Dan Rafael: Sergey Fedchenko

Alvarado to be elevated to full titlist

September, 3, 2013
When Mike Alvarado is introduced to his home crowd in Denver before his much-anticipated fight with Ruslan Provodnikov on Oct. 19 (HBO) -- which we all expect to be a fight of the year candidate -- he will not be introduced with the interim tag attached to his 140-pound title.

That is because Alvarado will soon be elevated by the WBO to the organization's full titleholder when Juan Manuel Marquez vacates.

At the recently concluded WBO annual convention, which wrapped up a few days ago in Budapest, one of the many rulings that the organization made was that Marquez would be allowed to enter the ring for his challenge of welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. on Oct. 12 as its 140-pound titleholder. However, regardless of the outcome, the organization said that Alvarado will be elevated to full titleholder following Bradley-Marquez and, thus, Alvarado will be making his first defense when he faces Provodnikov.

The WBO is simply showing Marquez respect as the great fighter that he is. His eventual abdication of the title, and Alvarado’s elevation, has been a mere formality since Bradley-Marquez was made and the signing of Alvarado-Provodnikov, which was announced as being for the full title at the news conference in Denver a couple of weeks ago.

Marquez won the vacant interim version of the 140-pound title in April 2012 when he easily outpointed Sergey Fedchenko. He was later elevated to full titleholder but has never made a defense.

After defeating Fedchenko, Marquez fought next in December at welterweight, winning by big knockout against rival Manny Pacquiao. Marquez’s next fight is also at welterweight when he faces Bradley in an HBO PPV main event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Marquez, who turned 40 on Aug. 23, is quite obviously not going back down in weight to fight again at 140 pounds. The WBO would have preferred that Marquez had already vacated but, given his stature in the sport, it is allowing him to hold on to the belt for a little while longer so he can be introduced as the titleholder when he faces Bradley.

Marquez-Fedchenko to be replayed

April, 20, 2012
A trio of televised boxing-related notes:

• If you missed last week's pay-per-view card that included Juan Manuel Marquez's lopsided decision victory against Sergey Fedchenko to win a vacant interim junior welterweight belt in Mexico City and the robbery of the year that saw lightweight Richard Abril get hosed against Brandon Rios (who failed to make weight) in a title bout in Las Vegas, you're in luck.

HBO Latino will replay both bouts on Saturday night (11 ET/PT). The commentary is in Spanish, as called by Mario Solis and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. There will also be replays on HBO Latino on Sunday (10:45 a.m., 5:10 p.m.), Monday (12:45 a.m.) and Tuesday (12:30 a.m.).

As it relates to Rios-Abril, Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said Friday that Rios and Abril both passed their steroid and drug tests. Also, according to the commission, Rios-Abril generated a gate of $257,950 from 2,728 tickets sold at Mandalay Bay, with an additional 531 complimentary tickets handed out.

• There has been a little bit of a change in the lineup for the preliminary bouts that will air on Showtime Extreme on Saturday night (7 ET/PT) from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, prior to Showtime's world title doubleheader at 9:30 ET/PT featuring Abner Mares versus Eric Morel for a vacant junior featherweight belt and bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno defending against David De La Mora. Longtime super middleweight contender Librado Andrade (30-4, 23 KOs) still will face Rowland Bryant (15-1, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout on Showtime Extreme. But added to the undercard broadcast is lightweight prospect Luis Ramos (21-0, 9 KOs), who will face veteran former title challenger Daniel Attah (26-9-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Time permitting, we may also see junior lightweight Antonio Escalante (25-4, 17 KOs) against Francisco Camacho (10-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder and 2008 Mexican Olympian Francisco Vargas (9-0-1, 7 KOs) against Rafael Lora (11-7, 5 KOs) in a six- or eight-round junior lightweight fight.

• Thanks to Golden Boy's evolving output deal with Fox Deportes, American fight fans will be able to watch live coverage of the world title doubleheader from Cancun, Mexico on April 28, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. The card, which also will air on major network Televisa in Mexico, includes featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez (51-7, 45 KOs) defending against former titlist Elio Rojas (23-1, 14 KOs) in the main event, with junior lightweight titlist Juan Carlos Salgado (24-1-1, 16 KOs) making a mandatory defense against Martin Honorio (32-6-1, 16 KOs) in the co-feature.

Scouting Marquez's foe, Fedchenko

April, 11, 2012
Lineal lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez, who is coming off a controversial majority decision loss to welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao in November, will return to headline Top Rank's split-site pay-per-view card on Saturday night (9 ET, $44.95) from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the new Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Marquez's hometown.
[+] EnlargeFedchenko
Alexandra Beier/Getty ImagesWhat do we know about Sergey Fedchenko? He appears to have heart and skill, but he's a light hitter with a lighter résumé.

But Marquez, one of boxing's best, isn't facing another star fighter such as Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr., or even Juan Diaz or Michael Katsidis, past opponents with well-known names. Instead, he is returning home to fight for a vacant interim junior welterweight belt against a fighter who is an unknown to most of the world: Sergey Fedchenko of Ukraine.

So what do we know about Mr. Fedchenko? For one, he has a terrific record (30-1, 13 KOs), albeit one built against nondescript competition. He is also 31 -- seven years younger than Marquez -- and has been a junior welterweight for his entire 10-year pro career. The fighters are just about the same height. And because Marquez is a popular, well-known star and Fedchenko is as obscure as they come, obviously Marquez is the (big) favorite.

Fedchenko's most notable fight came in 2009, when he faced South African contender Kaizer Mabuza, who scored a TKO win against former junior welterweight titlist Kendall Holt in a title eliminator before being knocked out by Zab Judah in a fight for a vacant title. Mabuza handed Fedchenko his only loss -- by majority decision (in Ukraine).

As for Fedchenko's notable wins? There aren't many to pick from, but here's the best I can come up with: He outpointed former titlist (and now ultimate journeyman opponent) DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley in November 2010. This past November, Fedchenko outpointed France's Willy Blain, a 2004 Olympian probably best known in the U.S. for a seventh-round knockout loss to future titleholder Lamont Peterson on HBO in an undercard bout.

Other than that, Fedchenko's résumé is a wasteland.

I did watch some footage of him on YouTube (there are a few fights on there, if you're interested). Fedchenko looks like your typical European stand-up boxer. He doesn't have a lot of power and he isn't particularly fast. He does have a good jab. He seems to have heart, as well as fundamental boxing skills. He also swells and has been cut.

One thing I'm confident in saying: He won't be hard for Marquez to find. Marquez is a great counterpuncher, and if Fedchenko does come to him, or even stays in decent range, he'll probably get tattooed. Most likely, Fedchenko will try to work off the jab to control Marquez, which is a lot easier said than done against a future Hall of Famer.

I asked Sean Gibbons, a boxing lifer and a matchmaker for Marquez's promoter, Fernando Beltran, for his scouting report on Fedchenko, whom he has seen.

"Like a lot of European fighters, he boxes tall and likes to stay on the outside, working behind his gloves that are held high in front of his face," Gibbons said.

Gibbons concurred that if Fedchenko is to have any prayer of winning, he would be best served by working behind his jab.

"He is not overly aggressive, and when pushed back looks to cover when you're punching and waits for you to stop so he can get off," Gibbons said. "He's not much on countering. I do not see an inside game."

All of that, of course, bodes well for Marquez --although at his age and with so many rough fights in his past, you never know when time will catch up to him.

Gibbons' assessment of the fight: "Marquez should systematically break him down, round by round, to the body and head. Sergey has never faced the likes of Marquez. I do not see the power to hurt Marquez. As the fight wears on, he will try to move away from Marquez. But as Marquez steps it up, he will have to stand and fight at some point. I see Marquez breaking him down, and possibly a middle- to late-round stoppage or clear decision."