This Saturday, HBO Boxing returns with Top Rank Boxing for 2015 to give the rubber match of one of the most entertaining, soon to be, trilogies in recent boxing history.
In front of what should be a raucous crowd in Broomfield, Colorado. Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios will be in enemy territory as he faces Mike “Mile High” Alvarado at the 1st Bank Center in a 12 round battle. Unlike the 1st two fights, which took place at junior welterweight, this fight will be fought at welterweight.
Brandon Rios is a hard-nosed, balls to the wall, fighter that sometimes fights as if he’s willing to die in the ring. He steps into the ring with a record of 32-2-1 with 23 KOs. His best wins were a stoppage of Miguel Acosta to win the WBA World Lightweight title in 2011. Rios win over Mike Alvarado in the 1st fight of this series, in Carson, California at the end of 2012. He is coming off a DQ win against Diego Chaves, a fight he was losing on 2 of the 3 scorecards at the time of the DQ.
To go with his loss to Alvarado, he also has losses to Manny Pacquiao. Rios has a win against Richard Abril in which most observers say he clearly lost.
Mike Alvarado currently has a record of 34-3 with 23 KOs. His best wins include a win over Mauricio Herrera at the start of 2012 and the win he had over Brandon Rios in the 2nd fight of this series back in March of 2013. Mike, like Brandon, is known as a tough fighter that is
willing to put his body on the line in vicious fights.
Other than his loss to Rios, he also has losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov. Alvarado was clearly down on the scorecards before refusing to come out for the 11th round.
The 1st fight between these two men was a classic. Both fighters were undefeated, and both fighters were throwing bombs and defense was voluntary. Neither fighter seemed to back down until Alvarado appeared to stop throwing punches for about 30 seconds and the referee Pat Russell decided that Alvarado was taking too much punishment and stopped the fight.
Rios had won what was considered the fight of the year in 2012.
In the rematch, considered for the fight of the year in 2013, it was much like the 1st, but Alvarado suffered a cut in round one and then staggered in round 2. At one point, it looked like Rios was about to finish it early, Lucky for Alvarado he was saved by the bell.
Then, inexplicably Alvarado fought back and hurt Rios in the last minute of 3rd. After the 1st half of the fight, Alvarado’s face looked beat up, and he switched to a more tactical boxing style instead of the brawling. This style seemed to frustrate Rios. It went back and forth until Alvarado prevailed by unanimous decision by the scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 114-113.
After the punishment that both of these men have sustained over the last three years. Rios nor Alvarado are the same fighters that they once were for the 1st two fights. However, they may empty their ammunition and go all out for this end of all end wars.
The biggest amazement of these two is with all the hard punches thrown and landed, it took something out of their body, but neither fighter hit the canvas. That’s right, through 19 rounds of ridiculous punishment, both fighters have refused to go down.
I think this fight will be exactly the same way. Both will go for the kill because what boxing skills they did have previously seems to have deteriorated, and both know that this is probably their last chance to shine.
Between the two, I feel Rios will be the last one to blink and as I said before, is probably willing to die in the ring. So because of that I’m going with Rios by late stoppage. I think Alvarado gets stopped while on his feet. No matter what happens. Rios-Alvarado is one of those fights that is a can’t miss. Thank God all of us get to see it on regular HBO Boxing, so all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the fights.