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“Fast” Fres Oquendo To Take Part In Heavyweight “Prizefighter” On May 7th

By James Slater: Currently sparring with WBA heavyweight champ David Haye as he gets himself ready for his upcoming fight with Wladimir Klitschko, contender “Fast” Fres Oquendo has been confirmed as a participant in the “Heavyweights International, Prizefighter” show on May 7th. Set for London the same night as Manny Pacquiao faces Shane Mosley in Las Vegas (both events to be shown live on Sky Sports), the eight-man tourney might just suit the experienced Puerto Rican well.

According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Oquendo’s name was put forward by Haye, who, having sparred so many rounds with the 38-year-old, felt his talents deserved a shot at winning the cash and the trophy that goes along with it.

“Adam [Booth] made the call, saying that David thought Fres deserved a shot at Prizefighter,” Hearn said. “Fres has been in with some of the biggest names in boxing and how can I turn down a request from our own heavyweight champion?”

Oquendo, with Haye, has been working out at Angelo Dundee’s legendary 5th Street Gym in Miami, and he will be in great shape for the May 7th show as a result. With fellow confirmed names: Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, Mike Perez, Michael Sprott and Konstantin Airich all set to try and win next month (three other names still to be announced now that Ireland’s Martin Rogan has declined to enter), Oquendo will be part of a good line up.

Last seen losing yet another close, debatable decision, this one to former WBC champ Oliver McCall, Oquendo, 32-7(21) put on a performance that suggests he is far from finished. Before the December 2010 split decision loss, “The Big O” lost an even more controversial decision to Frenchman Jean Marc Mormeck. Though scored as a ten-round UD for “The Marksman,” many felt the verdict should have gone to Oquendo.

It has been a long, long time since Oquendo was stopped - way back in 2004, to be exact. Only John Ruiz and the murderous punching David Tua (how would he be for an exciting entrant in “Prizefighter!”) have managed to halt the durable Oquendo, and it seems highly unlikely any of the thus far named “Prizefighters” will be able to stop him in a three-rounder. But can Fres, sometimes a slow starter, get enough points in the bag to win in three-rounds?

Not a big puncher, Oquendo may not be able to blast out any of his May 7th opponents any more than they will be able to blast him out. A lot may depend on who Oquedno gets matched with in his initial fight: if Fres wins that, his confidence will surely grow and grow. As to the eventual outcome of the tournament, a lot may depend on who the other three entrants will be.

Right now, with the five men that are confirmed, we have the makings of a good, solid show.

Article posted on 12.04.2011



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