SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2014 – Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado brought fan pleasing fight action back to the “Fabulous Forum” in Los Angeles for the first time in 13 years in an exciting contest worthy of the venue’s long legacy.
There was no one better suited to revive the Forum’s great boxing tradition. In 12 previous fights at the Forum, Marquez had never lost.
Thirteen was a lucky number Saturday. Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) won a unanimous decision over the always tough, always game Alvarado (31-3, 23 KOs). The second half of the fight contained two knockdowns, a third near knockdown, and enough exchanges of accurate power shots to make this bout a 2014 Fight of The Year candidate.
As expected, the two put on a tremendous show. Neither of them ever dials it in. But Alvarado made a mistake in the first half of the fight by trying to box Marquez. It wasn’t happening. Marquez’s skills, accuracy, balance and power overwhelmed Alvarado, who got hit from all directions.
Realizing he was losing, Alvarado threw caution to the wind and that’s when it became the brawl to the wall everyone hoped for. Alvarado can take a lot of punishment, which was necessary in order for him to get close enough to have an opportunity to hurt Marquez.
Marquez scored the first knockdown at the end of the 8th round with the same straight right that destroyed Manny Pacquiao. But Alvarado shakily got up and made it out of the round. Nothing is more dangerous than Mike Alvarado when he’s gotten hit. When he has nothing to lose, he lets it rip. Just as fans figured Alvarado was done for, he returned the favor and put Marquez on the campus with a right hand of his own in the following round. The Forum went crazy.
Alvarado nearly knocked Marquez down a third time in the 11th round. Marquez staggered but regained his balance without putting his hands down, as ruled by referee Pat Russell and confirmed on the replay.
But by this time, Alvarado’s eyes were nearly shut from the accumulated damage caused by Marquez, and a wicked cut was open on the cheekbone under Alvarado’s left eye. His face told the story of the fight.
So did the stats. Marquez landed 278 of 672 punches, a 44% connect rate. He landed 163 power punches at an unbeatable 57% connect rate. Alvarado landed 178 of 510 punches, a 35% connect rate, and just 85 power punches, half the output of Marquez.
Judges Max Deluca and Julie Lederman scored it 117-109, and Robert Byrd had it 119-108. These scores are no reflection of the determination of Mike Alvarado and the potential until the closing bell for anything to happen.
After the bout, Marquez said it was the kind of fight he expected from Alvarado, calling him “worthy” and “strong.” He said the fight was a gift to his fans. But Marquez brushed aside questions about a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao, saying he got his justice in the fourth fight.
Alvarado admitted he wasn’t busy enough in the ring at first. “I like to fight, I like wars … All hats off to him,” thanking Marquez for the opportunity and saying the experience would only make him that much better in the future.
An impressive 11th round knockout by UkrainianViktor Postol (26-0-0, 11 KOs) stunned Selcuk Aydin of Turkey (26-3-0, 19 KOs) and rescued a fight being booed by the Forum fans for its lack of excitement. Postol was in the midst of his customary technical approach when he launched a terrific combination, capped off by a textbook right upper cut that finished Aydin off. It earned Postol an opportunity to fight junior welterweight title holder Danny Garcia in a fight between two undefeated boxers.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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