So what can you expect from Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado II?
It could be a bloody slugfest with Rios battering his way through his superior strength. Or, it could be Alvarado prevailing through use of his superior boxing ability.
Take your pick.
Oxnard’s “Bam Bam” Rios (31-0-1, 23 Kos) heads to Las Vegas once again to face Denver’s “Mile High” Alvarado (33-1, 23 Kos) in a junior welterweight clash. The rematch takes place tonight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. HBO will televise.
“I am pretty sure it will go the same way. I’m sure he feels the same way too,” said Rios, 26. “I am gunning for a knockout. That’s the way I feel right now.”
Punches were flying Rock-em, Sock-em Robot style when they first clashed at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Many predicted and expected scientific brutality and were not disappointed that October night. Rios prevailed after absorbing some hellacious blows to the noggin.
The Oxnard-based fighter seemed masochistically pleased from the bludgeoning received that night. He withstood blockbusters from the Colorado bomber and was the last man standing.
Alvarado had his moments and seemed to be winning until he exchanged one punch too many with a gleeful Rios. Bam, one punch changed it all as Alvarado was dispatched partly into another dimension. As he lay against the ropes Rios leapt toward the woozy Alvarado but was stopped wisely by referee Pat Russell.
Now Alvarado can say “you never put me down Brandon” and it would be true.
So will Alvarado stand and trade once again?
“It is going to be the same kind of fight with a few adjustments. We are just going to go out there and do it again,” says Alvarado, 32, who lost by stoppage in their first encounter.
If Alvarado wants to win and his team has convinced him that they have the right formula, then the Colorado boxer will have to use more of his boxing ability to out-point Rios. He should never stand in front of the steamrolling Rios. That could end the fight dramatically once again.
History has shown that tactical adjustments if used properly can lead to a reversal of fortune. Just look at the Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez ensemble. The first fight saw Marquez win by technical knockout through superior boxing. In the rematch Vazquez changed up and knocked out Marquez the next two fights. The fourth fight was over before it started as Vazquez had a very cut-prone eye and fought anyway.
Alvarado has the physical and technical tools to change the outcome. The bad thing is it would lead to a boring 12 rounds and fans would not get what they expect.
Remember Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera’s first clash in January 2000 at the same Mandalay Bay hotel?
Their first battle was one of the classics of all time as both Mexican warriors unleashed nonstop blows until the final bell. It was breath-taking. But their second fight was tactical and saw Barrera out-box Morales and win the rematch. A third fight resulted in the same outcome as Barrera out-boxed Morales once more.
That leads me to expect Alvarado to use his tactical advantages. It only makes sense.
If Rios wins he will get a shot at WBO welterweight titleholder Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley of Palm Springs, but not if Alvarado wins. Alvarado needs a victory to force a trilogy. Otherwise Rios will be fighting Bradley in September.