Marquez is not done yet.
Much like the itchy trigger finger of an old west gunslinger who is more testy than wise, many are ready to prematurely put the more mature champion race horse in the sights of the glue factory rather than out on the track where he belongs when it comes to Juan Manuel Marquez and predictions for Marquez vs. Alvarado at the Forum in Inglewood, California on Saturday night. While I don’t think some of his more controversial food practices have added up to the fountain of youth for the older Marquez, I do believe that the wins and losses that Marquez has enjoyed and suffered up to the present have been a result of style and skill versus any payouts to father time. Juan Manuel Marquez is undoubtedly a future Hall of Fame counter puncher – a true prodigy in that technical endeavor and expertise. This has it’s benefits when it comes the ravages of age in that the style itself might be the actual source of unsullied youth for a champion like Marquez. Those who might call Marquez’s age into question might say that between Marquez’s win over Pacquiao via KO to his split decision loss to Bradley, Marquez started wearing his years on his sleeve. I would argue that age has little to do with a serendipitously timed Hail Mary counterpunch for a fighter who was otherwise on his way to losing to Pacquiao for a third time. Additionally, I think that it is a disservice of the same order to the ring finesse and elevated game of Tim Bradley to argue that Marquez’s inability to pull out a win against him was simply because Marquez was a faded more shriveled version of himself that night.
So what’s the message of this prediction laid plain? Mike Alvarado, while a skilled fighter is simply not on the same level as a Juan Manuel Marquez who is largely the same fighter that he has always been. As the bigger man in the ring, I don’t think Alvarado will be stopped by Marquez. Alvarado has the physical staying power and the mental motivation to be at his best given the losses that he has suffered and the threat to his career if he loses ugly. However, the major strike against Alvarado in this fight is the one that he has cast upon himself. The decision by Alvarado and his camp to deny themselves a tune up fight after his unsuccessful battle with the likes of a bruiser like Ruslan Provodnikov is a mental and physical hurdle that Alvarado shouldn’t be taking on along with the task of fighting one of the best in the business in Marquez. For Alvarado to shut up the naysayers and prove that he is on par with the proven skill level of a game Marquez or a Pacquiao, Alvarado needs to perform above and beyond his documented best. After the mental and physical toll that a loss like the one to Provodnikov takes, he is starting from a lower point than need be in taking what is to date the most important fight of his career.
by Kylie Krabbe
May 15th 2014