It’s no secret that sequels have a habit of sucking, but every now and then one comes along that puts that old adage to rest. Some great sequels that come to mind are The Godfather II, Led Zepellin IV, and now Rios vs. Alvarado II. Going into the fight, many were hyping up the second meeting between junior welterweights Brandon Rios (31-1, 23 knockouts) and Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 knockouts) as being everything the first bout was AND MORE. Considering their first meeting was a favorite for 2012 Fight of the Year this was a tall order to fill, and one couldn’t help but be somewhat skeptical at the thought. As Rios and Alvarado proved on March 30th however, the violent chemistry between the two fighters is truly something special after they managed to produce a 12-round affair of fistic fireworks.
As the sound of the opening bell, it was quickly obvious that Alvarado had learned from the mistakes committed against Rios in their first encounter. With a new focus on technique over sheer aggression, Alvarado did his best impression of a boxer for the first couple minutes. After dealing with a couple Rios flurries and a fresh cut under his right eye, Alvarado reverted to what everyone knew he really was, a brawler.
From rounds two to seven, fans were treated to a brawl which had a brutality that is only comparable to that of a dog fight. Both fighters exchanged a continuous flow of hellacious shots ranging from uppercuts, hooks, stiff jabs, and crosses. The only thing missing was the kitchen sink. Even more impressive was the fact that both fighters managed to remain conscious throughout the bout. Aside from an early scare which saw Alvarado badly wobbled in the second round, both fighters traded the kind of concussive blows that could put even the worst insomniac to sleep.
Things were even through seven rounds, but Alvarado’s superior boxing made another and much more significant appearance this second time around. Against an increasingly exhausted Rios, Alvarado was able to outwork the hard-charging brawler, even badly stunning him at the end of the 8th round. Although Rios would recover from the blows, it was obvious that Alvarado’s superior technique and movement was beginning to become too much for the formerly undefeated fighter. Add in the fact that Alvarado was finding a constant target for a looping right hook, as well as a left hook, right straight combo, and it was easy to see that the damage was finally catching up to Rios. This trend continued for twelve hard-fought rounds, but by the end even Alvarado was confident that he had just edged his rival.
The final judges scorecards reflected a decision that was close but clear. Alvarado was awarded the victory on scores of (115-113), (115-113), and (114-113). With the sole loss on his record avenged, and his title back in his hands Alvarado has earned a much needed vacation. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for us expect Rios vs. Alvarado 3 to be signed. Until then, all we can do is wait and just hope that the wait isn’t too long.