Mike Alvarado “I know that those fights didn’t have any wear and tear on me”




‘Mile High’ Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23 KO’s) Brandon Rios (32-2, 23KO’s) will be in a trilogy that has produced nineteen rounds of pure action thus far. Alvarado being halted inside seven the first time they met before replying with a win on the scorecards five months later. Saturday night is his the rubber match.

“I will let the fight go how it goes and make adjustments accordingly to how we fight.  Our styles clash, and we know each other so well that we know what’s going to happen then make adjustments. There are going to be a lot of adjustments that we will make as we compare each others styles and how we react to them. So it is going to be very interesting to see how this fight plays out as it goes along.”

The inevitability, of a fire-fight breaking out at some point, is what makes this fight such an enticing prospect. These two are by no means the best in the sport, but they’re styles compliment each other in such a way that it is difficult to foresee a boring contest between them. Comparisons to Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward trilogy aren’t misplaced. Like Gatti and Ward, Rios and Alvarado hold no personal animosity towards each other. As Alvarado said;

“We have nothing against each other and once we get in the ring we know what we gotta do. We know what type of fight we are getting into with each other. That is the warrior that is going to come out of us that night because we know what kind of fighters we are – we both have heart and power, and we are both warriors. There is no reason for us to add more to it. Everybody knows what kind of fight they are going to get out of us. We didn’t get to this third fight against each other by accident.”

He even went one step further when asked if he believes he and Rios are friends.

“I would say we are. We don’t really communicate on a day-to-day basis but when we see each other we are cool and have that mutual respect, and we understand each other.”

They have established the kind of bond that can only be forged by the fires of reciprocal violence. Alvarado has made a habit out of partaking in especially brutal performances in the latter stages of his career. Alvarado’s Fights against Breidis Prescott and Mauricio Herrera. Two wars with Rios, the hammering he took from Ruslan Provodnikov, and most recently the lopsided points loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, have all served to reinforce the notion that Alvarado may be a diminished fighter. The man himself thinks otherwise.

“I know that those fights didn’t have any wear and tear on me, being in wars like that. I learned a lot since I started late in this boxing game. It has been a learning experience as far as my technique and generalship in the ring and everything that goes along with it.  Everything that happened in the ring makes me learn more about myself – every situation and every moment in that ring have been a learning experience, and I have taken it all with me. I have grown over the past few years as a fighter and as a man inside and outside the ring.  It is going to make me a better fighter in the ring. It is on me to make those adjustments and utilize them in that ring.”

His words do not reveal even the slightest bit of self-doubt, but to be fair, climbing into the ring will most likely be a welcome distraction given Alvarado’s recent activities outside of it. The Denver native was arrested on January 3rd due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest and allegedly being in possession of a handgun(according to Boxingscene.com). Regardless, Alvarado insists these issues have not taken away from his preparations for fight-night.

“There have been no distractions.  I am used to something always going wrong in camp. When it is going too good and perfect, I know something bad is going to happen because that’s the way it has always been. I have been dealing with adversity my whole life. Adversity has been in my life the whole time so there are not distractions for this fight. I didn’t miss any training time. I went to jail for one day, and I just made up for that day on that Sunday.”

It is as if outside disturbances are just an accepted part of an Alvarado training camp, and in that context it is quite astonishing what he has achieved in the sport. He’s a former world champion, and managed to do it amidst what appears to be a whole mess of madness. Most people wouldn’t be able to study for an exam in that kind of environment.

If he manages to stay disciplined and keep Rios at a distance, much as he did in their second fight, then a victory is on the cards. But I’m wondering what end this will accomplish. Alvarado was on a thirty-three fight winning streak before he first met Rios but has now been beaten in three of his last four outings; that’s retirement form. He struggles to cope at the top level, his toughness allows him to stick it out long enough to take a beating en route to a loss. These types of situations can affect a fighter for the rest of his life. He doesn’t seem the type to let something like that worry him though, or else he wouldn’t be the kind of fighter he is.