40 years of age, and with 64 fights under your belt, any fight could be your
last. Juan Manuel Marquez, 56-7-1 (40), who pitched a great performance last Saturday
night against Denver’s tough, “Mile High” Mike Alvarado, will certainly live to
fight another day. With the exciting win, in a give-and-take battle that saw
both fighters deposited on the deck, he is as hot as ever. Marquez got back in
the win column after a frustrating loss to Timothy Bradley last October and put
himself in line for another pay-per-view gig and its accompanying big payday.
He played out the almost-perfect scenario on Saturday as he showed enough
dominance to convince any and all fans who may have questioned what he had
left. But by catching a few in the process and getting dropped after knocking
down Alvarado, he showed just enough vulnerability to be even more attractive
as an opponent.
Juan was non-committal as to what is up next, he will find his phone ringing
sooner than later for a fall fight. Let’s take a look at some fun possibilities
for the Mexican legend.
Manny Pacquiao: Juan pole-axed “Pac-Man” in their last
fight and sent the Filipino boxing legend into snooze mode. Pacquiao is an all
old-school fighter and will gladly take a rematch and doesn’t avoid anybody.
Pacquiao should box a little smarter and avoid the thunderous right he walked into
in fight number four but he’ll probably want to erase any doubts about who is
better and revert to his old seek-and-destroy style at some point. And that is
why these fights are great. These two couldn’t be in a bad fight if they tried.
Brandon Rios: It’s almost unfathomable to imagine
this being anything but an old-time pier-sixer. Rios is coming off two losses
and is more than likely looking to pick up a win, so this may not be the best
route for him. But I’m sure he is also looking for a high-profile bout and the
paycheck that comes with it. I think this would be all-action of Arturo Gatti-Micky
Ward-esque proportions. Good for Juan? Doubt it. Good for Rios? Nope. Good for
Floyd Mayweather: With Juan drilling Manny, going neck-and-neck
with then-unbeaten Timothy Bradley, then beating up Alvarado, it’s hard to
argue that he hasn’t earned a rematch. But Floyd schooled so Marquez so badly
in bout number one; it just seems hard to imagine a rematch being any
Danny Garcia: The unbeaten Pennsylvania phenom is
south-Philly tough and can crack. This is a tough outing for Marquez. It would
be fun to see if Juan can still ply the boards against a young gun like this. And
it would be fun to see if Garcia could handle the skill and experience of
Marquez. Not an easy debut at 147 for “Swift” but a great fight!
Ruslan Provodnikov: I’m not sure this would even be legal!
An absolute war. Though Ruslan would be coming up from 140, Marquez isn’t a
natural welterweight, so the size wouldn’t be a factor. What can I say? Bombs
away! He’s got unbeaten Chris Algieri coming up in a couple of weeks but if
he’s successful in that one, he’d be ready for the fall. I hate to mine the
Gatti-Ward comparison again but…
Amir Khan: Khan is waiting patiently for the call
from Mayweather but this would be an interesting fight. Khan seems like a big,
strong welter and his jab could prove difficult at times for Juan. If Marquez
can land the counter howitzer, he could starch Khan though. Amir’s whiskers
make him vulnerable but Khan has some pop and Marquez is hittable, so it could
be a fun one with some fireworks.
Shawn Porter: This Ohio champ’s skills and profile
seem to be improving with every outing. He’s confident, tough and is starting
to turn some heads as a possible player at the elite level. At age 40 and with
a lot of miles on him, Juan is going to get old one night. The iron-tough,
Mexican legend will always show up but one of these nights, his reflexes won’t.
Not sure Marquez wants a part of this young, hungry kid.
Keith Thurman: See the Porter write-up.
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