Alvarado Adds Rudy Hernandez to His Team For Rios Rematch


Denver’s Mike Alvarado, with the WBO world junior welterweight title on the line March 30 in a rematch against Brandon Rios, has added more experience and aggression to his training camp.

Veteran cut man and trainer Rudy Hernandez is now full time with Alvarado in Denver, joining long-time trainer Shann Vilhauer, Alvarado’s manager Henry Delgado said this week.

Hernandez had worked as fight-night cut man in Alvarado’s corner for recent bouts and he is a regular cut man for UFC fights. But he was brought back full-time to add more knowledge to Alvarado’s camp, Delgado said.

Hernandez is an old-school boxing mentor who trained his brother Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez to two junior lightweight titles in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

Alvarado is coming off a loss to Rios in October. That fight, a brutal brawling affair, lacked nuance on both sides. So Alvarado this time is determined to fight with more skill.

“I’m gonna be smarter now,” Alvarado said.

To that end, Alvarado has been using Albuquerque’s Hector Munoz — a hard-nosed Johnny Tapia protege — as a sparring partner. Munoz fights face-first as a pressuring slugger, much like Rios.

“I try to get him to slug with me,” Munoz said of sparring with Alvarado. “He tried to stay with it too much last time. That’s what Rios wants. But Mike is learning to get out of range right away.”

Alvarado and Rios will fight at the Mandalay Bay in Las vegas for the WBO title vacated by Juan Manuel Marquez when he moved up to fight Manny Pacquiao in December.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said he would like to pair the Alvarado-Rios winner in a kind of tournament with Pacquiao, Marquez and Timothy Bradley for future fights later this year.

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