Alvarado ready for big stage

By Bill Green
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Unbeaten boxing prospect Mike Alvarado (29-0, 21 KOs) will break from training camp and arrive in Las Vegas on Wednesday as he makes final preparations for this Saturday’s May 7th bout against “Sugar Ray Nahr (25-1, 21 KOs). Alvarado and Nahr will open the televised part of the Pacquiao-Mosley pay-per-view. The junior welterweight fight will be for the vacant WBC Continental Americas light welterweight title. Alvarado is coming off an easy TKO win over England’s Dean Harrison back on Feb 19th. The 30-year-old Colorado native boasts an impressive undefeated record of 29-0 with 21 KOs. Alvarado holds wins over former WBC lightweight champ Cezar Bazan (KO4) and former NABF champ Michael Clark (TKO1).

Opponent “Sugar Ray Nahr displays a respectable record (25-1, 21 KOs) and was a member of the Ghana Olympic team in 2000. Nahr’s only loss was to former champ Almazbek Kid Diamond Raiymkulov back in 2004 in a lightweight bout. The 32-year-old Nahr last won a unanimous decision over Freddie Norwood on March 4th.

Injuries and legal woes have postponed or interfered with your career for the past few years. You missed out on some key fights such as Paulie Malignaggi and recently Vernon Parris. Most fighters are begging for the opportunity to be on pay-per-view. How did this opportunity come about and are you happy with the way things played out?

After the bout with Parris was scrapped due to my right bicep injury we decided to take off about 4 weeks to let the bicep heal but stay in top shape. I have a great strength-and-conditioning coach so maintaining weight is never a problem. Top Rank called and stated that the Soto vs. Antillon bout was scrapped and they asked if I was interested in fighting on the undercard of Pacquaio-Mosley pay-per view event. I accepted the fight immediately. I feel very fortunate and somewhat lucky to be fighting on pay-per-view after so many roadblocks to my career. This is where I want to be and probably should have been back in 2009. However, I believe things happen for a reason and now I plan to take advantage of this opportunity.

You have appeared on several big undercard bouts including Cotto-Margarito. However, you are fighting on one of the biggest stages and PPV events planned for 2011. Top Rank expects record breaking PPV numbers and the telecast will be shown live in several countries. Are you prepared for this type of an event and what has led to your preparation?

I trained for 6 full weeks. My health is 100%. The timing is perfect. I’m mentally and physical prepared. We had great sparring. Abel Perry was my chief sparring partner and we feel like he emulates the style of Nahr perfectly. Abel was training for an upcoming bout with Grady Brewer, so we were able to help each other out. This was a great training camp. We worked on being aggressive, head movement, speed, etc. I was a 2-time state wrestling champ in high school and a collegiate national champion. Some say I was the Floyd Mayweather of wrestling. I feel like I have always performed well in big moments. I feel very strong for this fight.

What are your biggest attributes?

I feel like my will to win, my heart, chin, power, and pressure that I place on my opponents is the key to my success. I see myself as a boxer-puncher. In wrestling I hated to lose a single point to an opponent. In boxing, I hate to lose even a round. I’m very competitive and come from a large family. My family motivates me and pushes me to succeed. Also, I fight for the entire state of Colorado and vow to bring them a champion.

Although you are fighting for a respected but minor WBC Intercontinental America’s light welterweight title, former champs Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, and HOF Buddy McGirt once held the belt. How does it feel to fight for the title and be mentioned with those names?

Wow, I did not know that. I respect all titles that are out there big or small. Obviously, I want to fight for a world title. But look at what the WBC Intercontinental America’s title did for the careers of those three. I’m hoping to showcase my talents for not only the WBC but the entire world.

Nahr has a great record and has lost only once. He is a former 2000 Olympian and vows to pull off an upset. What is your prediction for Saturday and what are Nahr’s best attributes?

Nahr is a very durable fighter, busy, active, decent jab, and throws a sneaky uppercut. We have studied his style well. I plan on applying steady pressure, setting the pace, attacking the body, breaking him down and showing him that he’s in for a long night. I want to establish early on that I’m the boss. I believe Nahr will fade and won’t be able to deal with my power. I have trained for the full 12 rounds but I believe a knockout will come.

What would you like to tell all your fans?

I appreciate you all for sticking beside me through the good and bad times. Tune in Saturday night. I plan on showing the world that Mile High Mike is the best kept secret in the 140lb. division.

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