time we saw Mike Alvarado, he looked more like a loser than the winner he in fact
was. Trailing on points with a deeply lacerated lip and a banged-up face, he
staged a dramatic
grandstand finish, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat via 10-round
stoppage over Breidis Prescott on the Manny Pacquiao-V-Juan Manuel Marquez III
card last November on HBO Pay-Per-View. The come-from-behind victory helped
Alvarado retain his pristine 32-0 (23) record, allowing him to return to the
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino tonight where he meets Mauricio Herrera 18-1 (7)
as part of the Brandon Rios-V-Richard Abril/Marquez-Sergei Fedchenko split-site
bill. The 31-year-old Alvarado intends to
steal the show once again and get himself a title shot later this year.
Currently, he's ranked 11 by the WBA, nine by the IBF, three by the WBO and seven
by the prestigious The Ring magazine.
Anson Wainwright – You’re
fighting Mauricio Herrera this weekend on the Brandon Rios-Richard Abril card
in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. What are your
thoughts and comments on this Herrera and what do you know about him?
Alvarado –I've watched some films of him and I heard a lot about him. He's
durable; he has some pretty good wins in his last few fights. He's tough; I
really don't see too much of a problem with him. He has a very good jab. He's
up-and-coming; he started in the game late. He didn't have many amateur fights.
He's going to come in shape and I'm sure he'll be at his best but we're
well-prepared. We've done a lot of studying; we've been sticking to a very good
game plan and I'm probably in the best shape of my whole career so I know he's
going to be in trouble facing Mike Alvarado on April 14th. I'm ready
for whatever Herrera has planned to bring to the table. I'm looking forward to
the fight. I'm excited.
AW - Last time out,
you stopped Breidis Prescott in the 10th round, what are your
thoughts on that fight looking back?
MA - It was a great learning experience,
that fight. The fight went a whole different way to what our game plan was. He
came in really sharp, shooting straight punches down the middle. All the fights
we studied [of Prescott], he was more of a flutter type of fighter. We prepared
for a lot of looping shots. The fight went the way it did; styles make fights.
It was a huge learning experience for me. He's a tough fighter coming off a
huge win over Amir Khan, having some close decisions [losses] with some other
top fighters Miguel Vazquez and Paul McCloskey. They were close fights. He's a
tough fighter; it was a great fight and I learned a lot about myself. I could
dig deep later in the rounds. I'm always in shape; I get stronger as the fight
goes, which I did in that fight. Prescott never hurt me. He did cut me, threw
me off a little with the cut. I overcame that adversity my whole life, each and
every one of those fights. It wasn't the best camp but it goes to show what
type of fighter I am. I'm a warrior when it comes to having to dig deep; when
the going gets tough, I pick it up. I stick to my guns and I follow through. It
was a great fight, especially on a huge card like Pacquiao-Marquez III. Stealing
the show on a Pacquiao card is pretty good, so I was happy with the end of the
AW - Can you tell us about
your mindset going into the final round knowing you were behind on points?
MA - I knew it was a very close
fight. I didn't think he was far ahead on points. I believe it was really
close. I didn't want to leave it up to the judges so I did what I had to. I dug
deep; I soul-searched and stepped on the gas in the 10th round. I
knew he was ready to go. Once I stepped on the gas, I took over the fight; I
outpunched him. I was hurting him plenty of times in the seventh, eighth, ninth
rounds. In the 10th, he was ready to go. He was holding on trying to
escape because he knew he was probably going to be ahead on the scorecards,
which they said he was. I didn't want to leave it to the judges so I stepped on
the gas and did what I had to win the fight.
AW - Who are the key members
of your team?
MA – My trainer, Shann Vilhauer, I’ve
worked with since I started boxing so he knows me well. He knows my style. Rudy
[Hernandez], he's a really good cut man, well experienced. He helps us a lot in
the corner with little things he says. They give great instructions; they don't
hide behind the bush with me. They know; they tell me, “You’re behind!” I
listen to my corner. We trust each other. My manager is Henry Delgado. He's
been is my manager since I turned pro; he's a well-rounded manager. I'm pretty
much his main fighter; we've been learning and growing as a team. We've been through
a lot of ups and downs, learning experiences to get to where we are now. Right
now, it's been going good. My manager has a very good relationship with [my
promoter] Top Rank. They've treated us well; they've been on our side. It's
been a good thing. I'm ready to step up and I know they're ready to put on bigger
and better shows and fights [for me].
AW - Where are you training for this
MA - We're out here in Southern California;
we're at Azteca boxing. We're getting a lot more quality sparring with Alfonso
Gomez, Sergio Mora, Jamal Harris. We've sparred bigger guys down to the lightweights
with Miguel Vazquez. He was good work, speed and strength. It's been a really
good learning experience at this point. I've never really sparred with top contenders
as consistently as I have for this camp. As well as strength and conditioning,
I have a new guy for the last few weeks. I’m stronger, quicker; I’m in the best
shape ever. I’m very excited.
AW - Do you usually train back home in
MA - I go back and forth. I train in
Denver for most fights. I've been to Houston and trained with Ronnie Shields. I
was in the Juan Diaz camp for quite a few fights. My last fight I was out here
[in Southern California]. There was a couple of camps I trained out in
Hollywood with Pacquiao when he fought Ricky Hatton. So I have a lot of
different experiences, different atmospheres and different training, so it's
been a huge experience. I'm ready and at that next level, so I'm ready to make
AW – Can you tell us a
little about your boxing background?
MA – Well, I started pretty late in the
game of boxing. I started when I was 20 years old. My first sport was
wrestling; that's all I knew. That was something I just did. My father had me
in wrestling my whole life. It was year-round wrestling, freestyle, collegiate,
wrestling, wrestling, wrestling! After high school, I was kind of burned out
and I didn't see much of a future in wrestling, so I started working. I wasn't really up to much; I didn't
have any sporting activities at the time, so I went to the boxing gym to try it
out. I was curious to see how boxing would fit into my life. That's when I met
my trainer that very first day. He was like, “Come back,” and kept pushing me
and talking to me. So I was interested and curious where I could take this and
stuck with it. I was fighting, training; I was catching on quick; it was, like,
natural. It came to me; it was like it was meant to be. Everything fell into
place and I worked hard, a blessing in disguise. God told me this is my calling
and I've stuck with it. It's who I am.
AW - Was it a coincidence that your
father boxed and you ended up also
MA - It was a coincidence; it was
something I chose to do. My cousins, my whole family, we were raised as one big
wrestling family. None of my cousins got into the fight game. My uncle, back in
the day, he fought. My biological father fought but I didn't know who he was. I
never met him; I never had any kind of bond with him when I was younger. I had
no idea but growing up and hearing how my biological father was an actual
fighter, some of the top commentators and people in boxing know about him. It's
just a coincidence that I turned into a fighter; it's kind of crazy how it fell
AW – Could you tell us about
your upbringing with your father and how that shaped you?
MA – My father who raised me would be…the
definition I would give him is a drill sergeant-type of father. It was all
discipline and sacrifice. That’s made me a tough individual and gave me
experience in how to push myself in all the work ethic. You can put in a lot of
time but it’s about what you put in in
that time that makes who you are. You can put all the time in the world but if
you don’t give it all you got in that time, you’ll never know how far you can
take it. I remember and it sticks with me, all that hard work, everything I
learned. It helps me get better.
AW - You served some time in
prison a few years back and went back inside after violating your probation. Could
you talk about those times and how it has motivated you in your boxing career?
MA – It was something I went
through. It was a growing-up process for me. All the decisions I was making,
some positive, some negative that kind of held me back; it was something I had to
learn. I put it behind me. It was something that held me back but helped me
grow as a man, as a person. It helped me become a better person in and outside
the ring. I push myself hard. I could have thrown it away and not come back
from it, dealing with that adversity, staying strong and having the
perseverance show the type of person I am. I’m a leader. I’m a good role model.
I have three daughters, so I just keep positive and let God guide me where I
was destined to be. I’m still fresh in this game. I started late; I’m far from
washed up. I’m ready to make a mark in this boxing game.
AW - When you’re not boxing,
what do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies and interests?
MA – It’s the whole family thing. I
have a huge close family. They’ve been through it all, the ups, the downs,
everything. It’s something I give back to my family when I’m away at camp, so
when I’m home, I give them my time. It’s precious to me. I give all my time to
my family, my girls. I teach, give back a lot of my time is just helping them
grow and teaching kids to be better people. I’m into so much. I’m a multi-athletic
type of person. I was good at anything I did. Wrestling, basketball, football,
baseball, I did it all. I didn’t know what I’d end up doing. I was good at
everything I did. I try to get all my nephews and nieces, my daughters to play
softball. I'm just so active with everything.
AW - The light welterweight
division is very strong at the moment. What do you think of the current
champions, the WBC’s Danny Garcia, WBA/IBF champion Lamont Peterson and the WBO’s
Tim Bradley? Who do you think is the best 140-pounder in the world and who are
MA – So
much potential in my weight division, it's the most exciting division in boxing
right now. So many good champions out there. I believe I'm ready for any of the
champions. I'm ready for my shot. They’re all great champions but I'm
undefeated. I proved I'm a fans fighter. I come to fight every time, so they
have to give me my title shot.
Is there a particular fight you crave?
MA - I want a shot at the winner of the Khan and Peterson unification. Even
Danny Garcia but with the whole feuding with Top Rank and Golden Boy, I don't
know If that would work out. Anybody that has the title in my weight division,
that's who I want to fight. I deserve a world title shot.
AW – There are a few fights
that will be of interest to you in and around your weight class. Could you give
me your thoughts and predictions on them? How do you see the Manny Pacquiao-Tim
MA – It’s going to be an
interesting fight. I believe Pacquiao’s on his game; he’s the man right now. I
have Pacquiao to win. I would say a late knockout, eight or nine rounds. I
think he’ll stop Tim Bradley.
AW - How about Lamont
Peterson-Amir Khan rematch going?
MA – The rematch, I think Lamont’s
going to beat him again. I think Khan’s ready to move up; he’s a great fighter.
I think Lamont has his number. I think it’s a really close fight. I think
Lamont’s the [real] champion now. Khan’s going to have to step his game up and
press the action. I don’t really care who wins. I want my shot at the title and
AW - Growing up, who was
your boxing hero?
MA – I looked up to, like, [Oscar]
De La Hoya. [Felix] “Tito” Trinidad, I liked the way he came to the ring was
always ready; his mindset was always on point. [Muhammad] Ali, back in the day.
I didn’t have a main fighter. I just liked the top guys, I guess.
AW - Your nickname is “Mile
High.” Could you tell us the back story and how you got that nickname?
MA – It came from me being from Denver,
the mile-high city of Denver, the elevation 5280 [feet]. It represents where
I’m from; it just stuck. So it just came with me, hometown golden boy (laughs).
AW – Finally, do you have a
message for the light welterweight division?
MA – Just to look out for me. It’s my
time to shine. I’m taking over the division, so whoever’s in my way- be ready.