Alvarez picks Floyd over Manny in rematch
By Joaquin Henson
Tue, 06 Aug 2019
Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez predicts a rematch between super WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will be a major pay-per-view success, if it happens, but the outcome will be the same as the first fight in 2015.
Alvarez, 35, was sensational in forcing local mixed martial arts legend Eduard Folayang to surrender via a rear naked choke at 2:16 of the first round in a ONE World Grand Prix eliminator at the MOA Arena last Friday. Making his Manila debut, Alvarez earlier said if Folayang starts out tentative or aggressive, he?ll pay for it. As it turned out, Folayang charged out of his corner smoking and seized the early advantage. He struck Alvarez with a vicious left hook in the opening minute then floored him with a powerful kick to the leg. With Alvarez down, Folayang pounded the Philadephia visitor on the ground only to be swept in a dramatic reversal. Alvarez was on Folayang?s back as he clamped the choke to force a tap-out.
The win advanced Alvarez to the ONE World Grand Prix final against Saygid (Dagi) Guseyn Arslanaliev of Dagestan in Tokyo in October. Arslanaliev, 24, boasts an 8-1 record with his only loss a disqualification for kicking Georgi Stoyanov on the ground. He has won his last four fights, including a first round knockout over Amir Khan in Singapore last May. Alvarez, who is of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, has a record of 30-7, with 16 KOs, eight submissions and six decisions.
?I think a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather will do millions on pay-per-view,? said Alvarez. ?Social media and the internet will make it a big hit. Even those who don?t want to see it happen will pay money to watch it. I?ll definitely be interested to watch it.?
Alvarez said in a rematch, Mayweather will beat Pacquiao again. ?Mayweather?s style gives him an advantage as he fights with a small margin of error,? he said. ?Manny fights with heart and conditioning but he?s a little loose on technique. Mayweather?s very tight. To me, fighting is about taking advantage of mistakes.?
In 2015, Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on a unanimous 12-round decision in Las Vegas, drawing pay-per-view record hits of 4.6 million. Pacquiao fought with an injured shoulder starting the fourth round yet a lot of ringsiders, including former world champion Sugar Shane Mosley and ESPN?s Skip Bayless, thought he did enough to win the verdict.
Alvarez said he grew up fighting in the streets in Kensington, Philadelphia. He comes from the state that has produced legendary world boxing champions like Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Bernard Hopkins, Tim Witherspoon, Sonny Liston and Jersey Joe Walcott. ?I know boxing and I also know that boxing and mixed martial arts are two different sports,? he said. ?They require the same discipline and a lot of hard work but they?re different. It?s like you can?t compare Michael Jordan in basketball and Wayne Gretzky in hockey at their best. A mixed martial arts fighter can do take-downs, leg kicks and things that boxers don?t do.?
Alvarez said he watched Pacquiao?s recent fight against Keith Thurman on TV. ?I was shocked and surprised that Manny did so well against Thurman,? he said. ?Manny deserved to win and that first round knockdown made the difference. Actually, I bet for Thurman to win by decision and I covered it with another bet for a draw. I figured if the B fighter wins, the judges will score it a draw. I don?t know how the fight did on pay-per-view but I think (Adrien) Broner resonated more than Thurman.?
Alvarez said a Philadelphia buddy Ray Robinson was hired to spar with Jeff Horn in preparing for Terence Crawford last year. ?Ray beat Crawford in the amateurs so Horn?s people got him as a sparmate,? he said. ?Horn?s a limited fighter and he ended up losing to Crawford on a ninth round stoppage.? In 2017, Horn beat Pacquiao on a decision in a fight that was marked by the Australian?s roughhousing, butting and elbowing in Brisbane.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.
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