The prospect of Manny Pacquiao fighting Mike Alvarado has been gaining a lot of support in recent days. Given how strong Alvarado looked against Brandon Rios a few weeks back, and taking into account the fact that Juan Manuel Marquez is asking for a lot more money than Pacquiao is willing to part with right now, these whispers make sense. Boxing fans are understandably preparing themselves for a Plan B-type situation.
Still, it feels like Alvarado is being used as a last-minute bargaining chip – sort of the way Devon Alexander was utilized to push the Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight over the top.
You will recall, for a short time, Guerrero insisted that he may fight someone other than Mayweather in May. Shortly thereafter, Mayweather suggested that he was considering fighting either Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Alexander, and Guerrero quickly rushed back to the negotiating table.
Maybe this thing between Pacquiao and Marquez is different, but it doesn’t feel like it. At the end of the day, no proposed match-up figures to net all involved the same amount of cash as Pacquiao-Marquez V will. Would Pacquiao-Alvarado be interesting? Maybe. But would it be as beneficial for both fighters, and the management teams that represent them, as the alternatives? No. If Alvarado wins, he beats a washed up former champ. If Pacquiao wins, people will still say he can’t beat Marquez. It’s not a lose-lose, per se, but it’s definitely not a win-win either.
At the same time, if Pacquiao fights Alvarado, what happens to Marquez? Sure, you can pit him against Timothy Bradley – but Bradley couldn’t even do big numbers opposite Pacquiao. And then what happens to Rios? Yes, he’s coming off a loss, but so is Pacquiao, and nobody is talking about him taking on a lesser-known opponent because of it.
Top Rank has two fights right in front of them that make a whole lot of sense: Pacquiao-Marquez V and Alvarado-Rios III. Bradley should sit and wait for an opponent; he was great against Provodnikov, but that doesn’t he can sell big time fights when there are other, better options on the table.
If Pacquiao and Marquez can’t get together for a fifth fight, then Pacquiao-Alvarado is the ideal alternative. But Pacquiao-Marquez V is still what’s best for all parties involved.