Boxing returns to Fabulous Forum with explosive Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado fight

March 26, 2014

Inglewood, Calif. -- For any resident of Southern California, the Forum in the City of Inglewood is fondly remembered as the symbol of the Golden Age of athletics in the LA area.  It is where Magic, Kareem, and the Showtime Lakers earned multiple titles during the 1980's, where Wayne Gretzky elevated the profile of the NHL, and where some of the biggest names in the sweet science honed their craft.

Since the Lakers and Kings moved downtown, sporting events in the Forum have been largely nonexistent.  Now that's about to change, as boxing will finally return to Manchester Boulevard in the form of legendary four-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) battling former junior welterweight world champion “Mile High” Mike Alvarado  (34-2, 23 KOs) in a 12-round World Boxing Organization welterweight title elimination bout on Saturday, May 17.

Mexico City's Márquez has been in the fight game so long that he actually has competed in the Forum, never once losing at the iconic venue.  From 1995 to 1999, he won all 12 of his bouts there, with nine of those victories coming by way of knockout.

"The opportunity to go back and fight at the Forum where I developed as a professional fighter was too great to pass up," said Márquez. "The Forum is very special to me. I expect a tough fight against Mike Alvarado and one that the fans will truly enjoy. Alvarado is a big tough fighter who gives it his all in ring.”

At today's press conference announcing the bout, reporters congregated inside the Forum Club, once the exclusive hangout of Los Angeles' rich and famous during the Lakers' heyday.  The media was then allowed to see the building's refurbished interior and all "17,505" seats as Lakers announcer Chick Hearn used to say on his simulcasts.  Hearn also used to call some of the Forum fights.

The Marquez-Alvarado fight will be televised live on HBO, with the winner earning the reward of fighting the victor of the upcoming WBO welterweight championship rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

The Marquez-Alvarado bout ultimately should be an outstanding clash of styles, with Marquez's counterpunching brilliance going head-to-head with Alvarado's aggression.  Marquez recently struggled with Bradley's stick-and-move approach, but the more offensive-minded Alvarado should be right up his alley.

More importantly, both men are highly motivated and in need of a victory having lost their previous bout.

In his first attempt at winning a fifth world title, Márquez came up short, losing a split decision to defending WBO welterweight champion Bradley.  Meanwhile, Alvarado's world title reign ended in his first defense, where he suffered a TKO loss to Provodnikov in front of a sold-out crowd in Denver.

"When Top Rank called and offered a fight with Márquez I started jumping around -- I was so excited because I have the opportunity to get into the ring and retire a Mexican legend,” said Alvarado. "I am great under pressure and I am going to fight like the 'Old Mike' and use my power and my will to beat Márquez. I made a mistake of looking past Ruslan Provodnikov. He jumped on me and got me in a bad situation. He had such an awkward style. The difference against Márquez will be my power. I am going to train super hard for my biggest fight. I am very excited. I am anxious too, to fight the winner of Pacquiao and Bradley. Bradley interests me a lot. Pacquiao has made his mark in boxing. Bradley is undefeated. This fight is my redemption to all of my fans. I know how important this fight is. What a fight with such a reward - to fight the winner of Pacquiao vs Bradley. This is an incredible opportunity."

Given his status in the sport, Marquez will be the favorite entering the ring on fight night.  Should he prevail, and should Pacquiao take care of Bradley as expected, it will set the stage for an epic fifth fight between the two rivals.

Tickets start as low as $35, but in a special deal to celebrate boxing’s return to the Forum, any $150 or $75 ticket, purchased at the box office or via Ticketmaster on April 1, between Noon and 4:00 p.m. PT, will include a complimentary companion ticket. Limit six (6) tickets per order.

By Mike Elliott
Editor of

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