Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel Marquez put on an impressive show at the Forum in Los Angeles USA by defeating American Mike Alvarado via unanimous decision to capture the WBO International Welterweight title. Marquez put on a 12-round boxing clinic in a lopsided match that was scored 117-109,117-109 and 119-109 by the judges.
The bout was declared by the WBO as the Welterweight title eliminator which means that Juan Manuel is now the mandatory challenger for the WBO champion. Incidentally, the WBO champion is Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao who has fought Marquez four times already. Pacquiao officially has the better of Marquez in their head to head standings at 2-1-1 but most boxing fans remember their last fight which Marquez won.
Greatest Rivalry in Boxing
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez own the greatest rivalry the sport of boxing has even seen. Although Pacquiao knocked down Marquez thrice in the first round of their first fight, Marquez came up big to finish the fight and was able to salvage a draw.
Their second fight was close and Marquez outlanded the Pacman, but Pacquiao’s knockdown in the third round proved to be the decisive edge in the fight. Pacquiao won the third fight again via majority decision, but there was just as much controversy as there was in the previous fight. In their fourth encounter, each fighter had scored a knockdown going into the sixth round. And while Pacquiao was starting to dominate Marquez, Juan Manuel launced a hail mary that was heard by the heavens. An overhand right knocked Pacquiao unconscious for a couple of minutes.
After that win, Marquez had said that justice had been served, and that he had settled his score with Pacquiao. When the Pacquiao camp asked for a rematch, Marquez refused and said that he wanted to savor having the last say in their fabled rivalry.
Four Division Champion
Marquez has been a world champion at the featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight division. He held an interim title at the super lightweight division. Marquez has been open about his desire to win a fourth division title because he would be the first Mexican boxer to do that. Mexico has produced great champions of the past like Chavez, Morales and Barrera. But a fourth world title in a fourth weight class would make Juan Manuel Marquez the greatest of them all. Unfortunately, that fourth belt is around the waist of Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 3 was for that WBO welterweight belt. Marquez believes that he won that fight and that the WBO welterweight belt should’ve been his. Now that he is the mandatory challenger for that title, Marquez has all the motivation he needs. Or does he?
Immediately after the bout, the most asked question was the possible fifth fight against Manny Pacquiao. But instead of calling out the Filipino champion, Marquez said that he had “obtained justice” in the fourth fight. Marquez added that he wants to take a rest first before talking about fighting Pacquiao again.
Top Rank big boss Bob Arum who promoted both Pacquiao and Marquez, said that the fifth bout is up to Juan Manuel. Pacquiao definitely wants to get back at Marquez. In fact, they offered Marquez more money for a rematch than what the Bradley fight paid Marquez. But Marquez spurned the Pacquiao camp despite the big payday. But now, the circumstances are different as both Pacquiao and Marquez seem to have discovered the fountain of youth that has transformed Bernard Hopkins to an alien.
Pacman’s trainer and coach Freddie Roach was at ringside watching the Marquez-Alvarado fight. It was an indication that Pacquiao is keen on fighting the winner. Roach had said earlier this month that he’d love to see a fifth fight because Juan Manuel looked like an old man against a fast guy like Bradley. Roach said a couple of weeks ago that if Alvarado wins, they’re headed to Macau. But if Marquez wins, they’ll fight in the US.
That is logical because a Pacman-Alvarado bout will not sell PPVS in the US. However, a Pacquiao-Marquez is almost a guaranteed 1M buys because of the Mexican population. Team Pacquiao has said recently that their ward’s PPV numbers have gone down due to the absence of a Mexican foe. Pacquiao has a long line of Mexican victims that include Marquez, Morales and Barrera.
For some rivalries, a trilogy settles the difference. But in the case of Pacquiao and Marquez, these guys can fight until they’re 50 and still sell tickets and PPV buys.