Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) punished Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23 KOs) over 12 rounds to win a wide unanimous decision at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
But that, as they say, is only part of the story.
The fight was a saga of two parts. Marquez, 40, dominated the first six rounds with a variety of blows to the head and body. He beat the younger Alvarado to the punch from the opening bell. Alvarado, normally aggressive, wasn’t fighting like himself. His curious strategy was to outbox Marquez.
Alvarado, 33, landed some punches, but Marquez was quicker and much more effective. He was outfighting Marquez from the inside and outside. His bodywork stopped Alvarado in his tracks.
Marquez let his entire arsenal go in round five. He connected with two uppercuts and a left hook. A right hand down the pipe also found Alvarado. In the trenches, it was all Marquez. Alvarado abandoned boxing and began to slug. The intensity went up a notch.
Alvarado started doing a little better in round seven. He wasn’t winning any rounds, but he was catching Marquez with punches. He was also putting himself in harms way. In round eight, Marquez reminded him of the danger when he connected with a powerful right hand. Alvarado stumbled, spun and fell into the ropes. The knockdown was clean and dramatic. Alvarado looked ok at the bell.
The gutsy brawler from Denver, CO, went toe-to-toe with Marquez in round nine. Alvarado connected with a right hand that deposited Marquez on the seat of his pants. The turnaround was shocking, but Marquez, always able to recuperate quickly from a knockdown, was soon trading with Alvarado in the center of the ring. Alvarado connected with another shot that shook Marquez.
Marquez went back to beating Alvarado to the punch in the last few rounds, but it was never easy. Alvarado, with a chin made of granite, stalked Marquez, but his punch output was low. He just wasn’t punching enough. Marquez’s technical brilliance was still evident in the last round.
All three judges had Marquez winning the fight easily by scores of 117-109 (twice) and 119-109.
Doghouseboxing scored the fight 117-109 for Marquez.
“I expected this fight,” said Marquez in the ring a few minutes after the fight had concluded. “I said it was going to be a tough fight. I wanted to give the public a gift. But this fight was all for the Mexicans.“
“It was a great fight,” said the gracious Alvarado. “I know I needed to let my hands go. He fought a great fight.”
Marquez landed a gaudy 57 percent of his punches to just 34 percent for Alvarado.
The fight was televised live on HBO Championship Boxing.