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Boxing Returns to the LA Forum in Style
Juan Manuel Marquez built his career at The Forum in Inglewood, California. From 1995 to 1999 he went 12-0 at the famed venue, making a name for himself among fight fans in the LA area. A decade and a half later “Dinamita” returned as an international star to face the bigger, younger “Mile High” Mike Alvarado. A pro Marquez crowd showed up and nearly blew the roof off The Forum with deafening roars during the fighter introductions. It was an amazing atmosphere for fight fans.
The chant “Olé Olé Olé…Marquez” echoed through the arena only seconds after the opening bell, as both fighters felt each other out in defensive stances. They showed each other a lot of respect in the first two rounds, being very selective with their punches. Marquez did more work, working upstairs and downstairs. A pattern began to emerge by the 3rd as Alvarado pressed forward and Marquez circled back, looking for counter punch opportunities. The difference was that Dinamita was throwing combinations and Mile High Mike was not. The Mexican superstar gave angles and mixed left hooks to the body, overhand rights and even uppercuts on the inside. Alvarado looked increasingly hesitant to let his hands go as the rounds progressed. A few times in the 5th he had Marquez backed up on the ropes but just couldn’t seem to get off. Mike came out more aggressive in the 6th seemingly determined to change the fight. He threw punches but didn’t land many, while Juan Manuel countered masterfully. Halfway through it appeared as a fairly quiet, one sided technical bout – not what most had expected.
The action picked up in the 7th round; Marquez got the best of the exchanges yet couldn’t seem to hurt his opponent. Alvarado landed a nice right hand seconds into the 8th, his best punch of the fight at the time, yet spent the remainder of the round mostly following Marquez around the ring, instead of cutting it off. Then suddenly, during the closing seconds of the round, Marquez landed a perfect 1-2 combo to the chin that almost sent his opponent through the ropes. Alvarado barely made the count, and stumbled to his corner after being saved by the bell. It looked like it might soon be over… then the 9th round happened. Marquez tried to keep his composure and take his time, yet he got careless throwing a combination and Alvarado countered with a beautiful left-right that put him on his butt. As soon as Juan Manuel got himself up both men went to war, engaging in violent exchanges that had the crowd on their feet. Both men had each other’s respect now.
The 10th was slower with Marquez again controlling the action, as Alvarado looked to be charging his batteries. Toward the end of the 11th Mike landed a right hand that buckled his opponent’s knees, but Marquez didn’t go down. None the less, it may have been enough for the Denver based fighter to take the round. By the 12th Alvarado’s face was swollen and he had a large welt under his left eye. Marquez remained cautious in his attack, but landed several flush combos down the stretch to put his stamp on the fight. At the closing bell both fighters embraced, knowing they had done something special in the ring. The scorecards were only a formality however, as Juan Manuel had clearly won an entertaining yet one sided fight.
CompuBox had Marquez landing 278 of 627 total punches, compared to 178 of 510 for Alvarado. Indeed the Mexican legend did more work throughout, outlanding his opponent in 11 of the 12 rounds. The telling stat was power punching, where Marquez landed at a staggering 57% rate. The judges scored it 119-108 and 117-109 twice for Marquez, who figures to face his greatest rival, Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, for a fifth time later this year. Marquez improves to 56-7-1 (41 KOs) and Alvarado drops to 34-3 (23 KOs).
In the co-feature, battle tested Selcuk Aydin (26-2, 19KOs), originally from Turkey and now based out of Hamburg, Germany, faced undefeated Ukrainian Viktor Postol (25-0, 10 KOs) in a 140 pound title eliminator. At 5’11”, Postol enjoyed a 4 inch height advantage and he wasn’t afraid to use it, controlling the distance by boxing on the outside. Aydin tried to get inside of his opponent’s slow yet effective jab, but Postol would either back away or tie up, drawing occasional boos from the crowd. However the strategy worked and by the middle rounds the Ukrainian was in control, wearing his foe down and seemingly doing whatever he wanted to. By the 11th round frustration had set in and Aydin was docked a point by the referee for rabbit punching. A moment later Postol closed the show with a right-left-right uppercut combo that destroyed his opponent. Aydin crumbled to the canvas and the ref immediately waved it off without a count. Viktor Postol threw over 1,100 punches en route to scoring the impressive knockout and becoming the mandatory for 140 pound champion Danny Garcia’s WBC world title.
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