Brandon Rios takes on his ring nemesis Mike Alvarado in a fight that is set to be the concluding chapter in a thrilling trilogy of battles between the pair when they clash on the 24th January at the 1st Bank Center, Bloomfield, Colorado, USA.
Every so often in the sport of boxing, two fighters will be locked together for eternity in the boxing archives in honour of their individual battles. Arturo Gatti v Micky Ward; Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo; Marco Antonio Barrera v Erik Morales; are all fights and fighters that spring to mind. In many respects this leg of the enthralling Rios v Alvarado trilogy will be career defining for both men as they will be remembered as much for facing each other as winning respective titles. Often when two fighters are so evenly matched the contest can degrade as a spectacle as the fighters become locked in a stalemate, but that is certainly not the case with these two evenly matched opponents.
Neither fighter is particularly blessed with speed or agility. Neither are technically sound operators. Both are true warriors of the sport who know how to fight effectively and viciously in at mid and close range on the inside. Both can take a heavy punch and come back with more; and then some. The first two fights saw the momentum swinging like a pendulum between rounds, minutes and even seconds. From minute one it’s fair to say that this will be ‘mano el mano’ phone booth fighting. Hooks and uppercuts will be the order of the day for both, who look as if they are desperate to pick up where they left off back in March of 2013.
Brandon Rios won the first encounter in October 2012 in Carson, California, by way of a 7th round TKO stopping Alvarado on his feet against the ropes. The action packed fight left the fans and television networks vying for more of the same. However, in the immediate rematch it was Alvarado who prevailed by unanimous decision after another war, this time over the full twelve round distance in Las Vegas.
Brandon Rios has since endured a frustrating time in the ring. He hardly took a single round against Manny Pacquiao when they met in November in Macau; Pacquiao too quick, too agile. Rios looked for an all action fighter for his next fight in Diego Chavez. It was a match up that on paper looked like it would be an absolute barnstormer. However the fight didn’t ignite as it had been expected to with foul play eventually bringing an unsatisfactory end to a scrappy affair, with Rios winning by way of a Chavez disqualification.
Alvarado, who will be on his home patch in the suburbs of Denver for this next fight, has lost his last two contests. Mike was retired on his stool against the brutal Russian slugging machine, Ruslan Provodnikov, in the tenth after taking more than his fair share of punishment. He then lost conclusively to Mexican great, Juan Manuel Marquez, on points in his last match in May 2014 despite scoring a knockdown (he also saw the canvas once himself).
Rios may have a little bit more left in the tank; he is the younger man at 28-years of age. Alvarado is six years his senior at 34-years old. Both Provodnikov and Marquez were extremely tough fights which may have taken it out of Alvarado who really needs to win this to stay on the scene at the very highest level. It is no secret that it would be far more beneficial for Alvarado to stay on the outside against Rios; it is what gave him the edge on the scorecards in the second half of the last fight where he won on points. However it looks as though his fighting nature and love for a tear up will mean that this match up will deliver on its promise.
Brandon Rios: W32 KO23 L2 KO0 D1 KO%65.71
Mike Alvarado: W34 KO23 L3 KO2 D0 KO%62.16