Vegas Octopus picks Marquez to beat Diaz

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In a one-sided decision, Mandalay Bay’s Oscar the octopus pursued the box of prawns labeled for Juan Manuel Marquez, a possible prediction of sorts following up the phenomenal World Cup picks of Germany’s smaller ‘Paul’ the octopus.

‘The way he went after it ... we all thought he was picking an easy win for Juan [Marquez],’ publicist Kelly Swanson said.

Swanson said even after Oscar, named after fight promoter and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, gobbled up the shrimp inside the Marquez box, he resisted going after the box of shrimp named for Marquez’s Saturday night world lightweight title foe at Mandalay Bay, Juan Diaz.

Apparently, the boxing writers who usually forecast major fights are at risk of being replaced if Oscar’s tout hits. Marquez is also a strong minus-360 favorite to repeat his 2009 victory over Diaz -- a ninth-round KO -- in what was selected as fight of the year by the boxing writers.

At least we have decisions like that to keep us busy.

-- Lance Pugmire