Newly-crowned WBO interim junior welterweight titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez has his choice of opponents from among unbeaten fighters Mike Alvarado, Mercito Gesta and Brandon Rios, one of whom he could face on July 14 at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum informed RingTV.com on Monday.
“Marquez will defend his 140-pound title at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on July 14,” said Arum. “It will be one of those three guys — Alvarado, Rios or Gesta.”
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 knockouts) headlined an April 14 card that featured all of the fighters by scoring a unanimous decision over Ukrainian Sergei Fedchenko to earn his fourth belt over as many weight divisions.
Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) emerged with a controversial split-decision over Richard Abril, in a bout that was contested over the lightweight limit of 135 pounds after Rios failed to make weight for the second consecutive fight.
Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs) emerged victorious with a hard-fought, unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera, and Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KOs), a southpaw, came through with an eighth-round knockout of Colombian journeyman Oscar Cuero.
Citing Marquez’s co-promoter, Fernando Beltran, BoxingScene.com reported that another consideration for Marquez is left-hander Paul McCloskey (23-1, 12 KOs), whose lone setback was by six-round, technical decision against former titleholder Amir Khan in April of last year.
Marquez craves a fourth bout opposite his left-handed nemesis, Manny Pacquiao, to whom he lost a disputed majority decision in a failed bid to dethrone Pacquiao as WBO welterweight titleholder.
It was the third fight between Marquez and Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs), who had earlier battled to a draw and a split-decision win for Pacquiao in May of 2004 and March of 2008, respectively.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com