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SHOWTIME SPORTS MEDIA CONFERENCE
July 25, 2007
The slugfest that was Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez will continue on Saturday, Aug. 4, live on SHOWTIME when World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight world champion Marquez makes his first 122-pound title defense against the belt's previous owner, Vazquez in "La VENGANZA!" at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
This is the highly anticipated rematch of an exhilarating, toe-to-toe, give-and-take battle that ended prematurely with Marquez (37-3, 33 KOs) forcing Vazquez (41-4, 31 KOs) to retire on his stool with a broken nose after the seventh round.
Also on the card presented by Gary Shaw Productions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions in association with Romanza Productions and Golden Boy Promotions is World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight Champion Celestino Caballero defending his title against Jorge Lacierva.
The world championship doubleheader will be televised on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets, priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100, $200, are on sale through all Ticketmaster outlets and on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets also may be purchased at the Dodge Arena box office Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (central time) plus the day of the event, online at www.dodgearena.com, or by phone at 956-668-7740.
GARY SHAW: Thank you very much. Thank you everyone for joining us. I'm going to make this real brief and real quick. I didn't have to say anything about Rafael Marquez or Isreal Vazquez. Everybody who has seen that fight or heard about that fight knows it was beyond a terrific fight.
And on August 4th on SHOWTIME it's chapter two; SHOWTIME wants to call it Round 8. The fight was for the people and now these are two great fighters, but the card is even better than the fight because in the opening fight you have Caballero against Lacierva, and for the WBA 122-pound championship, we technically have two 122-pound World Championships going on simultaneously, probably the winners going to meet one another.
So what I'm told is that Marquez Vazquez could turn into a trilogy because everybody knows the way they fight. I want to thank you for being here. I want to thank the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo for hosting us, obviously SHOWTIME and Ken Herschman for being a great supporter of myself and the fighters I represent. I want to thank you on behalf of my co-promoter, Sycaun, and his promotional company, Romanza, we are open for questions.
Q. Rafael Marquez, welcome to the call. Can we get some comments.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: I would like to say thank you to everybody and thank you for this press conference.
Q. Israel, can you give us some opening comments for this fight.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen and I just wanted to say that I'm ready to defend my title.
Q. Rafael, what do you remember about the first fight and especially about getting knocked down and coming back to win? What do you remember most about that fight?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Like I always said, Vazquez is a hell of a fighter, excellent fighter. He punches hard and he proves it. I just got up. For this fight I'm preparing a lot better. For the first fight that they changed, I trained for four weeks. But I'm training hard. I'll be ready so I can get my title and still keep it.
Q. What do you mean they changed, the date changed?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Last time the date changed. It was for a month later, and they moved it a month earlier the first time. And I cut off training four weeks.
Q. Israel, what do you remember about the first fight and you broke your nose or your nose was broken in the early rounds? How difficult was it, because a fight with a broken nose and also to cope with the fact that you lost the title the way you did?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I had great difficulty that night fighting with a broken nose. It was tough. I was unable to breathe. It was a tough night and a difficult loss. I feel good now. My nose feels good. I'm ready to come back and take back the title. I feel really good right now.
Q. I want to clarify this thing about the broken nose, and pardon my ignorance, but I had heard afterward that your nose did not turn out to be broken. Can you clarify that for me?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: The condition was some kind of a metabolic blockage. The doctor's diagnosis was that the left nostril was completely closed. The right nostril was only 10 percent available for breathing.
Q. Israel, both fighters have said going into the fight they were willing to die in the ring for the title. Israel, you changed your mind somewhere during that fight. Do you have any regrets that you didn't live up to that?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: My first concern always has to be, and for all fighters has to be for their health. If I had decided to stay in there and let myself die, I wouldn't have a second opportunity and have an opportunity for this rematch.
Q. Rafael, do you feel now that you have a large psychological advantage over Israel based on what happened in the first fight?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: No, not really. I don't look at it that way. I don't see that I have any advantage at all. Every fight is a tough fight with a tough fighter. I see it that way. I prepare myself the best because I know he's coming for the title. I'm going to defend the title that I have right now with everything I've got like always. I'll prepare myself for everything.
And what is sure is that I'll support people are going to see a great fight in the ring, two warriors inside the ring. We'll do everything to recover the title and for me to defend it.
Q. Rafael, at any point in the fight were you aware that Israel might have had problems with breathing and problems with his nose?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Yes, I noticed that when I got up, I just noticed that he was having problems breathing. But then I didn't let it affect me. He could have stopped the fight earlier, but he decided to go all the way to 7. He couldn't go no more, but he showed that he was hurt in the first round and he continued to 7.
Q. Israel, a lot of people when they hear a rematch are going on think a rematch is going to be similar to the first fight. Although you've disproved that in the three fights you had, for example, with Oscar Larios. How do you expect this fight to be different and what do you want to be able to do this time to win this fight with Rafael?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Thank you for the comments. That motivates me. I'm going to use all my intelligence and hunger to regain the title, to hold it in my hands once more. The comments of the people and the opinion of the people motivates me a great deal and it helps me to seek perfection on the 4th of August in the ring.
Q. Rafael, how do you see this fight coming down and turning out compared to the first fight? Do you expect something similar to the first fight?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: I just see for this fight to be as the same fight. But the difference is the first fight I prepared for five weeks. Now I'm preparing myself for about 10, 12 weeks. It's going to be a good fight. The difference is going to be more conditioning. It will be the same fight or tougher as the first one. I'll be ready for it.
Q. Rafael or Israel, do you want to make a prediction for the fight?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: It's an accomplishment. When I fight, accomplishment is going to come. And I know in my heart, believe that he needs to be beat he used to (inaudible) and I'm going to knock him out. I know he's going to be a knock out in the fight, and I'm just -- I'm ready to fight even 15 rounds.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: The only prediction is I'm going to win.
Q. Israel, you didn't have a ton of time between the end of the first fight and the time you had to start camp for the rematch. Was there any apprehension about your nose not being able to hold up in camp or anything like that or did you feel completely comfortable with how the nose was feeling at that point?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Actually, the one who should worry is Rafael. Not at all, I'm not concerned. There's no need to be concerned. The results and diagnosis of the doctor have been very encouraging. Thank God it wasn't a dangerous condition. But I've been able to continue with sparring. Things are going very well. In fact, if it weren't that people would stop and ask me how my nose is feeling, I would have forgotten that I had a problem.
Q. What actually caused your nostrils to be completely blocked and 90 percent blocked in the other one? What was the reason for that, the diagnosis that the doctor gave you?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: There was already inflammation. There was a delicacy in the bones, weakness because of numerous hits that caused additional inflammation and additional inflammation which eventually ended up causing the blockage.
Q. Rafael, do you think that Israel's nose is going to be a liability in this fight or are you approaching it as if he's completely healthy?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: No, the nose, it won't be a factor there. I'm just going to do my best, I really do. I'll do in the ring whatever I'm trained to do in the ring for that fight, for that night. And I'm just going to prepare for victory.
Q. Question for both fighters. Do you feel any obligation to not only in this fight but every fight, to come to fight and to give the fans a good show?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Actually, I do feel tremendous sense of obligation. The public pays money to -- whether sit there or watch the fight. And it's extremely important that I give it my all each and every round. Even though it's very important, I want to give a good performance because I want to look good and I want to make sure that I come through for the public.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Not only do I feel obligated, responsible to give everything in the ring so I can please the public, so I can please my fans. And obviously that's why I prepare myself the way I do. Because I want to compete and do my best and prepare myself mentally and physically the way I do.
Q. Rafael, could you talk about your training regimen. I think a few minutes ago you said you take 10 to 12 weeks to train. Could you go into a little bit of detail what kind of exercises you're going through, how many rounds you're sparring and how many hours you're putting in and so on?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: As you know, I do my training in Toluca, Mexico, for conditioning. I do my boxing training in Mexico City with Ignacio Beristain, and I'm sparring six rounds, eight rounds. I do exercises and workouts in the gym with heavy box, big box. It's a long time I've been feeling like this. I feel excellent. I think I've got the speed. I've got the conditioning and I've got the strength for this fight. So I have everything. I have all the elements to please the public, to please the fans and to put on a great fight that night.
Q. After 13 years of being a professional boxer, how do you stay dedicated and go through all the heavy training?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Since I was little I liked to box. That's what keeps me motivated. I like to become a lot better, to do a lot more things in boxing.
And I just like it. I just like it. That's why I take it seriously, because I know that I have a big responsibility once I get into the ring and with me with the fans, with the public, everybody involved in boxing, they believe I am a good boxer, and I just take it seriously. That's why I prepare myself the way I do.
Q. Is it tougher making the weight at 122 pounds as you get older?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: No, usually no. I didn't have a problem with 118 at that time. Obviously I take good care of myself. I'm two pounds over, a little more than that. It's a week before the fight. I just feel great. The problem is not going to be -- weight is not going to be a problem.
Q. Rafael, the fact that you and your brother are world champions, there aren't that many others in boxing these days that are World Champions. In fact, I can't think of any others except the Marquez brothers. How does that make you feel to be the only brothers to hold World titles?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: I feel great. I feel excellent. My brother and me, we train together. We run together many times. We help each other and motivate each other. As I told you before, we take this seriously. We go into the ring, anything can happen. You put your life in their hands. And we know that.
So I feel happy because my brother is a world champion. He feels happy because I'm a champion. We prepare the way we prepare because we like to be like that, become champions and become history.
Q. Israel, overall, considering the nose injury, what percent do you feel you thought you were at during that fight? 100? 80 percent?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Actually, only half. I was not able to concentrate once I started feeling the discomfort. And then the discomfort turned to pain. The pain was really very intense. So having the pain in the nose, I wasn't focused on the fight as I should have been. I wasn't able to throw the punches the way I wanted to.
I feel everything was totally thrown off -- I was thrown off my whole plan. But this time I really believe in my heart that this is going to be very different. I'm ready and in good condition. The doctors have given me a good diagnosis. I feel very positive going to the 4th of August.
Q. Do you consider that last fight, that Marquez beat you or that the injury played more of a part in that, in that you beat yourself because of the injury?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I have to give Rafael all the credit. He deserves the win. He deserves the victory. I don't want to take anything away from him. I'm looking at going into this fight being able to give more of myself and I'm focused. My nose is healed. I feel well and if anything were to go wrong I'd still have to give it my all because I'm determined to win back the title.
Q. Isreal, I wanted to confirm exactly what round it was that your nose began to bother you. I believe you said the first, but I want to check that.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I feel that the injury came in the first round when I felt the punch, felt the pain. But the real discomfort started in the second round, and going up there -- the second, third, fourth, fifth rounds, they were really, really tough.
Q. Do you feel you're getting the respect you deserve?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Like I said, I go into the rink to box my opponents. To knock him out if possible, to give a great show to the public. That's what I've been doing throughout my life. Knocking out my opponents or at least punch them so I can become a winner. That's the way boxing is. Usually, no, boxers, they fight a lot and I like to show respect inside the ring, but I like to make myself respected from my opponents.
Q. You do or do not feel like you're getting the respect?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: I feel that I'm not. Boxers talk a lot.
Q. Israel, when you're talking about the nose injury, are you using it as an excuse or are you talking about it as a fact?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I don't want to even think about what others are saying at this point. I don't want to focus on what other people are thinking, whether I've used this as an excuse or this is a fact. Everyone knows that it is a fact. But on August 4th I'm going to remove all doubts. There won't be any questions. There won't be any reservations or any mystery. It will be very, very clear and I will make it clear.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: I just would like to tell all the people that that night you'll see an even better Rafael Marquez, faster, stronger, more accurate, and I'm going to provide -- I'm going to give a great show that night to the fans, to the media, to all the people involved in boxing. They're going to see a great Rafael Marquez inside that ring because I know Isreal Vazquez is a tough fighter. But I know I have to be prepared to put on a great show.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: First of all, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to participate in this conference call. I am very grateful and have a lot of gratitude to take this next fight, this rematch to be a very important fight, which to me it is. And I will be able to demonstrate why I've been speaking so much about how I'm going to fight on August the 4th. I want to finally prove what happened in the first fight was real. There were no pretexts. There are no excuses. And I am looking forward to the opportunity of demonstrating how I am, who I am and you'll see the results on August 4th and I'm grateful for the participation.
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