Top Rank “Tourney” Set


By Steve Kim: An email sent out to various members of the media on Thursday afternoon from ace publicist Fred Sternburg informed us that a bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado had been made for May 17th at the newly-refurbished Forum in Inglewood, California. This bout will be fought at a catchweight of 143 pounds.


Both Marquez and Alvarado suffered losses within a week of each other last October. Marquez was outpointed by Tim Bradley at the Thomas and Mack Center in Los Angeles and Alvarado was hammered into submission by Ruslan Provodnikov in front of his hometown crowd in Denver. It has the chance of being a fun scrap; just how competitive it will be depends on just how much Alvarado has left of his legs and if he can actually have a disciplined training camp (with that in mind, Alvarado was reportedly going to prepare for this fight in Los Angeles, not the “Mile High City”).


Perhaps just as enticing as this match-up for SoCal boxing fans is the Forum is once again hosting a major fight card. Marquez made sense as the headliner of this event given he began his career promoted by Forum Boxing.


Sternburg’s email mentioned that the winner of this contest would then face the victor of the April 12th rematch between Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. At this point, you could hear a collective groan from many fans who, at this point, are a bit sick of the repetitiveness of the potential match-ups. If Marquez wins as expected, he will face a guy he has either fought four times already or someone he juuuuust faced back in the fall.


(And there is this fact: Provodnikov yearned for a fight with Marquez but was rebuffed. Then Marquez turns around and faces that exact same guy Provodnikov just knocked out. Yeah, there’s no other way to say it; he’s taking the path of least resistance. In the meantime, the “Siberian Rocky” will languish till June 14th and is still looking for a dance partner. With this current scenario being set up by Top Rank, it doesn’t look like Provodnikov is in the mix to face either Pacquiao or Bradley in 2014.)


This is where the “Cold War” between Top Rank Promotions/HBO and Golden Boy Promotions/Showtime is again rearing its ugly head.


Because under the current climate, boxers like Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson aren’t even considered for this scenario. Under the pure context of being individual fights, Marquez-Alvarado and Bradley-Pacquiao II are fine. They should provide some entertaining moments and will do significant numbers.


It’s what it might (again) lead to that is unappealing to some.


March 14, 2014

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