Shann Vilhauer, the trainer of former 140-pound titleholder Mike Alvarado, believes that a likely May 17 HBO clash with Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez is an advantageous fight for his guy, and says that their team has wanted this fight for years. From BoxingScene.com's Ryan Burton:
"It is something that Mike has wanted for a long time. Mike has wanted this fight for three to four years now. We always felt that Marquez was tailor made for us. Marquez is a great boxer, obviously. One of the best boxers ever. I just think that Mike is the bigger and stronger guy."
On Marquez's knockout of Pacquiao, Vilhauer says he doesn't believe it was a timed shot:
"I think that was a lucky shot and if that hadn't happened he would have got knocked out by Pacquiao in the next round. Then Bradley was just on another level that night and Marquez was always a step behind. Then for him to say he was robbed, come on. Everyone knows he wasn't."
Personally, I do think there could be a lot more danger in a Marquez-Alvarado matchup than Marquez and his team expect. Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KO) is 40 years old now, and even though he's shown he can fight as a welterweight (and this fight would have a catchweight of 143 or 144 pounds), he's not really a welterweight. His talent, skill, ability, and conditioning have gotten him to this level at this weight. And there's no doubt he'll be the favorite.
But Alvarado (34-2, 23 KO) is a solid boxer, has good power, and brings action. And I don't think his trainer is exaggerating the effect that not cutting those last two to four pounds could have on him physically. He looked worn out against Ruslan Provodnikov in his last fight, and it was pretty clear then that he was done at 140 pounds.
That said, the greater issue for Alvarado might wind up being not just Marquez's great skill level, but the fact that Alvarado has had a brutal run of fights in recent years. Each of his last five bouts have been draining affairs, and he could be an old 33 after that schedule.