Juan Manuel Marquez held off a late rush by Mike Alvarado to earn the 56th win of his professional career on Saturday night in Inglewood, California.
The judges scored it 117-109, 117-109, 119-108, per HBO Boxing:
Bryan Armen Graham illustrated how much of an ageless wonder Marquez has become:
Juan Manuel Marquez has now won fights in his teens, twenties, thirties and forties.— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) May 18, 2014
Marquez said after the fight that he doesn't pay attention to his age:
Alvarado was gracious in defeat:
Marquez dominated the early rounds. Up until the ninth round, he showed almost no vulnerability. Douglass Fischer of RingTV.com was impressed with the way that Marquez toed the line between scientific and aggressive:
Boxing writer David Greisman described Dinamita as "beautiful":
The way that Marquez slips under and comes up with shots is just beautiful to watch.— David Greisman (@fightingwords2) May 18, 2014
In the eighth round, Marquez sent Alvarado to the canvas with a wicked right hand. Alvarado was so woozy after the blow that when he returned to his feet, he started for the wrong corner, per Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole:
Round is over. Bell saves Mike who wanted to walk to the wrong corner. 10-8 round there. It's 80-71 on my card now— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 18, 2014
ESPN's Todd Grisham was blunt in his assessment of how the fight was unfolding in the early rounds:
Alvarado is getting outclassed in every possible facet of this fight by Marquez— Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) May 18, 2014
Simply put, what Marquez wanted, he took, as ESPN.com's Brian Campbell pointed out:
This really is brilliant though. Marquez can't miss. With everything.— Brian Campbell (@BCampbellESPN) May 18, 2014
Then, the fight completely turned in the ninth round. Alvarado began to assert his will on Marquez, going so far as to send the Mexican star to the canvas. All of a sudden, a brawl had broken out:
Alvarado-Marquez has gotten real real on HBO. Both men been down. Flat out battle now— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) May 18, 2014
Marquez responded perfectly, though, coming right back at Alvarado with a flurry of punches. Although he still lost the round, his quick comeback effectively closed the door on Alvarado's chances of winning. The only way that Marquez would've lost was if he had been knocked out for good.
For Alvarado, it was too little, too late. If he would've begun his offensive a few rounds earlier, he might have had a chance of swaying the judges.
Instead, Marquez picks up yet another victory to bolster his already outstanding resume. You wonder how much longer he can stay at this level, and yet, he has shown few signs of hitting a significant decline.
One of the most impressive aspects of Marquez on Saturday night was how well-conditioned he was. Don't forget that Dinamita is 40 years old. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated marveled at how well Marquez prepared himself for the fight:
Marquez looks chiseled. Alvarado, not so much.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 18, 2014
Eric Raskin did wonder about that hair color, though:
There's no way that jet-black hair color on 40-yr-old Marquez is natural. I have no suspicions about any other physical features, however.— Eric Raskin (@EricRaskin) May 18, 2014
With the victory, a fifth bout with Manny Pacquiao likely looms on the horizon for Marquez. As much as boxing as a whole is suffering from a lack of variety at the top of the card, Marquez-Pacquiao V is arguably the best decision for both fighters and the best decision for the sport.
Their previous four fights have all been pretty competitive, and another rematch is guaranteed to make money. Fans haven't gotten to the point where they've stopped caring about the duo.
Although Marquez refused to be baited by Max Kellerman in the HBO broadcast after the fight, Mannix believes that the boxer is playing the long game:
Marquez is a businessman. He knows by showing indifference to a fifth Pacquiao fight, it only jacks up the price. Expect that fight in fall— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 18, 2014
Perhaps the fifth fight would be the last between those two legendary fighters.