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Written by Ian Wallwork

Everyone has moments in their life when they think "how different would things have been if I had done that?"

What if you had chosen medicine at college instead of film, would you be a doctor earning £70000 a year, instead of sweating into the back of your chair at a minimum wage office job? Or maybe if you had just asked the girl out that one time, perhaps you would be married with kids and living the happy suburban life.

I ask myself questions like this all the time.  Alternate time lines are a popular theme in film and books and it is because we can't help having those moments where we think "What if?"

Light welterweight Breidis Prescott has had two of those moments in quick succession.

On Saturday 12th November, Prescott was minutes away from taking the unbeaten record of American boxer Mike Alvarado. By round ten the Colombian was ahead on the score cards, having put in a dominant performance. In the distance loomed a title fight or maybe a rematch with British star Amir khan. All he had to to do was hang on, but it was snatched from him by a Mike Alvarado uppercut which knocked him straight to the floor. Although Prescott got up, he couldn't recover and he lost by knockout. Two months before this, Prescott had put on what looked like a match-winning display against Paul McCloskey in a WBA title eliminator, but a controversial win was given to the Irishman.

Breidis Prescott must wish he owned a Delorean.

A Hometown Decision?

Prescott and Mcloskey met in Belfast, Northern.Ireland, to fight for a shot at Marcos Maidana's world title. Prescott carries the nickname "Khanqueror" everywhere and it was expected that if he were to win against McCloskey, it would be in a similar fashion to his knockout victory over Khan. Instead of chasing a flash knockdown, Prescott boxed from the start, winning all the early rounds. The home support were stunned.

McCloskey is the better technical fighter of the two and he was able to win the late rounds when Prescott started to tire. Heading into the final three minutes, the result was there for whoever wanted it most. Here it became controversial. All credit to Paul Mccloskey's effort, but Breidis Prescott got the better of the last round. This should have tipped the match in his favor, and even Prescott himself believed it had, sinking to his knees at the final bell with his arms stretched in celebration.

It had been the type of fight where expectations change. McCloskey fought in his birth-town and the crowd belonged to him. Prescott was battled their hero so skillfully that respect began to build for him. It was the kind of special fight where a hated opponent takes on a new light because of the skill he shows, so much so that when the final bell went, all you could do was applaud.

We waited for the decision to be announced. The word 'Prescott' appeared all over the internet like a horny bullfrog let loose in the Australian outback and it seemed obvious who had won at that point. But then, chaos.

Paul McCloskey was given a unanimous decision and Breidis Prescott left the ring without the win he deserved.

Second Chances

Credit must go to Prescott's management team because they didnt waste time fixing him up with a good fight. When you lose a televised match, no matter who you are or what your legend is, you need to bounce back from it. For Prescott, redemption came in the form of Mike Alvarado, an undefeated American light welterweight.

'Mile High' Alvarado had won all his thirty-one fights but he has never faced a top-level opponent. Accused of having a padded record, he was keen to test himself against highly regarded Breidis Prescott. The Columbian was also looking a for a decent fighter to restore his reputation against, so it was a perfect match up for both.

Prescott wasn't about to waste his chance and he was a ball of energy from the off. He dominated the opening rounds, outscoring Alvarado and bloodying his face. Alvarado had never faced someone with aggression like Prescott and he found it hard to adapt. All the early rounds were given to Breidis Prescott.

Prescott Tires Himself Out

In round eight Prescott was showing signs of fatigue, throwing less punches and keeping a weaker guard. Alvarado was able to start his offence and he scored rounds eight and nine. Prescott clung on.

We reached the final three minutes with Prescott exhausted but still in front. There was talk of a title fight and an Amir Khan rematch, all of this there for him if he could just hang on for the final three minutes. I will let Mike Alvarado explain what happened in round ten:
"Late in the fight, [Prescott] was tired, he started leaning forward, and once he did that, I could catch him,".
Alvarado landed an uppercut that dropped Prescott to the floor. His fans cheered. The atmosphere was electric enough to make even an armchair observer's adrenaline shoot his body, so Alvarado must have felt like he were spiked by the blood of Thor.

Prescott got to his feet. He had been knocked down, but his points advantage was still big enough for him to win. He just had to hold on. Smelling blood, Alvarado threw a furious attack and Prescott couldn't offer anything back. The referee stopped the fight for his safety and Alvarado celebrated keeping his perfect record .

Prescott collapsed against the ropes and cried.

The Forgotten Man

Breidis Prescott now has the unenviable record of four defeats in his last ten fights. The circumstances of his last two losses actually do him a lot of credit, but the story behind a loss can be forgotten and soon all people see are the numbers.

Prescott's future could go either way. He is a talented fighter and worthy of a title shot, but one will not come his way yet. He may dispair at having to face a lower level of opposition than he is used to, but this is what he must do. After two spirit-crushing losses the only tonic is confidence and this will come if he gets back to winning ways.

Prescott should look outside of the top ten, perhaps even the top twenty, for a challenging but condfidence-boosting fight. There are still a lot out there for him but it is essential that he doesn't give up. Prescott is twenty-eight years old and could still have a future in the boxing elite.

On Another Note
Breidis Prescott isn't the only one wondering 'what if?' British heavyweight Dereck Chisora saw his career reaching a turning point when he lost to Tyson Fury in July this year. Read about Chisora's second chance in 'Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenius in a Must-Win December Fight'.