Since It’s Marquez-Bradley, It’s Also Pacquiao-Alvarado, Most Likely

  • April 29th, 2013
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By Charles Jay

The fighter he really wanted to go up against is going to be occupied come September, so Manny Pacquiao had to look in another direction.

And that direction is, more likely than not, Mike Alvarado, a fighter who has impressed fans with his ability to provide thrills.

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Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Alvarado, who’s got a 34-1 record (23 KO’s), recently defeated Brandon Rios, getting revenge for his TKO loss last October in what many people dubbed “Fight of the Year.” Rios was said to be a candidate for this fight as well, but the bout may have more credibility if Pacquiao, who is coming off two losses in a row and still claims a position on the “pound-for-pound” list, were to oppose the winner of a big-fight “eliminator” and not the loser.

Pacquiao is slated to fight in Macau, and while the original date that was pondered was October, it runs into conflict with many Chinese holidays taking place, so the fight is now ticketed for November, according to promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, who was said to be leaning toward Alvarado.

Macau is the choice for two reasons: one, because Pacquiao wants to be able to avoid U.S. federal taxes; and two, because it is an emerging and lucrative market that accumulates more revenue, by a wide margin, than the Las Vegas Strip. The first reason satisfies the fighter. The second satisfies the promoter, as does the decision by Arum to hold the fight on a Sunday morning so that it could be seen live on pay-per-view in the United States. Of course, the more money that gets taken in, the better it is for both parties, as the promoter and fighter have a 72.5%-27.5% split (in favor of the fighter, of course) on profits.

Pacquiao’s priorities in terms of an opponent were Marquez first and Bradley second. Both of them have beaten him, and both are involved with Top Rank. Marquez was offered $17 million, but wanted $20 million for a Pacquiao fight, so he’ll have a September date in Las Vegas instead against Bradley, who has a win (albeit questionable) against Pacquiao, a win that was not so questionable against Devon Alexander (touted as being a probable September foe for Floyd Mayweather), but had more than a few anxious moments last time out against the rugged Ruslan Provodnikov, coming off the deck in the final round before pulling out a close decision.

Marquez is said to be skeptical about the prospects of U.S. pay-per-view for a fight that is to be held so far away from the principal target market, as the American pay-TV model is more developed than it is in other countries. Translated, that means he is not all that confident of enough money that he could possibly make in the back end. So Arum is more than happy to show him how a PPV fight in Macau can do under the parameters he is laying out.

Alvarado, a Denver native who is 32 years old, has lost only to Rios. With his win in the rematch, he captured the interim WBO championship at 140 pounds. There is much demand for a rubber match between the two, and that rubber match will still be there, regardless of how a fight with Pacquiao turns out. Likewise, with Pacquiao’s drawing power, he can grab another payday here and the possibility of fulfilling a fight date with Marquez is still going to be available. If Bradley happened to defeat Marquez, it would only make the pay-per-view potential stronger in the event he was to come to terms on his own Pacquiao rematch.

Of course, coming to terms is generally the most problematic part of the equation, isn’t it?

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