Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he expects to hear confirmation from Juan Manuel Marquez as early as Thursday concerning a May 17 bout at 144 pounds against Mike Alvarado. Arum also believes that Nonito Donaire could be "the underdog" in a bout with Simpiwe Vetyeka on May 31 in Macau.
"Fernando (Beltran) and Marquez met, and Marquez likes the fight in principle," said Arum. "But he wants to talk with his wife and with Nacho (Beristain), and we should hear back from Fernando by Thursday."
The probable site for Marquez-Alvarado is The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., which is now owned by Madison Square Garden.
Marquez's Mexican-based promoter Beltran already has informed RingTV.com that the four-division titlewinner was close to accepting what he considered to be "an all-action fight" against Alvarado.
Alvarado's manager Henry Delgado also told RingTV.com that the Denver-based fighter already has agreed in principle to face Marquez.
The ultimate goal for Marquez, who turns 41 in August, is a showdown with the winner of the Tim Bradley-Manny Pacquiao rematch.
Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) was last in the ring for a split-decision loss to Bradley last October that followed his sixth-round stoppage of 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 Arum about the potential for the return bout against Bradley or a fifth fight with Pacquiao, against whom Marquez is 1-2-1.
Alvarado is 1-2 over the course of his past three fights. He 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. Alvarado lost the WBO 140-pound belt to Provodnikov.
A 31-year-old former RING junior featherweight champion, Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) was last in the ring for a ninth-round TKO of Vic Darchinyan in November.
In victory over Darchinyan, Donaire rebounded from a unanimous decision loss last April to Guillermo Rigondeaux that added Donaire's RING and WBO championships to the WBA title Rigondeaux already owned.
A 33-year-old South African, Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs) will be after his fourth straight stoppage win against Donaire. He retired Chris John (48-1-3, 22 KOs) and dethroned him as WBA 126-pound beltholder when John failed to rise from his stool after the sixth round.
"Vetyeka made a big splash by beating Chris John, so I think that it's a major fight for the Venetian Macau, and we'll promote the hell out of it," said Arum. "I really don't know if Donaire is going to be the favorite. Donaire might go in as the underdog for this fight."
"This opens up a whole new market for Donaire because of the heavy number of Filipinos in Macau and in Hong Kong, and, also, due to the proximity of Macau to the Philippines as far as Macau is concerned," Arum added. "So we hope that the Filipinos will rally behind him, and that the Chinese will appreciate him and the fight,"