What’s left of Juan Manuel Marquez

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Sunday, May 18, 2014


TODAY, Juan Manuel Marquez will be in a crossroads fight of his storied career. Looking to pull off a rousing victory against a Mexican legend and get his career back on track is the rugged Mike Alvarado.

This fight is a title eliminator for the WBO welterweight belt held by Manny Pacquiao. Let’s see how they stack up.

Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23KOs)

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Strengths: Power; tough rugged fighting style; combination punching; infighting.

Weaknesses: Stamina, defensive lapses, inability to make adjustments;
Last fight: Last October, Alvarado lost via RTD to Russian banger Ruslan Provodnikov in the 10th round. He started off well and was landing combinations on the flat footed “Siberian Tiger”.

But Alvarado lost steam in the second half and was unable to take advantage of a cut on Ruslan’s eye in the 7th. Alvarado was knocked down twice in the 8th and Provodnikov brutalized him in the 9th and 10th;

Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7, 40KOs)

Strengths: Championship experience; counter-punching; power;stamina;
Weaknesses: Chin, age;

Last fight: Marquez lost to Timothy Bradley via split decision in October of last year. Thought Marquez landed the heavier blows, Bradley was busier and constantly beat him to the punch. There were stages in that fight where Marquez looked his age as he was unable to capitalize on openings and pull the trigger.

MY TAKE. What happens in this fight will depend on how much Marquez has aged. In the Bradley fight, Marquez seemed the slower fighter and a 7 month span will tell us if those skills have eroded further.
Alvarado is a pretty decent fighter and he could steal a few rounds if he gets his licks in. Still, a prime Marquez would be too good and too fast for him.

If “Dinamita” shows up in peak form, I expect him to win via TKO in the 9th round.

EMAIL. Here’s some feedback from Last Rounder Tony Padua:
“As the fight game evolves it’s interesting the forces you never see interviewed. The decisions on winners are now always contra to popular belief. The first we saw was Pacquiao-Bradley I, where the Pacman was clearly the popular winner, and not in just the Philippines. The only explanation was a woman judge gave it to Bradley. Shortly afterwords came the challenge for a rematch.

Is it just a coincidence the same pattern emerges in the Mayweather-Maidana fight? We saw the heart of Maidana as he pursued a backpedaling Mayweather into the ropes. Then came the decision – for Mayweather who looked even more puzzled than his opponent. The next day the story is floated for a rematch.

Your fans like myself, think we know boxing.”

Thanks for you erudite thoughts on our favorite sport, Tony. Unfortunately, there’s also reason why it has earned the unenviable tag “red light district of sports”.

The fan in me probably leads to much naivete, but I would like to believe that lately, its image has improved and “the forces” that work behind the scenes have been somewhat contained and meritocracy has prevailed.

But then again, I always wonder. You are correct in that the Pacquiao-Bradley verdict in the first fight was one of the worst we have seen in recent years. But I am not as convinced that there were other forces at work during the Maidana- Mayweather fight.

I thought Maidana did an awesome job, but he lost steam badly in the second half which Mayweather clearly won. A win by either fighter with a margin of one or two points is certainly within the realm of possibility.
But then again, you might be on to something there when I think about the 117-111 score turned in by judge Burt Clements.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my kumpare, Atty. Pablo John Garcia who celebrates his birthday tomorrow. Padayon Jud. Cheers!

***

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 18, 2014.

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