Saturday evening in Broomfield, Colorado, Jim Lampley stood in front of the HBO cameras alongside Andre Ward and tried to make sense of the disdain shown to Mike Alvarado by his supposed hometown fans. They were, as we all were, expecting another Excedrin inducing blood and guts slugfest complete with lacerations, broken teeth, as well as broken faces. As it turns out, Mike’s trilogy with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios turned out to be no more than a triumvirate of as many rounds in a completely one sided affair.
Perhaps “Mile High” Mike’s outside matters were so trying that they caused him to forget how to fight back. Empirically, the man from Kansas out-landed the man from the Rockies by exactly one hundred punches as he threw just over two hundred more.
We can in no way discredit Brandon’s thoroughly dominating performance, yet there is something, in addition to being caught with a disallowed pistola in his SUV earlier this month, as to why Mike fought like he was much more than a mile high on Saturday night. However, let us do a full stop and not take away from the sheer will and grit it takes to get into the ring as well as push one’s life fully aside to pursue a life as a professional fighter. Boxing may have in its repertoire the most stringent lie detector in all of sports. You can’t cheat the ring, at least not very often. Sooner or later, truth will trump talent and even guts.
There are of course those who have the utmost of contempt for the boo birds in the crowd. Some may have forgotten that Mike Alvarado fought two close bouts with Brandon Rios and took his idea of a respite from “Bam Bam” in the form of Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez. He’s now experienced three knockdowns in as many fights. Rios knocked him out vertically back in 2012 during their first meeting and Mike has now been on the losing side of four of his last five contests. Saturday’s loss to Rios made three in a row and Lampley was quick to point out that his two most recent bouts which took place in his native state of Colorado may have tested the comforts of home just a bit too much.
Provodnikov bulldozed though Alvarado back in October of 2013 and the match ended much in the same fashion as last night’s did – with Alvarado retiring on his stool. We all have days like this, but we don’t have thousands, if not millions watching us as we suffer. There’s something, many people are thinking, that Mike hasn’t fully disclosed to us and this is not to suggest that he needs to do so. Still, the boos may have told us something a bit more conspicuous. They may have been incensed at what he didn’t do or in their eyes even try to do rather than what he actually did do. The smack talk will now rain down on “Mile High” and his lack of effort. For once the portly and athletically devoid beat writers may actually have half a leg upon which to stand, should they choose to snipe at Alvarado, before it breaks quicker than the will of Mike seemingly did in Broomfield.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
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