Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado are set to reopen The Forum in Los Angeles on HBO May 17th. Marquez ended his 2012 with the knockout heard round the world of Manny Pacquiao. However, he suffered disappointment in 2013 as Tim Bradley outpointed him to a decision victory in their clash.
Now he returns to take on the battle tested Mike Alvarado at a catch weight in the welterweight division. He knows that this isn’t the run of the mill fight waiting for another crack at Pacquiao or Bradley.
“He’s a great fighter,” stated Marquez of Alvarado. “I will prepare very hard for the fight, in my strength and speed. He’s a great fighter, I need it all to win.”
There were rumors circulating about a proposed fight between Marquez and the man who defeated Alvarado last year, Ruslan Provodnikov. But Marquez instead chose to take on Alvarado instead of the hard hitting Russian to begin his chase for a world title in a 5th weight class.
“Provodnikov, he a great fighter, he’s a great champion. I was a champion at Super Lightweight. I don’t want to be the same champion in the same weight. I need and want to be champion in Welterweight. I didn’t fight with Provodnikov because Provodnikov is a Super Lightweight champ, not a Welterweight champ,” Marquez said to ThaBoxingVoice.com
Bob Arum has already hinted at matching the winner of Marquez-Alvarado with the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley 2 sometime this year which in turn would give Marquez his shot at a world title at 147. But Marquez isn’t looking that far down the road.
I don’t know what happens in the future. I’m here in the present. First of all, its April for Bradley-Pacquiao. Then comes May, my fight with Alvarado. I can’t say anything right now about the future.” explained Marquez.
If it’s not Pacquiao or Bradley next, there are not many names on Marquez’ side of the cold war that will add a nice finishing touch to his extraordinary career. So if Marquez happens to lose to Alvarado, he says, “Maybe this year will be it for me,” referring to retirement.