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Points will decide the winner between Mike Alvarado and Juan Manuel Marquez

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Mike Alvarado “really devoted himself to training” for this weekend’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

The 5-foot-9 Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) will battle the 5-foot-7 Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) in a welterweight bout Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

A former junior welterweight champion, the 33-year-old Alvarado is an impressive pugilist who is courageous and tough to rattle.

Hence, it’s somewhat surprising and disappointing that Alvarado was beaten into submission by Ruslan Provodnikov last October.

“The Mike Alvarado that you’ll see on Saturday is the best trained Mike Alvarado that you’ve seen in years,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “He really devoted himself to training for the fight without some of the nonsense that took place in the past with some of his training.”

Meanwhile, the 40-year-old Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) lost a split decision to Timothy Bradley on October 12.

Bradley was the aggressor and clearly handled Marquez throughout the competitive affair.

To offset Marquez’s ruggedness, Bradley utilized his blazing hand speed and elite footwork.

“Desert Storm” dominated with jabs and managed to avoid exchanges and getting lured into a slugfest.

Bradley rocked Marquez with a left hook in the scrap’s waning seconds that nearly floored the graying Mexican.

If a “Sin City” judge wasn’t incompetent, Bradley would have universally trumped Marquez on points.

Despite his blasé outing versus Bradley, Marquez remains a gifted counterpuncher and one of the premier Mexican boxers ever.

Regardless, Marquez is a quasi geriatric who somehow hasn’t been pinched abusing performance-enhancing drugs.

If clean, Marquez’s days as an elite prizefighter should be over.

Conversely, Provodnikov utterly brutalized Alvarado and it’s tough to predict how “Mile High” will answer to reentering the squared circle.

In an enthralling match, expect narrow scoring to decide the victor between Mike Alvarado and Juan Manuel Marquez.


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