Mike Alvarado's trainer, Henry Delgado, said that the fighter is leaving on Friday for Los Angeles to begin preparations for a planned May 17 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez that appears close to being finalized.
Delgado told RingTV.com last week that the Denver-based Alvarado has agreed in principle to face Marquez, whose Mexico-based promoter, Fernando Beltran, indicated that Marquez is equally close to accepting what he called an "an all-action fight" in the welterweight division.
A former 140-pound beltholder, Alvarado is 1-2 over the course of his past three fights. Alvarado was stopped in the seventh round by Brandon Rios in October 2012, won their rematch by unanimous decision last March and was floored twice during an eighth-round knockout loss to Ruslan Provodnikov last October in Broomfield, Denver.
Delgado said Alvarado lost the WBO 140-pound belt to Provodnikov, in part because of distractions the fighter faced while training in his home town for the first time before a major bout.
"The last time, we trained here, and you saw the outcome. We're not making any excuses, but it is what it is. There were all kinds of distractions," said Delgado, adding that Marquez-Alvarado has been negotiated for a catchweight of 144 pounds.
"Last time, training here, Mike had to be in all kinds of places. It was ridiculous. So Mike's doing well, and we're getting ready to take off for Los Angeles for our training and where there will be no distractions."
The probable site for Marquez-Alvarado is The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., which is now owned by Madison Square Garden and recently underwent a $40 million facelift.
Marquez, who turns 41 in August, was last in the ring for a split-decision loss to Tim Bradley last October that followed his sixth-round stoppage of Manny Pacquiao in December 2012.
Marquez craves a rematch with Bradley, a split-decision winner over Pacquiao in June 2012, as well as a title in a fifth weight class. Beltran has spoken to Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, about the potential for the return bout against Bradley or a fifth fight with Pacquiao, against whom Marquez is 1-2-1.
Photo / Naoki Fukuda