By Keith Idec
Bob Arum considers Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado a 50-50 fight.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame promoter might not feel that way if he wasn’t convinced Alvarado is taking training more seriously for their 12-round, 143-pound clash Saturday night than he has even for some of his other big bouts. Coming off a technical knockout loss to Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) on Oct. 19 in Broomfield, Colo., Alvarado apparently has preparedly properly to meet Marquez, nearly a 3-1 favorite despite that he’ll be the smaller man when they square off at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (HBO; 10 p.m. ET/PT).
“Alvarado is training like a madman,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “For once, he’s training in the ring and not the bars. And it’s going to be a helluva fight. I can’t wait to see it. Alvarado is a helluva talent if he behaves himself, and he has so far in this promotion.”
The 40-year-old Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) also wants to redeem himself following a split-decision defeat to Timothy Bradley in his last fight. Many boxing experts expected Marquez, who had knocked Manny Pacquiao unconscious in the sixth round of his previous fight 10 months earlier, to beat Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs, 1 NC). The four-division champion from Mexico City was out-boxed, however, and clearly lost their 12-round WBO welterweight title fight Oct. 12 at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) is seven years younger than Marquez, but the Denver native has engaged in three straight brutal battles and lost two of those bouts by technical knockout (to Brandon Rios and Provodnikov). Consequently, his boxing age might differ from what’s listed on his birth certificate.
That makes this a prototypical crossroads fight for both boxers.
“I don’t know,” Arum said, when asked to pick a winner. “It can go either way. It really can.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.