You often hear the term “crossroads fight” in the sport of boxing. The definition can be summed up as two fighter’s getting ready to square off against each other, with the winner moving on to bigger and better things, and the loser being derailed to a point where retirement may be the next option. A “crossroads fight” is often two veteran fighter’s who have built a good reputation for themselves over the years getting ready to make one final run to a title, or towards a big money fight.
This Saturday night we get one of the biggest crossroads fight in the sport of boxing this year when Juan Manuel Marquez takes on Mike Alvarado at newly renovated Forum in Los Angeles, CA . Both fighter’s are coming off loses to two of the top guys in the sport. Alvarado to the hard hitting sensation Ruslan Provodnikov, and Marquez to the slick Timothy Bradley. Neither one wants to retire just yet but both haven’t ruled out the option. The winner of this fight will likely get the chance to face Manny Pacquiao in Macau this November in a PPV event that will generate tons of money for the victor. And the loser may have to consider hanging up the gloves once and for all.
In the case of 32 year old Mike Alvarado losing to Juan Manuel Marquez may not be considered a retirement loss. While Alvarado has been in some wars over the years the Denver fighter may have a few more fights left in him should he fall to Marquez this weekend. However Alvarado doesn’t want to think of that. He wants to beat Marquez this Saturday night and he knows what’s at stake if he doesn’t.
“It’s a great felling and I’m inspired by this opportunity to be in there with a legend and to retire a legend. Not to many people get this opportunity.” Alvarado stated.
Indeed they don’t. That’s not all. By beating Marquez, Alvarado would line himself up for a November showdown against the great Manny Pacquiao. A fight that would put his name on the map in the biggest way it has ever been, and giving him the biggest payday that he has ever seen.
“I want to win this fight and I still have a long career in front of me.” This may be true for Alvarado, but if he were to lose another war type fight to Marquez, it could be the type of loss that he may never recover him. However a win would send him in line to face Manny Pacquiao and opening the doors to big fights down the road.
While all may not be lost for Mike Alvarado if he loses, one cannot say the same for the great Juan Manuel Marquez. The 40 year old veteran turned pro in 1993 making it his 21st year in the boxing game. He won his first title in 1997 and he has all but written his name in the Boxing Hall of Fame. When asked if a lose would be the end for Juan Manuel Marquez he wasn’t sure.
“You can’t tell. You go in the ring. You do the best you can, you win or you lose. Whatever happens Saturday you go back, take a look and analyze everything.”
Retirement has crossed the mind of Juan Manuel Marquez before. After the Pacquiao knockout he considered hanging up his gloves. Taking a few months off to ponder the decision he spoke with his wife, thought about leaving the ring for good, but decided that he had a few more fights in him. After his loss to Timothy Bradley last October, Marquez said that the possibility of retirement was not an option at the moment.
“The goal is to win another title.” Marquez said. “Five world titles in five weight divisions. That’s what makes us keep going.”
Still, many consider Alvarado the underdog going into this fight. Should Marquez lose to Alvarado many will think that father time will have finally caught the 40 year old hall of fame fighter. A fight against Pacquiao would most likely be dead, and Marquez has showed that he is not interested in fighting Brandon Rios or Ruslan Provodnikov. He’s not fighting for money or for greatness, he has conquered both already. He is fighting for another title, and a loss to Alvarado would likely smash that dream. Should he win Saturday night, it’s looking like a Pacquiao-Marquez showdown for the fifth time.
“Right now I’m thinking about Mike Alvarado.” Marquez continues to say whenever the name Manny Pacquiao is mentioned.
The “crossroads fight” couldn’t be more defined in the faces of these two fighter’s. Both know a win gets them bigger fights, and a big payday against Pacquiao. Both understand that a loss could mean the end of a trail that they will never be able to get back on. It’s a fight that should produce fireworks between two guys who like to box but often find themselves in toe to toe brawls. Regardless of who wins Saturday night, both guys are exciting to watch, and the loser should still consider giving boxing one final run.