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Monday, February 25, 2008
NO HOLDS BARRED: Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez 3 Preview, Wladimir Klitschko-Sultan Ibragimov Review
On this edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, host Eddie Goldman reviews one of the worst heavyweight fights in years, the title unification bout between Wladimir Klitschko (50-3, 44 KOs) and Sultan Ibragimov (22-1-1, 17 KOs), held February 23 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The IBF champion Klitschko won by unanimous decision also to capture the WBO title.
We provide a scathing review of it and analyze the significance of this enormously dull affair, which was roundly booed by the fans.
After the fight, we conducted interviews with Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, the Klitschkos' promotional company; Leon Margules of Seminole Warriors Boxing, which promotes Ibragimov; former world champion Vitali Klitschko about his plans to return to the ring; and promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank about whom middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik will next face. We also have the audio from entire postfight news conference with Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov.
While these heavyweights sent them home booing or snoring, this coming Saturday, March 1, the final contest in one of boxing's most compelling recent trilogies will take place when WBC super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez (42-4, 31 KOs) faces former world champion Rafael Marquez (37-4, 33 KOs).
When these two first fought last March, that fight, won by Marquez by a seventh-round TKO, was an instant frontrunner for fight of the year – until their second fight last August. Vazquez gained revenge by winning with a sixth-round TKO in a fight so filled with action that it eclipsed even their first battle.
Now this Saturday these two will meet again, this time, like their first fight, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Showtime will televise it in the U.S.
We spoke with Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez on a recent media teleconference call. We also spoke with promoter Gary Shaw about the importance of this fight.
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