The hottest rumor in boxing right now is that Manny Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado will square off at some point this October. Over the past 24 hours, a bout that nobody was even seriously considering up until this weekend is suddenly all anyone wants to talk about.
Before delving into the specifics of whether this fight is a good idea or not, it’s important to note why it’s being discussed. The reason it’s what everyone in boxing circles is whispering about is because the gossip is actually beneficial for all involved. It provides Pacquiao with additional leverage in his tough negotiations with Juan Manuel Marquez, and if offers Alvarado the opportunity to swoop into a big money match if Marquez decides to pass.
That’s why Alvarado’s manager has been quietly peddling the notion of an October bout between Pacquiao and Alvarado to anyone who will listen.
Back to the original point, though: is this the best fight available for either man? No and yes.
No – this isn’t the ideal match for Pacquiao at this point in his career. If he wins, people will still think that Marquez owned him last December. If he loses, which he very well might given how spiffy Alvarado looked a few weeks back, his career is over.
That being said – yes, this is ideal for Alvarado. At the moment, the 32-year-old is in discussions for fights against Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios or Marquez. He would get a much bigger check from a fight against Pacquiao than any of those other guys. And seeing as he still has plenty of time left in the sport, and taking into account the fact that Rios is only 26 and also has plenty of time left in the sport, maximizing this Pacquiao opportunity makes all the sense in the world. If he wins, it just reaffirms that he’s one of the top pound-for-pounders around. If he loses, he can fight three times over the next 12 months and make everyone forget.
Alvarado is in a win-win situation right now, Pacquiao is not.
Marquez has been and remains Pacquiao’s preferred opponent. Both from a financial and purely boxing standpoint, there is no other match that makes as much sense as this one. But if Marquez keeps demanding the $20 million he’s rumored to want, and if he refuses to budge from that figure, then Pacquiao will have no choice but to settle for the alternative.
He wants Marquez, but he’ll definitely settle for the IBF champ.