By Chris LaBate
Undefeated junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado (31-0, 22KOs) is working his way up the ladder to an IBF title shot. On Saturday he returned home to Denver, Colorado to win a one-sided ten round decision over Mexican veteran Gabriel Martinez.
The fight was originally booked for the WBC's Continental Americas title. Winning the minor belt would have brought him closer to a title shot. But Alvarado noticed something strange with the WBC rankings. Despite the fact that he was winning his fights, including a third round stoppage of number three six Ray Narh, he continued to drop in the WBC's rankings.
Alvarado dumped the WBC and instead fought for the IBF's Latino title. He feels ready to fight any of the top contenders to earn a shot at the title, which is currently owned by British superstar Amir Khan.
"If we'd have kept that (WBC) belt," Alvarado told The Denver Post, "we'd have kept dropping out of the top 20. Forget it. They weren't helping. So we let that go and picked up a bigger, better belt. The IBF is in our corner. I'm right there. I've proved myself. I'll fight anybody. Whatever it takes. The best needs to fight the best."
"A lot of guys go through those tough fights and they get older with a lot of wear and tear. But I'm fresh. Let's get back to the drawing board. The sky's the limit."