The only two fighters who have thus far beaten Alvarado, 34-2, 23 KO, were prime aged, compact, hard pressing knockout slugger types, completely opposite of the style of the more settled counterpunching Marquez, 55-7-1, 40 KO, who gives up significant height, reach, and age.
Where the 40 year old Marquez is the most dangerous fighter in the game today is when he’s when he’s been hurt badly, otherwise he’s always been vulnerable to being beat by good boxer types fighting just outside of his range. I might favor Alvarado to do just that, but he has yet to show the type of discipline needed at the Marquez level, Marquez being the best fighter he’s ever faced in his career. Where the 33 year old Alvarado receives his biggest boost is not having to starve himself into death warmed over on a hot plate to make 140 like he has looked in his last few fights. He’ll be bigger, stronger, and probably more durable than ever.
Regardless, I see Alvarado outboxing Marquez early as the slow starting viejo takes a few rounds to warm up his old bones, after which, you can roll the dice, flip a coin, or pray for your fighter. Marquez is not near shot, but he’s also not near prime anymore and this a bad stylistic and physical match for him. If he were desperate to fight Manny Pacquiao for a 5th time like his Uncle Bob wants him to do, I’d say he had the financial and spiritual motivation to find a way to beat Alvarado. Instead he’s been keen on the rematch against Timothy Bradley, a light hitting defensive fighter for less money that nonetheless will be a substantial boost to his career earnings that spiked after each of his four previous encounters against Manny Pacquiao.
Drug testing in California? Hah, call it pay back time for Marquez fans who have been vociferous in their hatred for all things Manny Pacquiao all these years. It is quite sad to see Marquez now being parodied in the antisocial media forums as a hulked out drug cheat after he hired the other major player in the BALCO scandal, Angel “Meme” Heredia to wean him off his self produced poisonous pissoir tonics.
Sure, someone needed to read Marquez the riot act over that idiotic phase of his training, but did he have to cross over to the dark side?
Boxing insiders have always praised his intelligence even as he ditched the $700K immediate rematch of his first fight with Manny Pacquiao to end up looking clueless against Chris John in Indonesia for a measly $20K worth of “peanuts.” Fast forward and yet again he has passed on the bigger purse against Pacquiao to go against the lesser fighter, Alvarado. No belt is on the line, this is purely for pride and the right to face Manny Pacquiao for big bucks if Marquez really wants it.
Or is this deja vu all over again?
In the end Juan Manuel Marquez has stubbornly waged his career his way, so that counts for something when he earns a unanimous decision to the Hall of Fame five years after his retirement.
Is Mike Alvarado the fighter to retire him? We’ll see soon enough “Quien es mas macho” as Lupe Contreras would say.