By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has learned that a fourth meeting between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez is being held up by a contract dispute, and high financial demands. Despite the headlines in the Mexican media, Marquez’s promoter Gary Shaw has advised BoxingScene.com that a fourth Marquez-Vazquez fight is not even close to being done.
There appears to be a contract dispute between Shaw and Marquez. The Mexican warrior is claiming the status of a free agent. He believes that his contract is up. Shaw seems very confident that his promotional contract is still valid. At the same time, Shaw is open to the possibility of contract buyout. Showtime offered $2.5 million dollars for a fourth fight, and the Staples Center in California offered a very good site fee to host the event. Both fighters turned it down.
"I believe I have a valid contract [with Marquez]. I don't believe Golden Boy will do the fight without me. I welcome a buyout. The Marquez camp is being ungrateful after I gave them three great fights. There was an offer of $2.5 million for the fight. Staples offered good money. Both sides turned it down.”
“Last time me and Richard [Schaefer of Golden Boy] spoke, both guys wanted over a million each. I though it was foolish. Ken Hershman [Showtime’s VP for Sports Programming] thought it was foolish. I remember Hershman saying it like it was two seconds ago, 'I'm putting $2.5 million on the table and it will never be here again.'“
Shaw tells BoxingScene that Showtime’s offer of $2.5 million would have generated the highest career purses for both fighters. He doesn’t see HBO putting up a lot of money for a fourth fight, especially since the first three were televised by their network rival Showtime.
“For sure [regarding both fighters receiving career high paydays]. And there would have been good money from Staples and the international would have been a lot of money. If there is going to be a third fight, I think it should only be on Showtime. I can't see HBO buying the fourth fight after the first three were on Showtime,” Shaw said.
Neither of two fighters looked spectacular in their last ring appearances, which further damages the abilities of the promoters to get big money from either network.
“Vazquez just came off an unappealing fight where he also got injured. From what I understand, Vazquez looked terrible against a nobody. How does he figure a network is now going to pay big money for him to fight Marquez? Marquez fought a fight in Mexico that no one saw. It not exactly what makes a network pony up a lot of money for,” Shaw said.