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February 14, 2008

Nacho Beristain

Rafael Marquez

Gary Shaw

Israel Vazquez

Scott Woodworth

GARY SHAW: I'd like to thank all the reporters for being on this call. It truly is a tremendous trilogy of two A+ fighters. I don't remember for a long, long while if there's ever been a trilogy of this magnitude.
A special thank you to Jaime Quintana from Romanza, my partner, Scott Woodworth, from the Sycuan. Scott and I now and Jaime, this is our third go-around with this fight with these two great fighters, and I think everybody is going to be in for a tremendous night of boxing.
The end of the trilogy, everybody knows what they've done before, so there's not much to talk about. They're both going to come in the ring, and in my opinion the one who makes the first mistake will probably lose the fight. These are two fighters that are A+ that are so evenly matched that these fights will go down in history.
We're proud that it's for not only the Ring Belt but the WBC Champion, but more than anything I believe that this is a people's fight and one that is tremendous for boxing. Everybody knows the one fight of the year, one round of the year is everything that boxing should be about, so hats off to Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, two great warriors, and to Scott Woodworth, a tremendous, tremendous partner throughout this series, and my partner Jaime Quintana from Romanza.
Please come out, please write what this fight is about, about the two great fighters that they are, about the great two fights that they put on, and a trilogy that's going to probably be the same as fight 1 and 2.
So on behalf of all the promoters, I want to thank you, and if Scott or Jaime want to say something, I welcome them to say something. Thank you so very much.
SCOTT WOODWORTH: I just would echo Gary's thoughts exactly. There's not much for us to say about it. These two guys do all the talking in the ring.

Q. First question is actually for Gary. I mean, as a promoter, obviously you guys are always trying to put on the best fights possible, but you've got something here that's a road we haven't been down in a long time. Obviously Arturo Gatti-Mickey Ward trilogy was fantastic, but these two have put on something very special. As a promoter, how proud are you to be involved in something like this?
GARY SHAW: I appreciate the question. I don't know that I can honestly put it in words. You know, I don't want to get emotional and I don't want to talk like a promoter, but to be a part of history, because I believe this trilogy will be history. I can tell you at the end of the round of the year of the second fight, what I will remember is Scott Woodworth behind me banging me on the shoulder pulling me up by my neck off the chair, saying, "can you believe this, can you believe this." Now, that's a promoter of the opponent to my fighter, a promoter that we are against one another, and he's banging me and lifting me up and can't believe it.
Those are the memories that I'll always have of these two fighters that have huge hearts, that -- I did the first Mickey Ward-Arturo Gatti when I was with Main Events, and not taking anything away from Arturo Gatti, not taking anything away from Mickey Ward, but when they had that trilogy they were not A+ fighters.
These are A+ fighters, and I thank you for the question. The only thing that I can tell you is forever in my history in boxing, and I've been around it since 1971, I will never forget these three fights, and the third fight hasn't even happened yet.

Q. Rafael, I wanted to ask you your thoughts on the second fight. In your opinion what changed from the first fight? What was it that made that a tougher opponent for you?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: The only thing I can tell you, in the first fight I did many great things. I did my fight. And in the second fight I just made a lot of mistakes, and Vazquez took advantage of those. He's a great fighter, he's a tough fighter. That's what I can tell you. He took advantage of the second fight and he won it, and now I'm just waiting for this third one so I can bring my title back to Mexico.

Q. I agree with Gary's sentiments, really looking forward to this trilogy. I want to ask both Israel and Rafael, you guys obviously know each other in the ring very, very well. You split the first two fights. First to Israel, you've had the rematches and trilogies before. How are you going to approach this fight differently from the first fight, or do you want to have it come out the same way and do you want to approach it the same way as the second fight?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: There is a big difference between my other opponents and Rafael Marquez. Obviously one of them is the fact that Rafael was coming up in weight for our first fight, and from that point on, which actually caught me by surprise because he was stepping up in class.
This is obviously a much bigger fight than any other fight that I have with the same opponents because Rafael Marquez is a highly rated opponent. He's not -- and he's a great challenger and he's a great fighter. I will obviously prepare myself thinking about it, and I have been preparing myself from the first fight that we had, considering the fact that he is such a great Mexican fighter. We'll be ready for this fight on March the 1st and putting it all on the line.

Q. And Rafael, obviously you won the first fight and Israel won the second fight. How do you want to approach this third fight differently, because obviously you want to be able to win this final battle?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: Well, I can tell you that I'm working on many things that I need to work on to win against Vazquez. Obviously I can't disclose what I have done, but everything will be fine. I'm going to be ready. I'm going to be physically and mentally ready for that fight.
I've said it, it won't be an exception for this fight; all of us are going to be ready for this fight, and that's all I can tell you. Let's hope to win that third fight.

Q. And last thing to both guys; everybody, as Gary said, is expecting another war. Are you guys both calm at this point, or what is your mood right now?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Well, I am very focused on this fight. Physically I am 100 percent. Mentally I'm very relaxed. Overall what I think -- the winner of this fight is going to be the public, and that's independently of who wins. Obviously I want to win the fight, but I know Rafael Marquez very well, I know what he's capable of, I know what I'm capable of. But this fight is the fight for the people. That's why we're doing it again.

Q. Rafael, do you want to make a comment on that, just what your mood is at this point?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: No, not at all. I'm not nervous at all about this fight. I've been taking care of myself very well, and I'm focused on the fight. There's no nerves about that. I know Israel Vazquez very well so I'm waiting for March 1st to have a great fight. Obviously those are the ones that are the winners, the fans.

Q. I agree with those sentiments. Thank you very much, and good luck on March 1st.

Q. This is a question for Nacho Beristain. The question is whether you can speak to the difference between a Mexican fighter and a Mexican-American fighter.
NACHO BERISTAIN: Well, there's a big difference. The Mexicans, they give more than 100 percent to the fan, to the public. Vazquez and Marquez are not an exception. They give everything in the ring, and in this upcoming fight it's going to be a great fight.

Q. What's going to be the difference in this third fight obviously compared to the first and second?
NACHO BERISTAIN: Well, I don't see anything that's going to be a difference. It's going to be a war. The first two fights were wars, and I don't see this third one any different; it will be a war. They're going to give everything in the ring, and I'm just hoping that Marquez makes a little bit different fight than he did in the second one so we can have access to victory. That's what we are working on, victory.

Q. Gary, you were talking about the other fights than this one, but maybe closer to the Latino community here. How close is this to the Castillo-Corrales trilogy?
GARY SHAW: Well, it's kind of different. Castillo-Corrales was one fight which was a great fight, and one specific round which was like having an out-of-body experience. But it wasn't the trilogy. It was a lot of drama to Corrales and Castillo, but it was only one tremendous round that made that fight, that made Corrales and Castillo.
This is different. This is two true Mexicanos fighting one another for the glory of their country, for the glory of themselves that I believe have left everything in fights 1 and 2 on the canvas, and that's why the real winners, as someone said before, have been the fans.
I don't think this trilogy in my mind can be compared to anything. I think this may go down as the greatest -- we won't know obviously until after March 1st. But if I know both fighters like I think I do, and I know the camps and the trainers and everyone else, I believe that this might go down as the greatest trilogy of all time.

Q. The question is for both fighters, and it's whether the future plans going beyond this fight, if you will try to unify a title at 122 pounds.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Obviously I would like to do so, go after the unification of the title. Also I would try to move up and face Linares at 126 pounds if he's still the champion. However, first things first, it's going to be March 1st. I'm confident enough that I can win that fight one more time, but I have to obviously wait until that time comes.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: There's no plans for me after March 1st. I mean, I've got to focus on March 1st, and that's all I can tell you. I'm just focusing on Israel Vazquez.

Q. This question goes actually to either guy, Rafael or Israel. The first fight, Rafael, you stopped him in the seventh round; Israel, in the second fight you stopped him in the sixth. Now are the plans going to be are you going to stop any less than that? Is it going to end in the fifth round or less? Do you have any prediction, or do you feel like this is going to go less than six rounds?
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: The only thing I can tell you is that we are strong fighters and we are tough fighters, so this will not end up before the 12th. That's all I can tell you.
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: Well, the first time I made a prediction for the first time, it didn't turn out my way, so I don't want to make any predictions for this particular fight. All of you know us, exactly who we are. You've seen us twice. We are great Mexican warriors, and although I expect a fierce battle again, I see that this could end before the 12 rounds. But I don't want to give any round predictions.

Q. This question is for both fighters. I wanted to know, with such high expectations going into this fight, especially after the first two fights, do you feel any kind of pressure to put on the same kind of fistic display, a different display than the first two?
ISRAEL VAZQUEZ: I really don't have any pressure. Our styles combined each other and made up for a very good fight. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm going to try my best to hurt him round after round after round so I'm able to obtain the victory. That's my main concern, trying to hurt him round by round.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ: No, I don't feel any pressure. What you're going to see in the ring is a warrior, a warrior that wants his title back. That's all you're going to see, one great fight.

Q. I have a quick question for Gary. The second fight between Israel and Rafael was nominated for Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association, and that vote hasn't been finished yet, although I voted for it personally. Do you think this third fight is getting the proper attention from the boxing and mainstream media that it deserves?
GARY SHAW: I think it will. I think every fight has a buildup. You've got Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor this week. Once that fight is out of the way, yes, I think people know that this fight is there. There's a real fight. Would I like it to get even more attention? Yes, obviously. But you know, at the end of the day, it's 122 pounds, and lighter weights always seem harder to get a lot of attention to. It seems you have to be 130 or more to start getting real attention.
At the end of the day, and I appreciate your question, I know that I will have been at ringside for three of the greatest fights in the history of boxing. I know I will have seen two of the greatest warriors Mexicanos ever in the history of boxing. No matter what happens, nobody can take that away from me.
I know Jaime Quintana from Romanza and Scott Woodworth and I did the best we could to promote these guys and get them paid like they should be paid for the warriors that they are. So I'm proud of all three promotions and I'm proud of all my promotional partners, and I'm especially proud of the two fighters that I'm associated with.
I just want to thank Showtime for sticking with this trilogy and being a part of the trilogy. I just want to let everybody know that this Saturday, February 16th, is a great mix of martial arts on Showtime with Kimbo Slice against Tank Abbott. We have this great fight, and then we're going to follow up on March 8th with a cage fight out of London.
And then obviously April 12th a great double-header for really four great light heavyweights in Antonio Tarver and Clinton Woods and Chad Dawson against Glen Johnson. Two of those fighters are going to move forward, so Showtime, thank you so much for putting on these great fights, and especially for being the broadcaster of the Fight of the Year, the Round of the Year and the greatest trilogy in the history of boxing at this weight class.

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