23.10.03 – Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Tonight, former Olympian and IBF Champion Raul Marquez will step in the ring to once again prove his mettle against Humberto Arandas. Although most have never heard of Arandas, he is better around boxing circles as the guy who knocked out Ricardo Mayorga early on in his career.
Raul will have a lot of obstacles to climb though if he expects to remove people doubts about his renewed venture into the squared circle. His chin and heart have never failed him but the brows above his eyes have betrayed him so often that although he never retired, most people wrote him off completely. Since his quote-unquote “return,” he has fought fighters of limited talent and skill until he fought Shane Mosley. Unfortunately like the Marquez of old, his eyebrows betrayed him once again like a “guest” in the quiet room on Jerry Springer. Not again is all what the boxing world gasped the last time the brows were tested.
Marquez sought to erase those demons when he recently went to Mexico to have a “special” doctor remove the scar tissue above his eyes that has caused him so many problems in the past. Perhaps he’ll be a new and improved Marquez that will not cut, and he’ll be able to absorb punishment above his eyes, but perhaps not.
Raul is risking his vision and his boxing future while Oscar maybe risking another Marquez early stoppage in front of a large TV and local crowd. They both have a lot to lose but Oscar’s newly found profession might take the biggest hit if Marquez’s brows leave him in the dust. No, Oscar won’t quit and go out of business and try out for American Idol but he may have to record another CD-aye caramba! All kidding aside, this is about friendship and the bonds that were created by two aspiring boxers who met in the Olympics. It’s about Oscar’s support of a friend’s career. No, Oscar’s not handing out food baskets at the Salvation Army, but he is answering the bell for a friend in need. Hopefully Marquez brows match his tough heart this time out. My fear is that it won’t and if they do last, is it just a matter of time? Only time will tell.
Finally, Raul was excited about the fight, the promotion, and fighting in front of his hometown fans. Read what he had to say about his future, The Shane Mosley decision, and his thoughts about a potential match-up with Winky Wright in January. This is a good read.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: First off, what do you think about the turn out? This is a big crowd!
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Ahh man, like I said, way back to my amateur career and my Olympics days, the Press has always been very supportive of my career here. That would show up not only on the Hispanic stations but the American stations would show up so it’s good. It’s good to have a good following.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: The question marks are concerning how your healing is going…
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: It’s going great!
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: How are you doing since your surgery?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Everything’s been great! The sparrings going well I had no problems but you know, nothings sure in boxing. As a matter of fact I have a cut-woman, the cut person is going to be a cut-woman. She’s a Plastic Surgeon.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: WOW!
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Believe me, she sees blood all the time so she’s not going to panic but I’m hoping on not using her so I don’t want to cut (smiles)!
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Hopefully it’s the bullet that you don’t use in your gun right?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Exactly. Exactly. We don’t want to be using her. Better for her to sit down…
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Yeah and collect a free payday at your expense right (laughs)?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Yes! Exactly. Exactly.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Talk to me about how the trainings been going for this fight?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Excellent. I’m in excellent shape you’ll see my body when I weigh in. I feel good about myself. I feel confident. I’m just excited and I’ve been getting all kinds of sparring with different guys and I’m ready.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: This is going to be your biggest event in Houston since I can remember going back in your career. How exciting is that in front of your hometown?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Ahh man, I tell you; it’s very exciting and then having Oscar supporting me and backing me up. You know Oscar’s going to make things happen for me. It really motivates me. It’s motivating for me.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: What do you expect from your opponent in particular?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: I’ve seen a fight but HEY! This guy knocked out Mayorga when Mayorga was coming up so he’s not a bum! Every fight is tough in boxing. He was an Olympian too for Costa Rica in 88 and I’ve seen some tapes of him…he’s a little bit awkward. I want to establish my jab in the early rounds. I feel when I hit him he’ll feel my power.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Not to leap frog too far ahead but what do you hope this gives you? What do you hope this opens the door too?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: I’m looking for a big fight. Daniel Santos, Winky Wright…Ricardo Mayorga’s moving up in weight. Vernon Forrest is moving up in weight. And Oscar’s got a couple of shows next year. He has a couple of shows on HBO’s World Championship Boxing because he has Marco Antonio Barrera. He thinks he can make stuff like that happen. I know Daniel Santos’s people are here to check me out. They’re talking about a fight between he and I and maybe next year on January (thinking)…24th or something like that. I’m not sure. Oscar’s people are going to meet with them. I’m willing to fight anybody. I’m willing to fight any of the top Champions.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Do you feel that with the high profile fight that didn’t really happen between you and Mosley that you feel an added pressure to knock him out and make an impression? Is there some pressure on you?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Not at all. Not at all. Not at all. I just want to look good: look impressive and win my fight.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Would you be disappointed if this fight went the distance?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: (Thinking). No, as long as I look good and if it goes the distance “hey” that’s all that matters; as long as I look good. If I get the knock out or decision that’s fine but the knock out always looks better. I’ll be VERY happy with that. As long as I get the “W” and I look impressive and win without no problems, no cuts…I’m fine.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: It’s seems Winky Wright has had difficulty finding people that want to fight him. You seem to want that kind of opponent. You want that type of notoriety don’t you?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Yes. Nobody wants to fight Winky Wright. I’m willing to fight. I’ll fight Winky Wright! I’ll fight any of the top guys. “Hey” we’re in boxing to be the best and to fight the best. I’m open to anybody.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: I’ve been taking an informal opinion poll with some of the boxers I’ve recently interviewed. Did you think Oscar beat Shane?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Absolutely! I was there doing the fight live. Actually live is closer than what it is on TV but I have Oscar winning-definitely!
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: By how many rounds?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: 7-5, I scored it 7-5. I scored it just like Harold Lederman, but I had Oscar winning. Maybe 7-4 and 1 even but Oscar won the fight.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: I have yet to interview anybody personally who felt Shane won.
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Actually some reporters from the websites thought that Shane won.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: I don’t know about that.
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: I don’t know either and that surprised me.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: Any closing comments?
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Yes. Just that “hey” El Diamantes back! Diamantes not a shot fighter-you saw the Mosley fight and we’re looking for big things in 2004.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk: As always, thank you.
Raul “El Diamante” Marquez: Thank you man.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk
Contributing Writer & Photographer