Schilling aims to put lessons to work in Marcus rematch


Joe Schilling certainly isn't the first person to come to Las Vegas on a business trip and go home broke.

Tonight, in the time-honored tradition of trying to get even, the 28-year-old returns to the Hard Rock Hotel to face Simon Marcus in the main event of a Lion Fight Muay Thai card.

When the two squared off in February, the trash talk and animosity boiled over to the point the fighters agreed to bet their purses against one another in a winner-take-all bout.

Marcus won the fight after executing a controversial trip that was ruled legal - a call Schilling still disputes - that led to the fight-ending sequence.

Schilling hopes to put the disappointment behind him in the rematch, though he's unflinching in his belief the loss was nothing more than a fluke.

"There's not necessarily anything you can learn from what happened in that fight," Schilling said. "There's a lot about mental preparation, and I learned there is an unknown factor. You can't just bet your purse because there are unknown things. You could slip on a banana peel. There are always those weird, fluke things that can happen and I'm more aware of that now. I learned that from the fight and that's about it."

Marcus, who doubled his payday to $8,000 by collecting both purses, obviously has a different opinion.

"What happened in the first fight? I knocked him out. Simple as that," Marcus said. "(The controversy) doesn't bother me at all, to be honest. If anybody has any questions or doubts about the outcome, that's what we're here for. I'm ready to do it all over again."

This time, there will be no bets. Instead, what's at stake is a June 9 fight against light heavyweight world champion Artem Levin in Thailand. The winner tonight will get a chance to face Levin for the belt, should they be able to turn around and fight in less than a month.

"I think about that every day," said Marcus, from Canada. "I'm not overlooking Joe. I'm not trying to underestimate him, but I expect to win. I will win and I will fight Artem."

Marcus must also avoid complacency.

"To be quite honest, if you lose you're going to train harder for the rematch than if you had won most of the time," he said. "A loss just stains you that much more. You know you have to do more the second time if you want a better result.

"But I train as hard as I can for every fight because it's about how good I am as a fighter and I want to go into the ring without any doubts in my mind. I want to secure a victory long before I step in the ring."

The bout headlines a card that includes Guilherme Bertholdo, nephew of Ultimate Fighting Championship star Anderson Silva, taking on UNLV student Chris Lazaro.

Doors open at 4 p.m., with the preliminaries beginning at 5.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

 

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