Tag Archives: Mike Alvarado

Done Deal~Juan Manuel Marquez vs Mike Alvarado

The deal got done for Juan Manuel Marquez to fight Mike Alvarado Saturday, May 17th at newly refurbished historic Forum in Inglewood, California. The winner is supposed to be the WBO mandatory challenger to the winner of Tim Bradley-Manny Pacquiao II, which…insert drum roll……happens to be………
Manny Pacquiao.
Mano a Mano

Mano a Mano

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.

Macau Manny Pacquiao On The Road To Brandon Rios

Venetian Resort in Macao on November 23rd will be the hottest place to be to be in Asia when the biggest international boxing match in Chinese history hits those shores, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines vs Brandon Rios of the US of A.

Bob Arum of Top Rank has been testing the shores of Macao since he signed Chinese gold medalist Zou Shiming straight out of the 2012 Olympic Games. Shiming will help shore up the Pacquiao/Rios undercard with his 3rd straight bout in Macao this year. With both Pacquiao and Rios coming off notable losses that might take the shine off a Vegas PPV promotion, the perfect moment to introduce the big fight climate into Macao has finally arrived.

On The Road..

On The Road..

The idea is a type of low cost PPV off the Chinese internet that Arum says has the biggest potential with an Asian population in the billions. Presumably HBO will be still broadcasting in an American PPV format, so we’ll see how the figures are split if and when they release them.

It should be noted that even going against a diminished version Pacquiao for this fight, Rios is making a quantum leap up the big fight scale, not to mention the internationally exotic venue being beyond his wildest dreams. What Rios has going for him is a straight ahead physical style, so there is precious little boxing nuance to freeze up as might happen with a more complex style and personality in such a big fight. Rios likely knows how to box better than he shows, but why bother with such frilly notions when power on top of even more power has been all that he has needed to get him to this point, 31-1-1, 23 KO with a world title belt for a trophy? He’s also the bigger, stronger fighter in spite of moving up another weight class for the Pacquiao fight, 161 lbs in fighting trim for his rematch against Mike Alvarado, so he has to be feeling good about his chances to be even a bigger fighter against a smaller opponent in Pacquiao, not that I am suggesting his team might be overlooking Pacquiao.

Quite the contrary in that Rios will be able to spend more time in actual physical fight preparation than any other camp since he won’t have to waste precious resources losing unnatural weight as happened too many times in previous camps. Rios has earned hot blasts of criticisms from looking like death warmed over at the weighin before subsequent poor fight performances, but has been in training an incredible 5 months for this fight. That’s one thing Pacquiao has done for boxing competitiveness, giving fighters plenty of time to whip themselves into all time good shape compared to some other top fighters who’s opponents are often given short notice.

Team Pacquiao couldn’t have picked a more dangerous opponent for Manny’s return from the death punch knockout loss of the century against Juan Manuel Marquez.  Rios is prime aged at 27 years and been brought up old school hard by one of the premiere trainers in boxing, Robert Garcia. He vaults into the stratosphere of boxing with a dynamic win here, and even with a hard fought loss he still wins. He always comes out swinging to let the chips fall where they may anyway, but perhaps that much harder now that he has a sniff at a big time boxing purse.

If any added intrigue is needed, Pacquiao’s longtime physical trainer Alex Ariza fell out with team Pacquiao after the devastating Marquez loss. Pacquiao looked spectacular in that fight but for what in tennis is termed a foot fault, having the mortally wounded Marquez lined up for the knockout before jumping in with his lead right foot landing on the Marquez lead left foot. The penalty in tennis is the automatic loss of the serve, but in boxing the consequences can be much more severe even if nominal foot faults played out a dozen times in their past fights. This time Marquez was well balanced with his back to the ropes. Pacquiao’s sudden loss of balance with momentum changes left him stooped over, his entire noggin being exposed for the Marquez counter right hand that exploded with all time great effect behind the ear.

Ariza quickly took up an opportune offer from the “enemy camp” to rework Brandon Rios who is changing up after an ill advised stint with disgraced BALCO figure Victor Conte. It goes without saying that Ariza knows all of Pacquiao’s weak spots, so his input helps shape their fight plan to tap into those weaknesses in spite of banal denials by the Garcia camp that they ever intended to tap into the Pacquiao history with Ariza. 

Justin Fortune served as Pacquiao conditioning coach from 2003 until 2007 and will reunite with Freddy Roach for this effort at least. An ankle and leg specialist Gavin McMillan is in support to shore up Pacquiao’s long time leg cramping problems. The illicit drug testing cartel chosen for this non Vegas bout is supposed to be the newly created VADA,  Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, also associated with Victor Conte and operating out of Las Vegas if any more drug testing sleaze factor is needed. I’m sure Team Pacquiao felt the need to keep the Las Vegas connection however loosely associated since the Chinese boxing commission was only newly formed this year. Whether or not Conte now has a grudge against Team Rios is not known by me, but any advantage would appear to be Pacquiao’s. Who can really know with claimed traces in parts per trillion modern day snake oil medicine men and drug testing cartels are selling the public? They can’t pass their own drug tests which is why you’ll never see them implemented on themselves.

What Pacquiao used to sell was a tigerish instinct to fight with lightning knockout punches out of his southpaw stance that garnished him every fighter of the decade bauble that counts. The past couple of years, however has seen him selling soap in the form of Filipino politics. His brother and sister in law are now elected officials on top of Manny being the supreme politico as a congressman for his district. His wife also holds another substantial office, so could be the start of a new Filipino political dynasty if Pacquiao can keep his focus once he retires.

His domestic life certainly became the stuff of soap operas with his wife serving a divorce subpoena going into the Bradley fight after years of Pacquiao infidelities. Then he added fuel to the fire with ill advised comments over gay marriage, going against the liberal Speaker of the House, longtime Senator Harry Reid, a former amateur boxer that Pacquiao actually campaigned for. Few in boxing even care for politics save the liberal Nevada governor who appoints boxing commission honchos. That “political misstep” is likely the real reason Pacquiao didn’t win the Bradley fight. If that wasn’t enough of a tactical boner, what were Team Pacquiao genii thinking when they invited “Hi, I’m Mitt Romney and I just lost the US presidential election.” in for a canned chat before the always tough Juan Manuel Marquez? The quotation is exactly as Romney introduced himself, I kid you not. They further compounded that grave error by saturating the Paquiao corner with more negativity when they gave this loser’s loser a ringside seat spitting distance from where Pacquiao was knocked cold before his eyes. 

Thank goodness I don’t get paid big bucks for making these kinds of critical decisions for fighters, but we have to wonder what further idiocy the team will have in store for the beleaguered Pacquiao going into Rios? He’s been in the ring against the hardest overall caliber fighters of anyone in boxing not to mention there are few ranked fighters with more than his 61 career fights currently operating. He needed and got an 11th month breather from boxing for the first time ever in his career. This is surely going to be a firefight for as long as it lasts, and it may last 12 rounds of the kind a grind the near 35 year old fighter really doesn’t need, but relishes all the same because he’s been the purest premiere fighter of his ages in giving his all in the ring. 

Certainly Rios is stylistically made to order for Pacquiao, yet Rios still remains an unrelenting knockout beast wanting to duplicate Pacquiao’s still painful KO loss. The vacant WBO International welterweight title is the bauble. Rios can be outboxed for spells, but nobody has yet to put a serious dent into him like Pacquiao always used to do, but can he still?

Fun on Tour

Fun on Tour

The undercard is strong with perhaps the most varied international cast of top fighters ever assembled from the 4 corners of the earth. Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr looks like the biggest upside there in potential stardom, looking to become the best Mexican heavyweight contender in history and not too far removed from a title shot, perhaps late next year or 2015 if his victories continue to mount. He goes against former touted American prospect Tor Hamer looking to climb back in the ratings.

Contract terms  of Pacquiao and Rios are may be unknown, but supposedly Rios would earn more than the $3 million Robert Guerrero made to fight Mayweather according to Arum in a dig at his former protege now nemesis. It’s a gamble on whether the Asian market picks up on this historic opportunity to see Manny Pacquiao in what looks like a firefight of the year in the deal of the century!

The skinny here:

http://www.venetianmacao.com/manny/?utm_source=google-us&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=aug13-tkt_en&utm_campaign=sem-ven-manny-fight

If all the above history of distractions aren’t enough, the worst typhoon in the history of the Philippines has devastated that country. Congressman Pacquiao should be slogging around in the middle of the mess leveraging his position to speed as much aid possible to his district, but alas, he has schedule conflict with what may turn to be the most importing fight of his boxing career coming up. These types of conflicts were well predicted in advance of his assuming congressional duties, and in fact he was supposed to be retired as early as 2012.

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/pacquiao-registers-worst-attendance-in-congress-094644868.html

The tens of millions left on the table luring him for one more fight again and again simply cannot be forsaken by such a poor bedraggled Filipino waif as he grew up. Presumably many if not most Filipinos forgive him his distance from the tragedy since he does have his “lieutenants” working on the ground as they would be even if he were there. The official statement here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/manny-pacquiao-statement-230941

“I really feel very bad over what happened in the Visayas region where more than 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives. I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy but I’m in deep training in General Santos City for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go. I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”

Indeed, these are very trying times for many, even for Manny Pacquiao and “boxing” in general. Such are what The Fates have given Pacquiao to work with. Brandon Rios for sure has his own Fates to deal with. Fighters seldom enter a fight 100% healthy and mentally prepared. Life imposes it’s will, so we shall see how they deal with it.

Slugger Paridiso–Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado reprise their blunt force fan thriller to go mano a mano again Saturday, March 30th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The undercard has the potential for even more fireworks when unrepentant sluggers Breidis Prescott and Khabib Allakhverdiev go toe to toe, tooth and nail in the same division. Could be the winners fight each other in the next promotion with the losers fighting each other in support.

Unfortunately the card suffered a premature knockout when Allakhverdiev pulled out with a damaged shoulder. An unsung American fighter Terence Crawford is making a big step up the division as the replacement. He has a 22nd lightweight rank in Boxrec with an undefeated 19-0, 15 KO. Go figure Boxrec if you can, 18 of his fights have been above the lightweight limit, but guaranteed Prescott and Crawford will be near the 140lb limit at the weighin.

Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête

Rios has become something of a star for Top Rank. They have floated his name in potential bouts against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and supermegafighter, Manny Pacquiao. He won the last dukem up with Alvarado by way of spectacular knockout, but not before using his face to block a furious blizzard of shots from the smart boxing Alvarado who must have thought he was beating on a block of granite by fights end. That was for the WBO Latino title, this time around they’ll fight for the WBO interim title.

If Rios is to enter into the mega fight promotions, he absolutely has to win again and should be a substantial favorite to do so. The sticking point for him is how much more face first punishment can he absorb in a career before the wheels come off his express? To a lesser extent, the same applies to Alvarado who took similar punishment against Breidis Prescott before knocking him out in another spectacular fight.

Speaking of, Breidis Prescott briefly became an up and coming star of boxing after back to back wins, a gritty split decision win against current WBA lightweight champ Richar Abril, then a spectacular first round knockout of British darling, Amir Khan. The Prescott name was plastered across front pages of British tabloids for whom Khan had been tapped as the King in waiting. Unfortunately boxing is vicious at the business end and Prescott was never properly developed as mismanagement butchered his momentum and title aspirations. Newly signed under the Top Rank banner, he was finally challenging for the WBA light welterweight title against  Khabib Allakhverdiev, but no more since that fight was nixed.

Now Prescott is fighting to stay busy for his next shot at glory, but you can bet that Terence Crawford would like to take that shot instead. That’s what they all fight for, future opportunity, and perhaps a minor belt on the line by the time of the fight.

The 140 division currently has the lean and hungry look of the most dangerously stacked division in boxing, thank goodness for that.

*** Noted development in advance of fight: Brandon Rios and trainer Robert Garcia have revealed they are using BALCO derived elixirs of disgraced Angel Heredia/aka Hernandez to assist the Rios physical development.

Alvarado for his part doesn’t seem to care, but the news highlights further inroads the infamous BALCO tag team of Victor Conte and Angel Hereria have made into elite boxing circles.

Philipino/Japanese Southpaw Festival–Donaire vs Nishioka

Nonito Donaire was born in the Philippines, but he’s now a bonafide California boy looking to defend his WBO/IBF superbanty titles against the WBC champ, Toshiaki Nishioka in his home environs. Saturday, October 13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

These are two highly skilled fighters with show stopping power looking to topple one another off their pedestals.

Meeting of The Great Champs

Meeting of The Great Champs

Donaire is the prime aged highly touted Ring P4Per moving up through four divisions with ease thus far. He looks poised and hungry enough to become the best Philipino, or is it Filipino fighter when Manny Pacquiao retires, but beating a top fighter like Nishioka is far from a given.

Toshiaki Nishioka, now say that real fast 10x in a row, he’s 39-4-3, 24 KO and is no joke as the more experienced Ring Superbanty #1. His  four losses were early in his career as he rose up the ranks through the tough as nails Japanese boxing system. The pity is that Donaire is only ranked #3 so that this won’t be for the Ring belt without editorial intervention. For mysterious reasons, Ring ranks Guillermo Rigondeaux #2 in spite of only 11 pro fights, so go figure since nobody else can figure their ratings.

Nonetheless, the 37 year old Nishioka could crack the Ring top ten with a competent win over Donaire, a nice plum to top off a stellar career and a great motivator that cannot be discounted.

Donaire should be the favorite as the hometown darling, but not by that much. Stylistically, Donaire is younger and incrementally faster with better defense, a traditionally good enough reason to pick him to win, yet both are technically astute boxer/punchers with game changing one punch KO power, particularly in their left hands as befits an all lefty matchup.

They could almost be each other’s shadows.

Nishioka has banked 292 pro rounds to 170 by Donaire, but there is no advantage for either in that statistic since both are at or near the top of their game and used to facing top fighters. It’s a risky fight for both, but both are fighters for whom risks are well worth the rewards, the type of great fighters boxing can never get enough of, especially in this era of fractured titles where a touted fighter can stay at home enjoying sumptuous home cooking rather than risk international travel.

The undercard features former WBA lightweight champ Brandon Rios finally doing the right thing and moving up to junior welter to challenge undefeated Mike Alvarado. The stakes are the WBO Latino title as part of an eliminator for the WBO title. Both are high action, undefeated slugger types, so look out Katy and bar the door, someone’s face is gonna be hurting at the end, probably both.

If you’re a fan of smaller division fighters as many are, you can’t miss this one.