Alvarado still in search of title belt
Mike Alvarado is a boxer who has flirted with stardom throughout his career. He has an opportunity to take big steps this year, starting with Saturday's bout against Mauricio Herrera.
An undefeated (32-0, 23 knockouts) American fighter, Alvarado is one of the top contenders in a 140-pound weight class loaded with star power, and continued wins should bring about bigger fights.
First thing's first, though: He must take care of the tricky Herrera.
"I'm feeling good," the Denver native said. "I'm anxious to get in there and put on a great performance. I had a good camp."
Alvarado's last fight was a grueling 10th round TKO over Breidis Prescott, a fight in which he was down early, but showed resilience, heart and toughness, coming back to batter his opponent late. He says that performance has given him a boost going forward.
"It has given me huge confidence," Alvarado explained. "It was a huge learning experience. I learned a lot that fight about myself, and I'm ready to show the world that I'm the next fighter to beat. I'm the one to put on the show. I'm ready for that."
It also made certain that Alvarado will not become overconfident. Even though he is the favorite this weekend, he understands the danger Herrera presents.
"You can never look past any of these fighters," Alvarado said. "He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. It's a dangerous fight for me against him. I have everything to lose. I'm the one in the spotlight. I just stole the show on a huge card, so there's no pressure on him, but I'm ready to do what I do. I'm prepared. I'm getting stronger, quicker, and I'm ready."
Alvarado is quick to praise Herrera. He says his opponent is tough, has good skills and a stiff jab. Herrera has also been here before. He faced an undefeated fighter in Russia's Ruslan Provodnikov last January, and handed him his first defeat, winning a title in the process.
A title is what Alvarado is gunning for. And even though he regularly enters the ring well above the 140-pound limit, making weight has not been an issue for him, and thus, moving up to welterweight is not in his plans.
But being a world champion is.
"I'm so close to the world title at 140," Alvarado claims. "I make the weight. I'm more disciplined in my diet and nutrition. It's not a problem to stay where I'm at. Everything's falling into place. I'm going to stay at this division for a while. I want to win the world title and control it for a while."
This weekend, Alvarado will kick off a very impressive trio of fights that also includes Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez, and he knows he has an opportunity to show boxing fans he is someone to be excited about.
"Expect a very good, impressive performance," he said. "I'm strong, mean, quick and a very skilled fighter, a very mature fighter that people will see around for a while. They're going to see me at that top level."