that Cotto will never participate in WWE, WWF, or any other form of phony combat.   Thankfully, he's a welterweight champion that maintains pride in his work.  Last year, Oscar De La Hoya promised that he would provide "A Fight For The Fans."  This week he formally announced that he's facing Steve Forbes at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on May 3rd.  After clearly stating that his alleged last three bouts of his career would be "legacy defining," starting with either Hatton, Mayweather, or Cotto, it's safe to say that the Golden One has successfully pulled off another bait and switch.  Not all of us will be clamoring for Oscar to return in 2009.

That brings me to Gary Shaw.  He didn't name this Saturday's bout at the Home Depot Center "A Fight For The Fans" but I think he should have, instead of Oscar's facade.  No, "Final Confrontation" is understated, but honest.  There won't be a fake retirement party after the fight or anyone throwing out dollar bills to the press.  Mr. Shaw might not be as popular as Mayweather or wealthy as De La Hoya, but he is just as important to the sport of boxing.  I want to
personally thank Gary for delivering something worthwhile this weekend for true fight fans, instead of trying to take advantage of our emotions.  Whether we want to admit it or not, all fight fans prefer a good ole fashioned slug fest.  Sure, an entertaining press conference is good once in a while, but I think they generally occur to camouflage a boring match up.  I find it odd that most of the great fights over the last decade were usually prefaced with respectful pressers, while the snoozers were accompanied with endless macho and bravado talk leading up to the show.

Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez 3 will not be boring, not even for one round.  After winning Fight of the Year honors in 2007, these two warriors will battle for 122 pound supremacy one last time, March 1, 2008. Showtime Championship Boxing will televise for those unable to attend the sure-fire barnburner.  Despite the fact that others have spoken louder this week, don't be fooled by the manufactured hype.  Right now, there's only one fight for boxing fans to get excited about and we don't need to be tricked, prompted, or manipulated.  In fact, we don't even have to fork over PPV dollars.  I know where I'll be this Saturday and I invite all boxing fans to join me.

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