Roach, Marvin disagree on Marquez fight
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach and his chief assistant Marvin Somodio are conjuring different visions of how the fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado will end at the Forum in Los Angeles on May 17 but agreed whoever wins will next face WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao late this year.

Roach picked Marquez to beat Alvarado while Somodio said the Mexican warrior will lose. But they qualified that anything can happen, depending on which Marquez will show up. “Marquez looked like an old man against (Timothy) Bradley, slow, heavy,” said Roach. “When he fought Manny the last time, he was unusually big. If Marquez wins, I think he fights Manny in the US. If Alvarado wins, Bob (Arum) will probably put the fight against Manny in Macau.”

Roach said a fifth encounter between Pacquiao and Marquez will register at least a million pay-per-view buys. “They know each other so well,” he said. “This time, Manny will win decisively. Manny’s a much smarter fighter now.”

The Marquez-Alvarado bout will be held at the newly renovated Forum, home of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1967 to 1999 until they relocated to the Staples Center. The Forum was bought by the Madison Square Garden group in 2012 and refurbished at a cost of $50 million with an additional $18 million from the city of Inglewood. Last January, the Forum reopened its doors for a series of concerts featuring the rock band The Eagles. It is the first boxing card to be staged at the 17,500-seat facility since the reopening. The Forum hosted the World Cup of Wrestling last March and in August, it will be the venue for the MTV Music Awards Night.

Alvarado, 33, is coming off a 10th round technical knockout loss to Ruslan Provodnikov in Denver last October. The 5-9 fighter turned pro in 2004 and raced to a 33-0 record before bowing to Brandon Rios in October 2012. But Alvarado bounced back to beat Rios on points in a rematch five months later. Two of his knockout victims were former WBC lightweight titlist Cesar Bazan and Colombian Breidis Prescott whose claim to fame is knocking out Amir Khan in one round in 2008. Alvarado’s record is 34-2, with 23 KOs compared to Marquez’ 55-7-1, with 40 KOs.

Former three-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. concurred with Roach and said Marquez will defeat Alvarado. “I think Marquez will knock him out with a head or body shot,” said Donaire. “Alvarado’s not the same fighter anymore. He was badly beaten up by Ruslan and I don’t think he’ll ever recover from that. He’s also not a disciplined fighter. Marquez will beat Alvarado then go on to fight Manny again. This time, Manny will beat Marquez convincingly. Marquez has slowed down a lot and looked old in losing to Bradley. But he should be able to take care of Alvarado.”

Marquez, 40, lost to Bradley on a split decision last October and hopes to get back on the winning track to set up the big-money fifth meeting with Pacquiao. The Mexican refused to concede defeat to Bradley and as usual, claimed he was robbed. “Unfortunately, the judges did it again,” he said. “We gave him a very good physical fight and honestly, we are happy with the performance. To win in Vegas, I need to knock the person out to get a victory.” Marquez has always insisted he should’ve won the decision over Pacquiao in their first three encounters.

The Marquez-Alvarado fight is scheduled for 12 rounds although at the moment, no title has been announced to be at stake. It is widely considered to be an eliminator to determine Pacquiao’s next opponent.

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