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Marquez ‘survives’ KO, beats Alvarado ‘I like wars’

LOS ANGELES, May 18, (Agencies): Mexican veteran Juan Manuel Marquez rallied from a ninth-round knockdown to win a unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado in a 12-round non-title welterweight fight Saturday. The 40-year-old Marquez, who scored a knockdown of his own in the eighth, has likely earned a shot at a fifth fight with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao with this victory. “He was strong, fast and very worthy,” Marquez said of Alvarado. “I wanted to put on a good performance for the fans.” Marquez dominated the early rounds but then had his hands full in the second half of the fight as the hard-punching Alvarado showed a lot of heart in coming back from being knocked down. Marquez improves to 56-7-1 as two judges scored it 117-109 and the third had it 119-108. He also landed more punches, 278-178, than Alvarado in front of a crowd of 12,090 at The Forum arena.

Marquez knocked Alvarez down late in the eighth round with a blistering right hand on the chin that was set up by a left jab. Alvarado got up just in time to hear the bell sound, ending the round. The knockdown seemed to help wake up the 33-year-old American as he came out for the ninth with more energy and focus. With just over two minutes left in the round, he got into a wild exchange and beat Marquez to the punch with a short right that dropped the seven-time world champion to the canvas. Alvarado also staggered Marquez twice in the fight, hurting him in the seventh with a similar short right hand then almost knocking him down again in the 11th. Marquez’s knees bent and he fell back slightly but somehow managed to stay on his feet. “I like wars,” Alvarado said.

In between rounds, Alvarado’s corner kept urging their fighter to “beat up this old man up.” “It was a great fight,” said Alvarado. “He felt the power from me. It was a good experience.” Alvarado, who fell to 34-3, took a lot of punishment in the first six rounds and fought the second half of the fight with a cut under his left eye. Alvarado said he wishes he had been busier in the first six rounds. “I was warming up a little too much before getting off. I needed to let my hands go,” Alvarado said. Marquez, who has won titles in four weight classes, is expected to next fight Pacquiao in the fall which would be their fifth bout. In 2012, Marquez spectacularly knocked out the Filipino congressman in fight number four in Las Vegas. Asked if he wants to fight “Pacman” one more time, Marquez sounded more like a promoter than a challenger. “I don’t know at the moment, but whatever decision it will be good for me, my family, and all my Mexican fans.” This marked the first boxing match at the refurbished Forum facility in 13 years. Marquez kept his perfect record intact at The Forum as he fought there several times as a much younger boxer.

Gennady Golovkin has picked a date and a location for his next bout. The middleweight champion just hasn’t figured out who he’s fighting on July 26 at Madison Square Garden. “It doesn’t matter who I fight, but I’m always looking forward to the future,” Golovkin said on Saturday. Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) is moving on after Julio Cesar Chavez Jr turned down a lucrative offer to fight him in Southern California on July 19. Chavez is the latest elite fighter to back away from a bout with Golovkin, who was willing to move up to 168 pounds (76 kms) to make that bout happen. The hard-punching Kazakh is a rising star after racking up 15 consecutive stoppage victories, but has been unable to lure Chavez, Sergio Martinez or the rest of the world’s biggest names into the ring despite HBO’s financial backing.

The mandatory challenger for his WBA belt is unheralded Australian Jarrod Fletcher, but Golovkin is more interested in fighting former champion Daniel Geale in July in New York. Golovkin is attempting to play by the sanctioning bodies’ frequently absurd rules by applying for an exemption to bypass Fletcher in favor of Geale (30-2), another Australian with a much better chance of hanging in with Golovkin. “We feel Geale would be the biggest name available, and that’s why we’ve asked for an exemption,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter. “We’re not ruling Chavez out, but it’s definitely not going to happen in July, and Gennady can’t wait.”

After several weeks away from training while mourning his father’s death, Golovkin is ready to resume the aggressive pace of his career. He traveled from his home in Stuttgart, Germany, to Los Angeles this week to begin training camp in Big Bear, California, even before knowing who he’ll fight. Golovkin won four fights in 2013 and added a fifth victory in February 2014, stopping each opponent in impressive fashion. Golovkin is interested in fighting the winner of Carl Froch’s meeting with George Groves in London on May 31, and would be willing to fight in England. He also would entertain a bout with Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler or England’s Martin Murray. And Golovkin is still hoping Martinez will meet him in a middleweight bout after his fight against Miguel Cotto in New York in June 7.

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