Juan Manuel Marquez has predicted "a war" when he faces Mike Alvarado in a 144-pound bout at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Saturday, but though Alvarado has been in many slugfests the 33-year-old contender says he'll try to control his battle lust.
Alvarado, a ormer 140-pound beltholder who makes his welterweight debut on Saturday, knows that brawling would play right into the hands of one of the sport's greatest counter-punchers in Marquez, who remains dangerous at the age of 40.
"I can't be giving in when he's going to war and wanting to trade punches. I can't be giving in to that. I have to fight my fight and at my pace and my style of fighting. I just have to fight the way that I know how to fight and to make the right adjustments," said Alvarado.
"I have to fight smart and be bigger, stronger and quick. I have to fight smart. Stay focused on my game plan and not break my code of giving in and letting my pride get the best of me. I have to fight my fight and stay focused in that ring, and we'll dominate this fight."
Alvarado (34-2, 23 knockouts) has won by 10th-round knockout in a bloody bout with Breidis Prescott and earned a unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera, who lost a disputed majority decision to RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in March.
Alvarado, who hails from Denver, is 1-2 over the course of his past three fights, all of which happened as a 140-pounder. Alvarado was stopped in the seventh round by Brandon Rios in October 2012, won their rematch for the WBO's vacant 140-pound belt by unanimous decision last March, and then lost the title by 10th-round knockout to Ruslan Provodnikov last October.
"Marquez should be able to counter effectively against the steel-willed Alvarado," states Andreas Hale, KnockoutNation.com. "When they meet in the ring, Alvarado should feel the effects of being in two wars against Brandon Rios, a pummelling by Ruslan Provodnikov, a rock-'em/sock 'em affair with Mauricio Herrera and a remarkable come-from-behind victory against Breidis Prescott. That's 49 rounds of slugging it out."
This time, said Alvarado, it won't be that way.
"I can't go in that way, like I've gone into some of the other fights in my career. I've lost to Rios and I had to redeem myself the second time in a redemption fight. So I feel that this is that type of fight. Stylewise, I feel that [Marquez] is going to be tailor-made for me, as well."
Marquez Marquez (55-7-1, 40 knockouts) was last in the ring for a split decision loss to then-WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley last October, which followed Marquez's sixth-round stoppage of Pacquiao in December 2012. Marquez eyes a return bout with Pacquiao, who lost via split decision to Bradley in June 2012. Marquez is 1-2-1 against Pacquiao, who regained the belt with last month's unanimous decision over Bradley.
The winner of Marquez-Alvarado has been mandated to face Pacquiao.
"I've watched a lot of film study. Everybody's been watching Marquez for a long time. He's made his mark, and he's not a very hard man to figure out. Coming off of a loss, for him, this is going to be a very interesting fight. We'll see how much Marquez has left in his career. I'm going to exploit every weakness that he has. We'll see how much he has left in him."