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13 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Marquez and Alvarado Ready for Battle at the Forum

Juan Manuel Marquez works out
Juan Manuel Marquez works out


By Marc Livitz:


Ask just about anyone in the boxing world about Juan Manuel Marquez and the majority will answer that his legacy in the sport doesn’t need to wait for when “it’s all said and done” to run its course in regard to his spectacular career. The seemingly ageless wonder from Mexico City is about and tough and rugged as they come and his ring exploits have already landed “Dinamita” amongst the Mexican pugilistic mythical such as Chavez, Olivarez, Saldivar, Zarate and Sanchez as well as modern day compatriots Barrera and Morales. Juan Manuel is no stranger to ring wars and so his bout this Saturday evening against face-first slugger “Mile High” Mike Alvarado could very well be the type of stylistic matchup which pits the aggressor against the counterpuncher. The bout could head either in the way of a chess match or an all out street fight. Most indicators will likely point to the latter.


Either way, perhaps the ideal venue for the contest was chosen and the arena in question, the Forum in Inglewood, California has seen legends rise and fall in ring, including the aforementioned Saldivar and Zarate in 1969 and 1988, respectively. In addition to great nights out at the fights and multiple NBA titles won by Magic Johnson and the Lakers, Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KO’s) has fought a dozen times at the iconic Los Angeles area landmark. “Dinamita” posted an undefeated record in the building in the mid to late 1990’s. Of course, he took the longest of roads to respect and has never been known to back down from any sort of challenge.


His career and back story really gained steam around ten years ago, when he survived three first round trips to the canvas and fought to a disputed draw with some kid by the name of Manny Pacquiao. Other than his debut as a professional (a disqualification loss over twenty years ago) and his step too far and away against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in 2009, Marquez has not only left boxing fans with nights to remember (impressive knockout wins over Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz), but gut wrenching and hotly disputed decision losses as well. His pinnacle accomplishment may have come in December 2012. His knockout win over Pacquiao erased three ghosts of his past, but his last bout was in October and he lost very closely to Tim Bradley.


Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23 KO’s) would love to be the one to squarely knock off a legend this Saturday evening. He’s certainly a fan’s fighter and not the type to take “no” for answer. He’ll keep coming until he can no longer stand. He’s lost two of his last three fights (both by knockout) to like minded combatants, Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov. The WBO welterweight title eliminator bout this weekend will catapult either the Denver, Colorado fighter to a fall bout with Pacquiao or allow Juan Manuel Marquez to once more take a shot at being the first Mexican fighter to win a championship across five different weight divisions. The bout will be televised live in the United States on HBO (World Championship Boxing, 10:15 ET/PT).


Both participants as well as legendary promoter, Bob Arum took part in a quick conference call this afternoon to discuss the bout.


Selected highlights are listed below.

Top Rank President, Bob Arum: “We all know the obvious. This is one hell of a fight. Juan Manuel Marquez is a future Hall of Fame fighter and he’s facing Mike Alvarado. It’s a great fight and the undercard from top to bottom is splendid. We have fighters from all over the world. There’s Turkish fighters, Mexican fighters, Mexican-American fighters and more. It’s our pleasure to open up the fabulous Forum once again. It’s important for boxing to come back here and so we’re thrilled to bring such a quality fight here.”


Opening Statements, Juan Manuel Marquez: “This will be a great fight. Mike Alvarado is a great fighter and I’ve prepared very hard.”


On Returning to the Forum: “I feel very happy to return to the Forum. It’s a great place. All of my fights there were so important.”


Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, Marquez’s Trainer on the Same: “I remember some of the early fights and how difficult some of them were such as Catalino Becerra and Rodrigo Valenzuela.”


Marquez on both fighters needing a win: “This fight is very important for both of us. We both lost our last fights. We both want to win. I want to win and continue to make history. This is important in my career.”


Juan Manuel on his Opponent: “He’s a great, strong fighter. This will be a great fight and the kind that people want to see. We both like to fight. (Ruslan) Provodnikov pushes throughout the fight and I thought it was very tough fight for Mike.”


On What to Expect: “Mike uses some technique and I’m expecting the best Alvarado in the ring. I need to use all of my experience in the ring. This should be a war. The people are the real winners here.”


His Thoughts on Manny Pacquiao’s Last Bout: “I saw the best of Manny Pacquiao. He’s a great fighter and a champion.”


On a Fifth Bout with Pacquiao: “I know he’s there if I win. I am just thinking out Mike Alvarado now.”


On the Secret to His Longevity: “I never imagined this. I like to keep going and always keep training. Maybe it’s my secret. I don’t like parties and I only a few special friends.”


If a loss means retirement: “Whatever happens will happen. All I have on my mind is continuing my career.”


Closing Statements: “I’m going to give the people a great fight. We’re both great fighters.”


Opening Statements, Mike Alvarado: “I’m feeling great. I’m ready and anxious. I’m ready to just get in there and do my thing and put on a show.”


Mike on Recovering From his Losses to Provodnikov & Rios: “It was more of a mental recovery. I’ve put it behind me. It was more difficult because it was in my hometown and in front of my people. I got past it and I’m ready for whatever comes next. I learned a lot from it and it affected the way I look to fight.”


“I lost to him (Rios) the first time and the second one was a redemption fight. Style-wise, I feel that Marquez will be tailor made for me. We’ve all been watching him for a long time. He’s a legend. We’ll see how much he has left. I will exploit every weakness he has. I’ll make him fight. I’m not a hard fighter to find.”


On What a Win Could Mean: “This is a huge opportunity and we know this can only lead to a bigger fight. I’m just focusing on getting this win. It helps me train harder and with more motivation to know I’m in there with some of the best in the world. I’m happy about it. I believe our styles clash very well. This is going to be exciting for boxing; that’s for sure.”


On Being the Underdog: “The winner gets Manny Pacquiao. I’ve dug deeper in my training and I know a win will lead to greater opportunity.”


On if Marquez Lacks Confidence: “Maybe he’s at the point where he’s begun to second guess his future in the sport. I’ll push him to really think about what he wants. I really want to win this fight and I have a long time ahead of me.”


Arum on Working With Golden Boy Promotions: I have no problem with Oscar de la Hoya. I was his promoter for many, many years and we’ve renewed our friendship.”


On the History of the LA Forum: “The first fight I did there was 41 years ago and that was Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton. I had Rafael Ruelas fight there as well as Michael Carbajal. I attended bouts there even when I wasn’t promoting there.”



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