LOS ANGELES: 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 yesterday.
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.
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.AFP