Vicious Nicaraguan puncher Felix Alvarado has long been the junior flyweight boogeyman, unable to tempt champions into stepping in the ring with him.
On Monday, Alvarado will get his long-awaited title fight when he faces Randy Petalcorin for the vacant IBF title in Paranaque City, Philippines.
Alvarado, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at 108 pounds, will actually be having his third title opportunity after two failed attempts early on in his career.
However, the 29-year-old power-puncher has clearly improved since points defeats to then-WBC junior flyweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka in 2013 and Juan Carlos Raveco, who held the WBA belt at flyweight in 2014.
Since losing to Raveco, Alvarado has won 15 in a row, with only one opponent hearing the final bell. Admittedly the level of opposition hasn’t been top drawer but the manner in which he’s disposed of them has been. This fight will tell us just how good “El Gemelo” is.
“I’m happy to go fight for the world title,” Alvarado told The Ring through manager William Ramirez. “From the little bit I’ve seen of Randy, he is a very good fighter. He keeps his distance.
“However, we have done our work in the gym, and on that day we will not have to speak very much because we know exactly what we are going to do. All we wanted is a chance to fight for the title with whoever it was.”
Alvarado (33-2, 29 knockouts) has trained diligently for four months in his nation’s capital, Managua, in preparation. He believes that victory would put a smile on his countrymen’s faces.
“This opportunity means a lot to me,” Alvarado said. “We have been waiting for a while and this is what me and my team have been aiming at.
“Of course, for me it’s been difficult to train due to the difficult situation that my country has been going through (100s of people killed following an uprising against Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and his government). But I thank God that we are good and I expect this to be a great gift to all of the people in Nicaragua because that’s what it’s all about.”
Although the original date of the fight has shifted several times, Alvarado remains the consummate professional.
“We have had to change our training regimen a few times due to the changes in dates,” he explained. “Mentally I am well and strong and I am ready to fight. We have been preparing for this opportunity for too long and nothing is going to take that away from me.
“Our mentality is to not leave this up to the judges. We don’t want this to be any type of close decision. My mentality is to try to end this fight as quick as I can.”
Manager Ramirez, who has worked with Alvarado since November 2016, has kept his fighter very active and is confident he will return home a world champion.
“We are extremely happy to finally have the opportunity to fight for the title,” said the manager. “Felix is dedicated to being the best 108-pound fighter in the world. I have little doubt that he is. I am positive that Felix will bring back the IBF title to Nicaragua.”
Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22 KOs) is a 26-year-old southpaw who will be taking part in his first world title bout.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.
The post Felix Alvarado ready to seize the day against Randy Petalcorin in vacant IBF 108-pound title bout appeared first on The Ring.