By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
May 16, 2014
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – It’s a showdown that may decide Manny Pacquiao’s next fight. Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado will face off on Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood.
“This fight is for redemption. The winner of this fight goes on to a lot better things… a lot bigger things,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
The winner will get a chance at Pacquiao and his recently won welterweight title possibly in Macau later this year.
“It’s going to be a real fan friendly fight. I don’t know who’s going to win but the guy who wins may be punching a ticket to Macau,” said Arum.
“Juan Manuel has already left his mark in boxing. I know it’s just another opportunity for me to get to that next level so I’m just going to be focused on this fight. I’m focused on what I need to do to win this fight,” said Alvarado.
While the Pacman awaits the winner of this match, neither Marquez nor Alvarado are looking that far ahead, both with a lot to prove and they are focused on just winning this weekend.
The 33-year-old Alvarado was undefeated through 33 fights. However, he has lost two of his last three fights, losing by knockout to former Pacquiao opponent Brandon Rios in 2012, he went on to avenge that loss.
But last October, he lost his welterweight title by knockout to Pacquiao sparring mate Ruslan Providnikov.
The tactical Marquez presents a different challenge from Providnikov and Rios, both considered hard-hitting brawlers.
“I’m going to exploit and push him to fight as well. He’s a great counter-puncher, he’s well experienced so he’s been in any kind of fight you can think of. However the fight turns into, I’m ready of course,” said Alvarado.
At 41 years old, Marquez declined a fifth fight against Pacquiao, but he’s recently been more open to a rematch as he eyes the welterweight title. But for now, he wants to concentrate on his fight with the younger American fighter and bouncing back from his recent loss to Timothy Bradley.
“In this fight, I have three points in my mind. Number 1, Mike Alvarado is a strong fighter, a great fighter and I have a tough fight. Number 2, I prepare myself very hard for this fight because this fight will be a war. Number 3, the people will see a great, great fight because Mike Alvarado wants to win. I want to win the fight,” said Marquez.
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