Juan Manuel Marquez won a clear unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado on May 17, dominating in the Forum’s first boxing card in 13 years. Marquez, 40, turned back the clock to a specific time and place while he battered Alvarado.
Under the spotlights, the smoke and the deafening cheers, he was once again the king of the Forum ring, returning in grand style to the refurbished arena for one more celebration of his brilliance and longevity.
“I wanted to give the public here a gift,” the four-division champion said afterward while a pro-Marquez crowd roared its approval. “A gift that dignifies the history of this event and the history of the Forum. I wanted to make this fight a gift for the fans.”
Marquez (56-7-1) dismantled Alvarado with 12 rounds of technical brilliance and vicious power, knocking down Alvarado in the eighth round and bouncing back from his own ninth-round knockdown to finish strong, even staggering Alvarado right before the final bell.
Judges Max DeLuca and Julie Lederman scored it 117-109 for Marquez, and Robert Byrd favored him 119-108. The Associated Press also scored it 117-109 for Marquez, giving him 10 of the 12 rounds.
Marquez improved to 13-0 at the Forum, the former featherweight prospect’s regular home during the late 1990s. Although he once lived in Anaheim, Marquez hadn’t fought in California since his last Forum bout in 1999, and thousands of his local fans turned out to support arguably the greatest Mexican fighter of his generation.
The win sets up Marquez for a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao in the fall in Macau, if Marquez wants it. His knockout victory over Pacquiao in December 2012 was the crowning moment of his career, but the money might compel him to add a fifth chapter to their rivalry.
“We’ll relax first,” Marquez said. “I don’t know at the moment, but any decision we make will be good for me, good for my family and good for the Mexican fans.”
Alvarado (34-3) never got rolling in his second straight defeat, struggling to land any major shots beyond the right that sent Marquez to the canvas.
“It was a bad experience being in there with a legend,” Alvarado said. “I was warming up a little bit too much before I started getting off. It was on me, but it was a great fight.”
Marquez, who made $1.4 million, showcased the roots of his success against Alvarado, whose apparent fear of Marquez’s famed counterpunching left him waiting for Marquez to clobber him.