In the HBO Main Event, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (32-2-1 with 22 KOs) went into “Mile High” Mike Alvarado’s (34-3 with 23 KOs) Denver, Colorado backyard and thoroughly dominated the hometown favorite. Rios hammered Alvarado all around the ring in a complete and shocking mismatch to take the vacant WBO Welterweight title. To illustrate how one sided the fight was, Compubox had Rios landing 120 punches to Alvarado’s 20.
This was the highly anticipated rubber match between these two action fighters. Rios took their first scrap by 7th round TKO in October of 2012 and Alvarado came back to score a 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch five and a half months later. Both fights were all out wars with great ebb and flow between the two pugilists. While the WBO Welterweight title was on the line when the two renewed acquaintances, it would be fair to say they were fighting for the championship of each other. Unfortunately, only Rios showed up.
Since losing to Alvarado in March of 2013, Rios has been outclassed by Manny Pacquiao in a 12 round unanimous decision and most recently, won by DQ over Diego Gabriel Chaves last August in a fight that was very close before referee, Vic Drackulich, halted the foul filled fight and awarded Rios the victory. Two of the three judges had Chaves ahead by one point when the contest was stopped, but Rios appeared to be gaining steam.
The times have been even tougher for Alvarado after their second fight. Alvarado lost his WBO Light Welterweight title when he refused to answer the bell for the 11th round in a brutal fight against Ruslan Provodnikov in October of 2013. Provodnikov was leading on all three scorecards and had sent Alvarado to the canvas twice in the bout. Alvarado’s next and most recent fight was against the great Juan Manuel Marquez who put on a boxing clinic, taking a wide unanimous decision by scores of 119-109 and duplicate 117-109 cards. Marquez knocked Alvarado down in the 8th, but Alvarado returned the favor in the 9th with a sharp right hand. Marquez arose unhurt and largely dominated the remainder of the fight. Alvarado again took significant punishment, particularly to his left eye.
Both fighters had serious questions to answer in their third bout against one another. Not just who would win the tilt, but how much do they have left?
Onto the rounds:
Round One: The crowd is hyped for hometown boy, Alvarado. Rios trying to establish his jab early. Alvarado moves in and holds instead of punching. Alvarado switches to southpaw. Good hard left jab by Rios, followed by another. Rios is coming forward and forcing the action. Really working his left with both jabs and hooks and punctuates with the occasional right. Rios going to the body and then up top. Alvarado’s face already marked with blood flowing from his nose. Strong first round by Rios. Rios landed 29 shots to Alvarado’s 6.
Round Two: Rios is working over Alvarado. Hard body shots and uppercuts. Alvarado not showing much yet. Rios is looking to overwhelm Alvarado. Rios wobbles Alvarado with an uppercut. Alvarado sends Rios to a knee with a VERY low blow straight to the Johnson. Jay Nady warns Alvarado. Rios goes back to work. This is a mismatch early. Alvarado sneaks in a left, but Rios continues to strafe Alvarado with a variety of shots.
Round Three: Rios is moving Alvarado with every blow. Rios is just mauling him. Alvarado circling away. He’s not winning a single second of this fight so far. Rios sends Alvarado to his knee with a series of blows. Alvarado looks BAD. He’s not offering much in resistance. Alvarado finally lets his hands go, but is wide and lands nothing. Finally, at the end of the round, Alvarado exchanges with Rios. He doesn’t get the better of it, but at least he’s doing something. Alvarado does not look like a man who wants to fight tonight. His trainer presses him on that very issue. Alvarado’s corner stops the fight. On the basis of what we’ve seen thus far, it’s just as well.
I asked earlier about how much these two fighters have left. Rios was clearly ready for this scrap tonight in the Denver suburbs. However, Alvarado looked unprepared (a convicted felon, he was arrested again on a weapons charge just after the New Year) and quite possibly a shot fighter. Rios simply swamped Alvarado and the Colorado fighter offered next to no resistance. This is now two fights in a row that Alvarado has lost in his hometown (Provodnikov).
In the post-fight interview, Alvarado admitted that he did not prepare properly for the fight and he stayed on his stool because he could not see out of his right eye after a Rios uppercut. This was an embarrassing and unprofessional performance by Alvarado that resulted in boos from his hometown crowd. His effort was so poor it’s actually hard to evaluate the work done by Rios. That being said, Rios was ready to fight, took an alphabet belt and will definitely have some sizable fights in the future. If Alvarado can’t do better than this then he may want to look at doing something else.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
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