By Joe Harrison
This Friday, two-time world heavyweight title challenger Fres Oquendo (29-5, 18 KOs) will fight in a ten-round heavyweight bout for the WBO Latino belt at 8 Count’s “Windy City Fight Night 3” at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. Initially, Oquendo was to face Gonzalo Omar Basile, but Mark Brown (15-1, 7 KOs) will be taking Basile’s place in the Chicago main event.
In Oquendo’s last bout, he lost by a split decision to James “Light’s Out” Toney last December in Cabazon, CA. Most observers who witnessed the contest felt that Oquendo was robbed of a victory. Certainly, this was not the first time that Oquendo had fallen victim to a controversial decision. Oquendo also received a loss against Evander Holyfield in 2006, a unanimous decision that many felt should’ve favored Oquendo. Also, in an IBF title fight back in 2003, Chris Byrd was awarded the unanimous decision in a fight where nearly everyone believed that Oquendo should’ve been declared the new champion.
Although Oquendo wants to move forward, he still hopes to land a rematch with Toney in the near future.
“We’re still working on getting a rematch with James Toney,” said Oquendo. “He just doesn’t have a promoter now. I’m fortunate to have a great marketing, team management team with Tom Tsatas. A rematch is possible if we can agree on financial terms. That’s one fight that I definitely want.”
Naturally, Oquendo also spoke about Wladimir Klitschko’s recent victory over Ruslan Chagaev. Not only does he hold a lot of respect for the champion, but he is anxious to face him as well.
“I did not see the fight, but I heard that Wladimir was pretty smart, he used the jab,” said Oquendo. “I guess the fight was pretty boring. Klitschko fights to win and I give all the credit. He does what he needs to get the W.”
“I’ll take on anyone top-ranked so I can get a title shot. I’d love a fight with Wladimir Klitschko; that would be a great fight for me. It would be a moment for me to show people my true worthiness. I’ve fought the best and unfortunately there’s been a lot of controversy. So I want the opportunity to show the world that not only can I pound with the top heavyweights, but I can also beat one of the most dominant heavyweights of recent history.”
Oquendo’s bout against Brown will mark his first Chicagoland appearance in nine years. He is filled with confidence and anxious to get back into the ring.
“I thank all my elementary friends, high school friends, and my neighborhood friends that are coming out to support me. This is a very meaningful fight for me especially in front of my fans and friends who have been waiting to see me fight.”
“I got some great people behind me; marketing me, promoting me, and managing me. I feel very positive that things will go great for me. I’m just ready to fight, and I got more fight than ever.”