Despite an excellent money offer from Showtime and a good offer from the Staples Center to host the event, a potential fourth fight between decade-defining warriors Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez isn't even close to being done, Gary Shaw told BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno.
Showtime offered $2.5 million for the fight, which Shaw says would be a career-high purse for both men:
"Last time me and Richard [Schaefer] 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.'"
Their entire amazing trilogy has been televised by Showtime, and Shaw is confident HBO won't offer major money for the bout given that their rival network has been the home of the series. HBO also in general just doesn't main event with fighters their size, as both are featherweights who are essentially fighting there because they can't make the lower weight anymore, or at least Vazquez has stated that's why he's doing it.
Shaw also mentioned both of their 2009 fights as reasons it'll be hard to get any more money than what's been offered:
"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's not exactly what makes a network pony up a lot of money."
He's right that Vazquez looked pretty bad in his October, and that nobody saw the Marquez return in Mexico. Vazquez-Marquez is still a desirable fight for many, and the best fight either of them are going to get. Honestly, Vazquez fighting anyone better than Angel Priolo might well just get him beaten.
Marquez also feels his promotional contract with Shaw is up, but Shaw disagrees. This happens pretty frequently in boxing, and Reeno says Shaw is open to a contract buyout. Shaw being open to that indicates he feels Marquez is damaged goods, I'd say. Both of these guys might have just gotten the best offer they'll ever get and turned it down. Let's hope for their sake that's not the case.