In a rematch of a leading candidate for Fight of the Year, Rafael Marquez will defend his WBC super bantamweight title against former champion Israel Vazquez this Saturday, Aug. 4, on Showtime at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo , Tex.
In the first half of a Showtime Championship Boxing telecast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast), Vazquez’ Sycuan Ringside Promotions’ stablemate, WBA 122-pound titleholder Celestino Caballero, will defend against Jorge Lacierva.
The world championship doubleheader is presented by Gary Shaw Productions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions.
Here is what Vazquez and Caballero said after their open media workouts Wednesday:
Israel Vazquez:“I want to thank everyone who is worried about me, my health and my nose. Independently what has been said has only served to motivate me more and make me a better fighter. I am totally focused and expect to fight the best fight of my career on Saturday.
“I feel great. Fans will see on Saturday that my nose is perfect and that it will not betray me. Fans will forget about my nose after this fight and I will not have to answer any more questions about it.
“I am 100 percent confident and focused on regaining my WBC title.
“Marquez is one of the best fighters I have fought, but he is not the best. He got his hand raised in our first fight last March, but that doesn’t mean he won. (My nose injury) had as much to do with the result of that fight as anything he did.
“The last fight, it wasn’t me in there. Marquez will see me Saturday. I am excited and ready to go. The people who believe in me have always believed I would come back. This fight is dedicated to them.’’
Celestino Caballero:“I am definitely excited about fighting on Showtime. This is really a great opportunity for me to get exposure and for fans to get to know me as a fighter and as a person.
“I won’t overlook my opponent, but I am always looking to the future. I want a unification fight. I am not getting 100 percent respect from the fans or the media, which is why this fight is so important to me.
“I definitely want to make a statement and open some eyes. I do not put pressure or myself but there is no question I want to win and look impressive. I want everybody to know that I should be mentioned with the bigger names and champions in my division â€“ like (WBO titleholder Daniel “ Ponce ”) DeLeon or the Marquez-Vazquez winner.
“The best way to do that is to look good on Saturday. One of the greatest qualities God gave me as a person was patience, so I am not frustrated that I have been overlooked so much. But I do believe this is my time, and I will prove it is my time if I get the chance."
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.