Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 | 12:30 p.m.
It’s a red white and green weekend. Ole! Everybody goes Mexican for the next four-days -- and it all starts tonight. What we do every year since 1776 on July 4 Mexicans do every Sept. 16 to celebrate their 1810 independence from Spain. Thousands of Latinos arrive today for the four-day long weekend celebrations.
Funnyman Gabriel Iglesias from Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing is part of the Mexican fiesta festivities at Monte Carlo for two nights starting this evening. Namesake Enrique Iglesias, but no relation, who admits to being an “Insomniac,” follows in his father’s famous footsteps of song with Aventura at Mandalay Bay tomorrow while later the Jaguares play there at the House of Blues.
Mexico’s answer to Frank Sinatra, the intensely passionate Luis Miguel, who has racked up 20 albums in his career and sold more than 65 million records, headlines tonight and tomorrow with four shows at Caesars Palace while Cher gets the weekend off. Roaming mariachi bands will play all over Caesars and my chef pal Bobby Flay has declared his Mesa Grill restaurant headquarters for the celebrations with special menus and more than 40 tequila and margarita selections.
Marco Antonio Solis is in concert tomorrow at George Maloof’s Pearl theater in the Palms and the Mariachi Festival makes mucho musica at Planet Hollywood tomorrow. Paul Rodriguez, who is about to star daily in the new poker TV gameshow at the Venetian, provides the holiday laughter with the Latin Kings of Comedy – better known as the ‘ hombres of humor’ -- at Treasure Island and Polo Polo gallops in swinging with his comedy at the House of Blues.
At the Hilton, legendary Latin singer Amanda Miguel and her husband, Diego Verdaguer, perform their double gold giant hits, including "Simply Love" tomorrow night. On Sunday, the Rodeo De La Decada tour rides into to our Thomas & Mack Center.
The highlight of all the weekend entertainment though is the big fight: Two division world champion Joel Casameyer battles through 12 rounds in an attempt to capture Juan Manuel Marquez’s world lightweight champion title at MGM Grand. You’ll also get the rematch of Mora vs. Forrest on the all action-packed card on Saturday. It kicks off the fall boxing season and Mexican-American promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions predicts: “Both fighters are looking to win, having come off dramatic battles, so it will be one of the best fights of the year. You always feel great pride fighting during Independence Day weekend. It gives you extra motivation because of the importance of the date for those of Mexican descent around the world. The date actually brings extra pressure.” De La Hoya, incidentally, has also fought many of his previous matches on Mexican Independence Day -- and actually held both Mexican and American flags when he won his own Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Casameyer has been hailed as the finest Cuban fighter in 30 years and the 1992 Olympic gold medalist has a record of 22 KOs. His opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, who has 35 KOs in his career, is regarded as one of Mexico’s greatest ever fighters. Casameyer commented: “We are both great smart fighters. I’m honored though and very excited to fight on Mexican Independence Day against a great Mexican fighter."
Incidentally my neighbor, Bob Arum here in Vegas, confirmed to me that his Top Rank boxing organization will be involved with what will definitely be Oscar’s final fight – against Manny Pacquino and set for Vegas on Dec. 6. Oscar, still boxing’s biggest star, has won world titles in six weight divisions and will wrap his career of 30 KOs and a 39-5 record wins. Arum says he expects it to be a $100 million payday divided up between the two fighters! “Without a doubt, as Oscar’s last-ever fight, this one will be the biggest and most important ever. He’ll do everything to go out the winner and Pacquiao will do everything to derail that plan,” Bob summed up.