Manny Pacquiao vs. Mike Alvarado in the works for April

By Boxing News - 01/04/2018 - Comments

Image: Manny Pacquiao vs. Mike Alvarado in the works for April

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao could be facing former WBO light welterweight champion Mike Alvarado for his tune-up fight in April in Mexico, according to ES News Reporting. This will be the 39-year-old Pacquiao’s warm-up to get him ready to face the winner of the match between WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford.

The Horn-Crawford fight is supposed to take place in early 2018, with Pacquiao facing the winner.

Pacquiao-Alvarado would have been a good fight if it took place in 2012, before Alvarado’s first loss to Brandon Rios. It’s not a good fight now. In fact, it’s such a bad fight that it tarnishes Pacquiao’s legacy in my opinion. Pacquiao shouldn’t be fighting guys like Alvarado at this point. I don’t care that Alvarado is one of the Top Rank stable fighters. It’s a horrible fight. Pacquiao should be fighting relevant contenders like Shawn Porter, Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia. A good tune-up fight for Pacquiao would be Amir Khan.

If nothing else, Alvarado (38-4, 26 KOs) is a predictable opponent for Pacquiao. Alvarado is with Top Rank like Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), which makes it an in-house fight with both guys being with the same promotional company. Pacquiao mostly fights Top Rank guys. Facing Alvarado rather than a non-Top Rank fighter is something I would expect. It’s not a fight that will do anything for Pacquiao other than make him look good and keeps him from losing the fight.

Pacquiao vs. Alvarado is a horrible fight on paper. Alvarado, 37, hasn’t done anything with his career in the last 5 years.

Alvarado has lost 4 out of his last 9 fights since 2012. His losses came against Ruslan Provodnikov, Brandon Rios [x 2] and Juan Manuel Marquez. Alvarado looked REALLY bad in losing to Rios by a 3rd round knockout on January 24, 2015. That was as bad as a fighter could look. Alvarado made Rios look good, and you can argue that’s not easy to do.

Since the loss to Rios in 2015, Alvarado has won his last 4 fights against these journeyman level fighters:

• Saul Corral (19-6)

• Josh Torres (15-4-2)

• Matthew Strode (24-4)

• Sidney Siqueira (26-12-1)

This move by Top Rank could backfire for them with Pacquiao losing to the much bigger and stronger Alvarado. Pacquiao is 39-years-old now, and he’ll be coming off a grueling defeat to Horn and a 10-month layoff. Pacquiao is politician now in the Philippines, and not fighting a lot anymore. He’s not the same fighter at this point that he was in 2016, when he beat Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas.

Top Rank should be matching Pacquiao against a contender like Lucas Matthysse. That would have been the far better fight for him, but it’s not surprising that they’re not making that fight. Matthysse isn’t one of the Top Rank stable fighters.

Pacquiao-Alvarado is an even worse fight than Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios, which will be taking place in February. That fight is viewed by many boxing fans as Garcia facing an easy mark in battling a struggling, over-the-hill Rios. But in the case of Pacquiao facing Alvarado, that’s far worse in my view.

Former 8 division world champion Pacquiao looked like a shot fighter in his last contest last year against Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao lost the fight by a 12 round decision, and he was pretty badly beaten up by the younger 29-year-old Horn. Everything about that fight was just wrong. Pacquiao agreeing to fight Horn in Australia was an insane move. It doesn’t matter that the money was better for Pacquiao to fight over there. It was a bad move. Horn is co-promoted by Top Rank. Pacquiao wanted to fight Amir Khan. That was a fight that he had tried to push for, but his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank went with the in house Top Rank fight against Horn. The results were bad all around for Pacquiao, as he was roughed up by Horn in losing a controversial 12 round unanimous decision to the Australian fighter by the scores 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. Pacquiao chose not to fight Horn in a rematch in December due to a busy work schedule. Horn subsequently made a successful voluntary defense in beating fringe contender Gary Corcoran by an 11th round knockout on December 13 in Brisbane.

Horn will next defend against Crawford. The winner of that fight is expected to defend against Pacquiao, unless he chooses not to take that path. It’s believed that Pacquiao will go along with his promoters at Top Rank’s plans by fighting the winner of the Horn-Crawford fight rather than asking for them to match him against one of the other champions or top fighters in the welterweight division. You’d like to see Pacquiao end his career with a win over someone like Amir Khan. He’s not with Top Rank though, which might make that fight difficult to make if they’re not interested in making that fight.

Pacquiao recently sent a Tweet to UFC star Conor McGregor. This has a lot of boxing fans thinking that he’s interested in facing McGregor in what would be a big payday fight for him. Floyd Mayweather Jr. made a huge amount of money fighting McGregor last summer on August 26 in a fight on Showtime PPV in Las Vegas, Nevada. For McGregor to face Pacquiao, he would need to be given clearance by the UFC, as he’s under contract with them. Unless they’re willing to let McGregor fight another boxing match, he’s likely going to be returning to that company to continue fighting over there. Pacquiao-McGregor would be a good fight for Pacquiao in terms of the money he can make, and the fact it’s a winnable one for him. Pacquiao is said to have a long-term goal of becoming the president of the Philippines.

It would be in Pacquiao’s best interest for him to end his boxing career on a win in the biggest fight possible, not on an embarrassing loss to the winner of the Horn vs. Crawford fight. It would be a bad move on Pacquiao’s part to face either of those guys. Horn would likely come into the fight with Pacquiao rehydrated and looking like a middleweight again, like he did in their previous fight. Horn would then likely rough Pacquiao up for 12 rounds by shoving and ramming into him head first. Crawford would counter punch Pacquiao all night long and make him look bad. Crawford has the potential of knocking out Pacquiao. If Crawford decided to carry Pacquiao for many rounds, he could end up clowning him the way he did in his fights with Felix Diaz and Victor Postol.