Boxing legend Juan Manuel Marquez is determined to become Mexico’s first five-division world champion by setting up an historic showdown with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
The 40-year-old great goes head-to-head with the all-action Mike Alvarado this weekend, live and exclusive on BoxNation, knowing that victory on Saturday night will propel him into a fifth meeting with his famed nemesis Pacquiao and a shot at his WBO welterweight crown.
The chance to seize yet another world title, this time at 147 pounds, offers Marquez the unique opportunity to become Mexico’s only five-division world champion, with the veteran currently alongside Mexican icons Erik Morales and Jorge Arce as a four-weight champion.
It is this goal which is keeping the experienced Marquez active as he looks to make the twilight period of his career his most glorious.
“I want to make history by winning another world title. It’s something that’s never been done [by another Mexican]. That is what I am looking forward to towards the end of my career, to win that next world title,” said Marquez.
“I think even Nacho [Beristain] will tell you that we all want to win the fifth world title. Five world titles in five weight divisions. That’s what makes us keep going,” he said.
Getting past Alvarado will be no easy feat with the Denver dynamo looking to bounce back following his defeat to WBO light-welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov last October.
Marquez is refusing to overlook the 33-year-old, but is aware that a Pacquiao fight is around the corner should he prevail, a bout which will be a real test following the pound-for-pound ace’s dismantling of Tim Bradley last month.
“It is not too difficult for me [knowing I could fight Pacquiao next] because I do not look past Mike Alvarado,” said Marquez. “I concentrate only on this fight. Maybe in the future I will think about that fight but right now the most important fight of my career is against Alvarado because he is a strong fighter and a tough fighter,” he said.
“I saw the best Manny Pacquiao [against Tim Bradley]. He wants to beat everybody. I saw the best Pacquiao. Everyone knows that Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter and he is a world champion. Right now Pacquiao is back,” Marquez said.
“Pacquiao is using his feet very well. He moves in the ring. I saw the best Manny Pacquiao because he landed a lot of punches and was moving on his feet. I liked the way Manny Pacquiao fought very much.
“My thinking is first-things-first. My thoughts right now are on Mike Alvarado. If I win the fight then I will think about Manny Pacquiao. I will fight the fight on Saturday then go from there,” he said.
Marquez is at a crossroads in his career as he looks to get back to winning ways following a split decision loss to Bradley last year.
Another defeat could signal the end for hardened Mexican, though he is unsure whether he would hang up the gloves if he was to lose.
“You can’t tell [if a loss means retirement]. You go in the ring. You do the best you can – you win or you lose. Whatever happens on Saturday, you go back, take a look and analyze everything. But in my mind all I think about is winning and continuing my career,” he said.
Nevertheless, Marquez is certain that fight fans will not be disappointed when he shares the ring with the well-schooled Alvarado, as he looks to claim his 56th win in what will be a remarkable 64th fight of his career.
“Mike Alvarado uses a technique when he fights. Right now I think over the rounds and when I get by so many of his punches that he will change his technique but I trained for the best Alvarado in the ring,” he said.
“I need to use all of my experience in the ring. This fight will be a war because Alvarado likes to fight. I like to fight and he likes to fight and the fans win because they like to see these kinds of fights,” said Marquez.
Marquez vs. Alvarado is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Sunday at 2am. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.