By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Forum in Inglewood, California will be the host site for a WBO Welterweight Title eliminator between the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado. The winner of this bout will be in line for a lucrative pay-per-view bout with Manny Pacquiao sometime in November.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
HBO will also be showing a WBC Junior Welterweight Eliminator between Viktor Postol and Selcuk Aydin prior to the start of the main event. That belt is currently held by Danny Garcia, but it appears unlikely that a bout between the winner of Postol and Aydin and Danny Garcia will be made in the near future since Garcia fights under Golden Boy Promotions and has been recently talking about moving up to the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of both of the televised title eliminator bouts.
Viktor Postol (25-0) vs. Selcuk Aydin (26-2); WBC Junior Welterweight Eliminator
The opening bout is between two European boxers that most American fans of boxing are not very familiar with. Viktor Postol is a Ukranian boxer and Aydin is Turkish. They are both the same age, but Aydin has an edge in amateur experience since he competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Postol will be nearly four inches taller than Aydin. Postol isn’t known for being a hard hitter and has spent almost his entire career fighting in the Ukraine. He has ten stoppages to his record and only one stoppage victory in his past five bouts.
Postol’s biggest victories came against Hank Lundy, DeMarcus Corley, and Yvan Mendy. All three of those bouts came in the friendly confines of the Ukraine. His one bout in the United States was a knockout victory over Henry Aurad in December of 2012.
Postol has also been very active. He fought four times in 2013. While only one of his victories in the past year was against a well-known opponent in Hank Lundy, all of his victories since 2010 have come against boxers with winning records.
Aydin is the more well-traveled of the two and has been in the ring against better opposition. Aydin also has more power in his hands than Postol. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, including two of his past three victories.
Aydin has fought in the United States three times and went 1-2. He lost by decision to Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass in his last two bouts in the United States. He has defeated the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Aaron Herrera, Ionut Dan Ion, and Dzmitry Lubachkin.
This is a tough bout to call mainly due to the fact that Postol has not fought in front of a United States audience in quite some time. A slight edge has to go to Aydin, but only because of the experience he has fighting in front of a US audience.
Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1) vs. Mike Alvarado (34-2); WBO Welterweight Eliminator
Marquez is a sure shot hall of famer and at the age of forty he shows no signs of slowing down. He will be in the ring against someone that is seven years his junior, and also two inches taller and longer.
Both boxers are coming off of tough losses. Marquez lost by split decision to Timothy Bradley in October of 2013 while Alvarado lost to Ruslan Provodnikov by stoppage at the end of round ten.
Marquez is best known for his four fight campaign against Manny Pacquiao in which he went 1-2-1. He knocked Pacquiao out cold in the sixth round in their final encounter, but was losing on the scorecards at the time and appeared to be close to going down himself. Marquez’s other losses were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Chris John, and two lesser known boxers earlier in his career.
Marquez is one of the best counter punchers of all time, but if he’s against someone who can control the distance and pace he can be defeated.
Marquez has defeated an impressive list of champions of top rated contenders throughout his career. His notable victories include Orlando Salido, Marco Antonio Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Juan Diaz, Manny Pacquiao, and Serhiy Fedchenko.
Alvarado is known for having the heart of a lion inside the squared ring, but his two losses have come by stoppage. He also stopped by Brandon Rios in the seventh round in their memorable war in October of 2012. He would later go on to avenge that loss by decision, but it was another action packed bout that featured both boxers leaving everything in the ring.
Alvarado and Marquez both have a knockout ratio of around 63%, but Alvardo has only had one stoppage win in his last six bouts. Marquez also has significantly more amateur experience than Alvarado.
Alvarado’s most significant victories have come against Brandon Rios, Mauricio Herrera, Breidis Prescott, and Ray Narh. His list of notable victories pale in comparison to Marquez, but he has been more active than Marquez in the past two years.
Timothy Bradley gave Alvarado the blueprint to beating Marquez in their last bout. If he can use his reach to stay out of Marquez’s range and avoid a brawl he stands a better chance at winning. But Marquez’s boxing IQ is extremely high and he’ll likely walk out the victor on Saturday night.