Marquez headlines Caesars Tahoe card

A professional fight card is set to go on May 20 at Caesars Tahoe in Stateline featuring Juan Manuel Marquez attempting to regain his NABO featherweight (126-pound limit) title against Roque Cassiani.

The indoor card takes place in the Circus Maximus showroom and will feature former NABO welterweight (147 limit) champion Edgar Ruiz (16-2) and Renee Herrera (24-7), plus four preliminary bouts.

The main event, scheduled for 12-rounds, will be a test for Marquez, who lost the title to Freddie Norwood last September. Marquez (28-2, 20 KOs), gets another shot at it as Norwood has gone on to bigger and better titles, leaving the NABO title vacant.

Marquez, from Mexico City, won the title in 1997. Cassiani (17-3-1) will be fighting his first ever title fight. The card will be telecast live back to the Southern California area by KCAL-TV, but it will not be shown in Nevada.

Tickets for the fights are available at Caesars Tahoe (order by phone at 1-800-648-3353) or at any Ticketmaster outlet. General Admission tickets are $25 and ringside is $75. Doors open at 6 p.m. First bell is set for 7:15 p.m.

We'll cover all the late changes and have the complete undercard next week.

- IT'S A STEAL - Hard to believe Oscar De La Hoya is only a slim 8-5 favorite over Shane Mosley (+7-5) for their June 17 title fight on pay-per-view TV.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a steal. Oscar will not lose to Mosley, period.

Not only is Mosley moving way up in weight - he was a very good lightweight (135 limit) champ - but fighting De La Hoya at 147 pounds is a big mistake for "Sugar" Shane.

Not only is he tackling the best in that weight division, Mosley will also be giving away about 10 pounds when they actually enter the ring. Mosley's move up in weight means that he will be lucky to weigh the 147 limit. And because they weigh in two days before the fight, Oscar will come in around 157 pounds at fight time, something he has done and weighed in at in past welterweight fights.

Mosley will taste the power of Oscar right from the go, will have never been hit as hard as Oscar will hit him, and I doubt Mosley can take that kind of punishment for very long.

I look for Mosley to gone before round six. Also, it's almost impossible for Mosley to knock De La Hoya out, and winning a decision over De La Hoya is almost impossible too. I don't see any way at all Mosley can stop Oscar, so betting on De La Hoya now - before the price goes up, and it will - is my sure thing for the year so far.

- Not far behind is the heavyweight title fight - if you want to call it that - between former champ Evander Holyfield and future chump John Ruiz. They fight for the laughable WBA belt, and while I haven't seen a price posted for their June 10 fight, I'm sure Holyfield will be a favorite.

Lay the price. My guess is Evander will come in around a 5-2 favorite but whatever the price is, lay it.

Holyfield will take out the overrated Ruiz quickly and Holyfield will not lose this fight, period. Remember when David Tua bombed out Ruiz in just 19 seconds a couple of years ago? This one won't be that quick, but when the dust settles, they'll raise Holyfield's hand in victory ... bet on it!

- HBO premiered its new "K.O. Nation" live boxing show from Pittsburgh on Saturday and it wasn't a bad two-hours of entertainment.

They began with a good old-fashioned brawl, when heavyweights Lamon Brewster and Clifford Tienne tangled for 10 rounds.

The unknown Tienne, from Baton Rouge, La., was undefeated at 15-0 with 11 KOs but was thought to be just a patsy for the better-known Brewster, who is from Indianapolis and was undefeated at 23-0 with 20 KOs.

After 10 tough rounds, Brewster had his first loss at Tienne won a unanimous decision. A good fight with a good decision. Comedian Drew Carey was at ringside rooting on his buddy Brewster, but it didn't help.

Then in the main event, Pittsburgh's own Paul Spadafora defended his IBF lightweight title against Ohio's Mike Griffin.

It was a good fight, although not as good as the first one. Spadafora was ahead when an accidental head butt in round 10 opened a cut on Griffith's eye and the ringside doctor wouldn't let it continue.

They went to the scorecards and Spadafora got the nod to keep his title and remain undefeated at 30-0. Griffith saw his record fall to 24-7.

- The main event on Friday's ESPN2 live telecast saw Iowa's Antwun Echols improve his record to 24-3-1 with 23 KOs when he pounded late sub Lionel Ortiz into submission after seven rounds in a scrappy little fight.

Ortiz didn't answer the bell for round eight. You could forgive him for that - even though he was competitive, Ortiz was getting beaten up pretty bad. He was a game fighter, though.

- The ESPN2 card this Friday returns to its normal starting time of 6 p.m. The main event features Juan Molina (50-6, 33 KOs) going against Emanuel Burton (21-15-4, 10 KOs) on the 2-hour live telecast from Miami.

- Roy Jones Jr. defends his light heavyweight (175 limit) title Saturday on HBO against Richard Hall, and Bernard Hopkins defends his middleweight (160 limit) title against Syd Vanderpool in a live telecast from Indianapolis that starts at 6 p.m.

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.


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