Marquez outpoints Alvarado
Mexican veteran Juan Manuel Marquez rallied from a ninth-round knockdown to win a unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado in a 12-round world welterweight title eliminator.
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The 40-year-old Marquez, who scored a knockdown of his own in the eighth, is now likely to be granted a fifth fight with WBO champion Manny Pacquiao as a result of the victory in Inglewood, California.
It was a dominant performance from Marquez, who was in control from the early rounds and had to defend during the second half of the bout as the hard-punching Alvarado attempted to recover from an eighth-round knockdown.
Two judges scored it 117-109 and the third had it 119-108 in front of a crowd of 12,090 at The Forum arena, where Marquez won his first 12 fights as a featherweight between 1995 and 1999.
The eighth-round knockdown seemed to help wake up Alvarado 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.
"It was a great fight," said Alvarado. "He felt the power from me. It was a good experience."
"He was strong, fast and very worthy. I wanted to put on a good performance for the fans."
Marquez, who has won titles in four weight classes, is expected to now fight Pacquiao in the autumn in what 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 Pacquiao one more time, Marquez said: "I don't know at the moment, but whatever decision it will be good for me, my family, and all my Mexican fans."