Quijano: Marquez paves the way for a 5th dukeout-A A +A
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
JUAN Manuel Marquez (56-7, 40KOs) successfully repulsed the spirited challenge put by Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23KOs) last Sunday and annexed the vacant WBO international welterweight title.
Not that the title means anything to a ring legend like Marquez. That win however, set the stage for a final and definitive showdown against arch-rival Manny Pacquiao.
THE FIGHT. Both Marquez and Alvarado were coming off tough losses, the former to Timothy Bradley while the latter was stopped in 10 rounds by Ruslan Provodnikov.
Coming into that fight there was a slight buzz that the 40-year old Marquez could be ripe for the taking as he seemed a step slower in the Bradley loss.
Those arguing for Alvarado’s case were certainly banking on Marquez’ advanced fighting age to be on full display against the rugged Alvarado who was younger than Marquez by 7 years.
But Marquez silenced all doubters by displaying superior boxing skills and unleashing sizzling combinations that won him round after round
Alvarado was plainly unable to match his output, speed and power.
In the initial stages, Marquez stamped his superiority by landing several right hands and making Alvarado miss.
Alvarado stalked Marquez in the middle rounds and landed big shots of his own, but “Dinamita” always answered with something better.
In the eighth, just as Alvarado seemed to gain some momentum, Marquez landed a one-two combination that almost sent Alvarado through the bottom rope.
But in the ninth, things got interesting when Alvarado clipped Marquez with a right and the latter fell. The punch didn’t appear to have much torque behind it as Marquez was clearly off-balanced.
Clearly infuriated by the flash knockdown, Marquez dominated Alvarado in the closing seconds of the round.
Marquez owned the championship rounds as he landed the harder punches, and a visibly tired Alvarado-who was clearly behind on the cards, seemed helpless and unable to mount any significant offense to mount a rally.
I predicted a late KO for Marquez but Alvarado was his usual resilient self, as he hung on till the final bell, despite being the recipient of too many head blows.
FIFTH. Admittedly, I had ulterior motives in predicting a Marquez win so he could face Manny for the 5th time. But hey, who doesn’t want that fight to happen?
42 rounds- 2 wins for Pacquiao, 1 for Marquez and 1 draw between them-and yet, it’s difficult to say for sure who is the better fighter.
An interesting development is how the styles of these protagonists have morphed through all their encounters.
In the first three fights, Pacquiao was the stronger puncher with the more feral approach while Marquez was generally considered the better all- around fighter.
But in their last duke-out, Pacquiao was out-boxing Marquez and getting the better of him when he got caught by a superbly aimed and timed right hand that knocked him out.
People generally do not think of Marquez as a one-punch knockout artist, so the prodigious power in that right hand had people scratching their hands.
Some even went as far as to ascribe the improper use of supplements or performance-enhancing drugs.
And if you question the torque behind that punch and claim it was a lucky blow, don’t forget that in the third round, he knocked down Manny with an overhand right, that same punch that Manny had been taking well the previous three encounters.
You will read reports that the 5th match is still a remote possibility and is still being considered, but believe me, it will happen. Manny wants it that bad.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on Irene Faye T. Schimmer and my lovely niece Yanna Isabelli Chanco Quijano who are celebrating their birthdays this week. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2014.