Marquez-Alvarado bout on tap?

Juan Manuel Marquez could find himself returning soon to a venue where he built his reputation. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

One thing is clear: Top Rank will promote an HBO card on May 17 at the newly renovated Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The open question, however, is what's the main event?

There are two possibilities. It could be the much-discussed fight between interim lightweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KOs) and junior lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), who would move up in weight.

That fight is being negotiated and by all accounts it's going to get done sooner than later. In fact, there's a good chance that it will be the main event on May 17.

However, Top Rank big boss Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Garcia-Gamboa might shift to June and be replaced by another fight that makes more sense at the Forum, a showdown between former four-division titlist Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) and former junior welterweight titleholder Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs).

In 1995, in the 10th fight of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, Marquez began fighting regularly at the Forum. It's where he built his reputation and went from unknown prospect to big-time contender. Marquez fought there 12 times in all, when he was promoted by now-defunct Forum Boxing.

"We're going on May 17 at the Forum and Marquez has a tremendous history there. Having him go back to fight there -- and the new building is spectacular -- is very appealing," Arum said.

"It would be very appropriate to re-open the Forum for boxing with Marquez. But that fight with Alvarado isn't done yet. If we can't get it done, we would go with Garcia-Gamboa there [on May 17]. If we can get Marquez-Alvarado done, we would go with Garcia-Gamboa on a different date, probably at a different site."

Marquez and Alvarado are both coming off October losses and the winner would certainly propel himself back into a bigger fight in the fall, perhaps against the winner of the April 12 rematch between Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. Marquez lost by split decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in a welterweight title fight and a week later Alvarado lost his 140-pound title via 10th-round knockout to Ruslan Provodnikov.

Arum said that Alvarado wants the fight but Marquez has not yet committed.

"We were getting mixed signals from Marquez and then [co-promoter] Fernando [Beltran], who is in constant touch with Marquez, said he wanted to fight in May," Arum said. "We said, 'Would Marquez fight a guy like Alvarado?' And Fernando said, 'Why not?' So Fernando is visiting with Marquez and believes Marquez is open to the fight, but he has to talk to him. Alvarado wants the fight and would move up [to 147 pounds] for the fight."