Mexican ultra-vet Juan Manuel Marquez met Mike Alvarado, in a 143 pounds or less scrap, which unfolded at the fabulous Forum on Saturday night, and on HBO.
In a faceoff of two men coming off losses, with a winner maybe getting a crack at a Pacquiao payday, it was all Marquez early, but then each man hit the deck, Alvie in the eighth, Marquez in the ninth, and a full-fledged rumble broke out. Marquez got buzzed badly in the 11th, but he stayed focused from then on, and made it to the cards. The judges had it for Marquez, by scores of 117-109, 117-109, 119-108.
Precision sniper Marquez went 278-627 to 178-510 for the loser.
Alvie lost to Ruslan Provodnikov in his last outing. Pre-fight, he said it hurt him to his heart. He admitted he was thinking past Provo in training, and did soul searching after the loss. The Coloradan admitted he has trouble around home, being distracted too easily, so he trained in CA. Marquez, pre-fight, said that he was pumped to be back in the building where he started. He lived with his parents then, and had a day job. Now, he has a big house and lots of cars. He came in off a loss, to Tim Bradley.
The 40-year-old JMM and the 33-year-old Alvie got to cracking in the first. Or rather, JMM did; Alvie wanted the Mexican to lead, not counter. Marquez' jab and right, which thudded a few times, gave him the round.
In round two, Alvie came out hurling more. Then he backed off, and JMM activated action a couple times.
In the third, Alvie took the advice of the corner, which told him to throw punches. Alvie switched stances, but Marquez didn't care, and blasted him a few times. The jab from JMM was crisp, good for a 30-something. Marquez was the busier man and our guy Harold Lederman saw it 3-0 after three. JMM timed Alvie, when he led and when he worked off an opening. The body shots looked sharp from JMM, and the crowd dug his combos in another round he won, the fourth. “I need you to get busy, hands up, move your head as you come in, the body shots and the uppercuts are there, maul him, bully him,” said Alvie's cornerman after.
In the fifth, the left high and low looked hurtful from JMM. Marquez landed 48 tossed in that round.
In the sixth, Marquez backed up, landed, backed up, and the crowd was digging the effort from the older man. In the seventh, Marquez' legs looked fresh and he slid deftly. A right snapped Alvie's head, and he shook his head no. An Alvie right, with JMM on the ropes, was solid but that was too rare. His trainer asked Alvie to “beat this old man up.”
In the eighth, a left from Alvie told me maybe JMM was slowing down a bit. Then he knocked Alvie to the matt. He was up at eight, off a right hand, and then the bell rang. A jab blinded him and the right follow was damaging as heck.
In the ninth, down went Marquez. He was up quickly, off that clipping right. JMM came back with a filthy combo. They traded bombs at 1:20. The cut under Alvie's left eye didn't put him off. Marquez' precision bombs were vicious at the end of the round.
In the 10th, both men took a break, but then Alvie landed hard rights and JMM went with a left hook. Alvie ran to close the round, one he lost. In the 11th, JMM and Alvie traded power shots. JMM was still slipping, seeing shots, his reflexes amazing for a man his age. Alvie almost dropped JMM again, with a right hand, however. Nacho Beristain told him he was too slow, because he pulled out and left his chin open for business.
In the 12th, Alvie waited, and went lefty, and watched too much. He did press late some but Marquez stayed smart and focused, and defensively aware. We went to the cards.