Former champs dominate Caesars Tahoe card

Things could get interesting Saturday night at Caesars Tahoe in Stateline when Juan Manuel Marquez attempts to regain his NABO featherweight title in the main event of a six-fight card.

Marquez (30-2, 21 KOs) is fighting Roque Cassiani (18-6-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant title Marquez lost last year to Freddie Norwood, who has since vacated the title.

The scheduled 12-round title fight is Marquez third fight in Stateline. The Mexico City native fought Darryl Pinckney in October of 1996 and, despite suffering the first and only knockdown of his career in round one, went on to win every other round to take a unanimous decision win over Pinckney.

Then in September of 1997, the 26-year-old Marquez defended his NABO title by stopping Vincent Howard in round 12 of that title fight.

For Cassiani, the Colombian native is 30 years old and this is just his second fight outside of South America. In his first, he fought Wilfredo Vasquez in New York for the WBA featherweight title and lost by decision in a respectable showing.

Cassiani is a rough, brawling type of fighter and Marquez loves to bang away so this should be a good, action-packed fight .... For as long as it lasts!

The semi-main at Caesars Tahoe has former NABO welterweight champion Edgar Ruiz fighting Rene Herrera in a scheduled 10-round bout. Ruiz (15-2-1, 9 KOs) is from Mexico and Herrera ( 23-11, 17 KOs) is from Texas.

Another scheduled 10-round fight has Agapito Sanchez, the No. 2 ranked (By the WBO) featherweight, taking on Jesus Sarabia, who brings a 28-10-3, 22 KOs record with him from Mexico. Sanchez, from the Dominican Republic, is 30-7-1 with 17 KOs.

Three preliminary bouts open the card at 7:15 p.m. General admission tickets are $25. Tickets can be bought on the internet at ticketmaster.com or by calling Caesars Tahoe at (775) 588-3515.

IT WAS A SLAUGHTER - All Roy Jones Jr., proved with his beating of unknown Richard Hall Saturday night at the Conseco Field House in Indianapolis was that he's not as good as he's billed to be.

Jones, who is turning into a clown and showman in the ring, defended his light heavyweight titles easily over the overmatched but game Hall, who brought a flashy 24-1, 23 KOs record into the 12-round fight.

But Hall, who is from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., couldn't cope with the man many say is the best pound-for-pound fighter in action today and Jones, who is from Pensacola, Fla., knocked Hall down twice in the first round and then toyed and played with him while beating the crap out of Hall for the next 10 rounds until the referee finally showed some mercy and stopped it at the 1:41 mark of round 11.

Jones is now 42-1 with 34 KOs. It is being talked about Jones possibly going after Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title but that would be a joke!

The few times Jones tried to finish off Hall early, he couldn't and Jones, no matter how much he would weigh, would spot a ton of pounds to Lewis and be non-competitive.

Jones weighed 175 for Saturday's fight and Lewis weighed 246 and change for his fight against Michael Grant. Not only a mismatch but a fight that wouldn't sell, in my opinion .... And that is still the bottom line in boxing!

- Another fighter who is hard to sell is Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins. His fight against Syd "The Jewel" Vanderpool - Who came in from Ontario, Canada - was the first fight on the HBO live telecast of the Indiana card and while Hopkins "executed" well enough to win by decision, he showed little in the way of future fan demand and at age 35 is nearing the end of a pretty decent career.

Hopkins (37-2-1, 27 KOs) did defend his middleweight titles against Vanderpool (28-2-1) but the Philadelphia native is not very exciting to watch and is in a division that promises no "big money fights" for Hopkins in the near future.

A LOUSY CARD - That was the Friday night fight card shown live on ESPN2 from Miami. They showed three of the worst action-less fights I've seen in a long time. I was going to tell you about them but, on second thought, let's skip it and instead hope their card this Friday night is a lot better.

The main event has cruiserweight Vassily Jirov (24-0, 22 KOs) taking on Esteban Pizzaro (21-2-1, 9 KOs) in the main event of the 2 1/2 hour telecast that begins at 6 p.m.

- Also want to note that both Showtime and HBO have pro boxing cards on Saturday night. Showtime's begins at 10 p.m. The HBO "Boxing After Dark" series returns with a starting time of 11 p.m. And FOX Sports has their usual two-hour Sunday night fights beginning at 8 p.m.

LOW BLOW IS COMING - Just want to let you know that Andrew "Low Blow" Golota is coming to Nevada to fight. The Polish heavyweight fights Robert Davis in the main event at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on June 16. It will be on Showtime.

- We'll close by telling you about a slaughter in the making.

Somehow or other Don "Only in America" King maneuvered his washed-up fighter Julio Cesar Chavez into the No. 1 ranking (Guess how?) and Chavez is set to fight junior welterweight champion Kosta Tszyu on July 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The worn-out Chavez will last only as long as Tszyu wants him too and if Chavez is lucky, they won't carry him out of the ring on a stretcher after he is knocked out!

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.

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