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Vazquez-Marquez IV transcript

Earlier today, three-time World Champion Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez, two-division world champion Rafael Marquez, undefeated IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy Perez and unbeaten top-rated contender Abner Mares participated in a media conference call to discuss their upcoming fights on May 22 at Staples Center on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING LIVE at 9 P.M. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME®. Here’s what the fighters had to say:

ISRAEL VAZQUEZ

“I have a lot of gratitude for the fans for sticking by me because I’ve been out for such a long time. And there’s still an interest in this fight. I’ve prepared myself just like I did for the first three fights. There’s no exception this is going to be a tough fight. Rafael requires that much preparation because he’s such a great fighter.

“I think we surprised everybody with how great the first three fights were. No one expected them to be so great. We surprised everybody and we surprised ourselves. And more than anything we treated the fans. I still get stopped in the street and people say, ‘Hey, are you going to fight him again.’ And, ‘When are you going to fight him again?’ So I have to thank the fans because without them there wouldn’t be a fourth fight.”

Is it an advantage to have fought three times before?

“I think it cancels out. We know each other very well. We know each other’s strengths and we know each other’s weaknesses. And it’s our job to do what we have to do and it’s our job to prevent the other guy from doing what they have to do. We’re fighters. I know I’ve stayed in the gym and I know that Rafa stays in the gym so rust cannot set it.

“I’ve had big fights that have taken a lot out of me but I still feel good. I feel fine going into the ring and that’s why I’m still fighting. Obviously you get motivated by the fans and you get motivated by the money. I’m finally making some good money now. If I can feel the way I feel now I’ll keep fighting till I’m 50 years old. But I still feel good physically.”

Is it a negative or a positive to know each other so well?

“I see it as a positive. You’re right, it can be a negative as well but I see it as a positive. I know his tendencies. I know where to attack him from. The negatives you can always correct them. You can go back and fix what you didn’t do right. How well are we going to be able to execute what we’ve been working on? And how will we hold up physically? How much did those past fight take out of us? Those are the questions that will be answered.”

Is this going to close the Vazquez-Marquez book?

“That’s a good question. Sometimes you get motivated by the money. And it’s very good money we’re getting paid. I’m just thinking of the fourth fight right now and I’m going to give it my all and go out with a big hurrah. Part of the reason I’m doing this is for the fans and I just want to make a great fight for the fans.”

What is your motivation for this fight?

“The money is great but we work hard for it. We just want to make a great fight. We’ve prepared ourselves to lay it all on the line and give it all we’ve got in that ring. My motivation is to shut those naysayers mouths. They say I shouldn’t be fighting anymore. I want to shut their mouths and let them know that I can still make great fights. All I’ve got to do is make a great, spectacular fight on the 22nd. One thing I know is that Rafa and I might be in wheelchairs one day but we’ll still be throwing punches and battling from our wheelchairs.”

RAFAEL MARQUEZ

“It’s going to be a great fight. Just like the other three. I can’t wait to get in the ring. It’s going to be a spectacle. Israel is a good fighter and that’s the kind of fights that we make. We’re here to please the fans and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Is it an advantage to have fought three times before?

“I agree with Israel. I think it cancels out. I’m always training; either running or in the gym working out. It’s going to be a great fight on the 22nd. It cancels out. We both know each other very well.”

What are Israel’s strengths? What are his weaknesses?

“What I can say about Israel is that Israel is a great fighter. He’s very strong. He’s resilient. He hits hard and he’s proven he can come back when he’s down on points. He can always come back and win a fight. I’ve always said that he’s a great fighter and that he really has no weaknesses. I feel that’s why I accepted to fight him the first time. I said I only want to fight the best and that’s why I agreed to fight him the first time. He’s just a very good fighter.

“I still feel physically fine. The only thing that’s different with me this time is I’m more mature. And that’s with any fight; you keep learning. You keep maturing mentally. The only difference between me this time and last is I have matured mentally and I know what it takes to win.”

Is it a negative or a positive to know each other so well?

“I agree with Israel it’s a little positive and it’s a little negative but you can correct your mistakes. That’s one of the keys to this fight. Who will be able to execute.”

Is this going to close the Vazquez-Marquez book?

“It’s up to the fans. We do this for the fans. They are the ones who decide. This fourth fight was in demand because the fans wanted to see it. I leave it up to fans. If they want to see it then we have to leave it up to the fans.”

YONNHY PEREZ

“I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity to defend my title and I want to thank SHOWITME for putting me on the airwaves again. I came back from Colombia after my championship which was in October. I took a couple of months off and stayed with my family in Cartagena. I came back in January and that’s when I started preparing for this fight. I knew back then that I was going to face Abner Mares. So it’s been a long term and long camp for me. I’m going to be more than ready and I can’t wait for May 22nd.”

Is it tough to face such a good friend?

“This is part of our job. This is what Abner and I do for a living. And the most important thing is that this is a competition. He wants to win and I want to win too. The only thing left is to determine who is the better fighter on May 22nd. That won’t change who we are. We’re going to be the same people before the fight and we’re going to be the same people after the fight. As a matter of fact, it will become a more interesting story down the line. It’s not going to change who we are as human beings. We won’t be the same friends; we’ll probably be better friends than what we were before.

“No doubt there are two great bouts on this card and four great fighters. We might be able to steal the show. I don’t know for sure. I know I’m prepared to give my best. I will do my fight and be smart in the ring and one thing I can guarantee everybody is that I will give it my all.

“It’s true I had two big fights in 2009 with wins over Mabuza and Agbeko, but this is a big challenge for me. Because I have to defend my title and I have to defend it well. I know the Mexican fans will be there to support Abner Mares. But it’s also going to be my chance, although I’ve fought in the L.A. area before, to show everyone on a bigger scope what I’m capable of and how good of a champion I am.”

ABNER MARES

“I’m just extremely happy. I’m overjoyed and excited. I’m just hyped. I’m obviously not nervous I’m just overjoyed and excited for this fight and to show the world what Abner Mares is capable of doing in the ring. You guys know a lot about Yonnhy. He showed what he was all about in 2009 and I think it’s my turn to show people what Abner Mares is all about in 2010.

“My and Yonnhy first met back at the Central American Games in San Salvador. We fought there and thank God we won there. I saw him again at a tournament in Venezuela and he beat me there. From then on we started talking. While we were there he introduced himself and I introduced myself. I remember he said he liked my red boxing shoes and I remember he asked me how much I got them for and I told him how much. And he said, ‘Wow, that’s expensive. How can I get some?’ I just gave him the shoes and said, ‘Just keep them. You beat me and you’re a good fighter.’ And that was it. Then we fought at the Pan-American Games and thank God I beat him there at Santa Domingo. And we just talked and he asked me about living in the States and if I knew someone who could help him out as far as someone getting him into the pros and so that’s how I introduced him to my Dad.”

Does Yonnhy’s experience fighting the two guys he did in 2009 give him an advantage?

“I certainly don’t think it does. He said once he was in the position I was before he fought Mabuza. He hadn’t fought any main fighters yet. He won. He beat him and then he fought Agbeko and he won again. But it doesn’t really matter. He could’ve fought the best fighters out there but now he’s facing Abner Mares. It’s a big difference.

“I was already 118 (pounds) and he was 118 and I just knew sooner or later we were going to face each other. This is our business and inside of the ring we’re going to be worst enemies but outside of the ring we’re going to be the best of friends.

“I can’t say how I’m going to beat Yohnny. You’re going to have to wait until the 22nd. He’s a fighter who doesn’t stop throwing. He’s just keeps coming forward. He’s in the best of shape and just never stops. There is a way to beat anyone out there.

“No disrespect to Israel or Rafael; we’re going to do our best not to steal the show but just to give a good show to the audience. I think both fights are going to be great.”

GARY SHAW (Gary Shaw Productions)

“(The fight between Perez and Mares) has special meaning because there is a bond between Abner Mares and Yonnhy Perez. Yonnhy Perez knows what he has to do. He knows this is a job. Abner Mares is not the person he would have chose to fight because of their relationship. But I believe this has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it.

“We all work for the money. The difference is the fans of boxing fans are the benefactors of these guys’ hard work; of them risking their lives. I haven’t heard any naysayers. I haven’t read it. I haven’t seen it. So, I think I these guys should be congratulated for their willingness to go back not once, not twice or three times but a fourth time after one another. The fans of boxing are really luck to have this. They are two great fighters and two great sportsmen and two great guys outside and inside the ring. On May 22nd all the fans will get their money’s worth and all you reporters will get your storyline.

DAVID ITSKOWITCH (Golden Boy Promotions)

“Someone once said to me when we were involved with the Gatti-Ward fights that we’re a part of history. I know we all get caught up in the details of promoting a show but one thing we should all do is sit back and realize we’re part of boxing history with these fights. I think that’s something great and that nobody should miss this fourth fight.”

* * *

The historic doubleheader is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions, Espinoza Boxing Promotions and Zanfer Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. Tickets, priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25 are available online at ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000. Tickets are also available at the STAPLES Center Box Office.




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