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Mike Alvarado Beats Brandon Rios, Evens Up The Score

BY Michael Woods ON March 30, 2013
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Mike Alvarado beats Brandon RiosMike Alvarado started slowly versus Brandon Rios, got buzzed in round two, but collected his senses, and he did what all said he couldn't, and boxed smartly and steadily for the duration in the main event at the Mandalay Bay on Saturday night, in Las Vegas.

Alvarado mixed movement and flat footed combination punching, and got the love from the judges, by scores of 115-113, 115-113, 114-113. It was another superb prizefight, without the jaw-dropping violence of the Bradley-Provodnikov fight, but top grade nevertheless.

I had it 7-3-2, for Alvarado, but am just happy the judges got it right.

It was another majestic display of will and guts, and yes, skill, as Alvarado's ring generalship carried the night. Alvie (seen above in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) went 261-860 to 241-823 for the loser, according to CompuBox.

Rios after interrupted Max Kellerman and Alvarado, with Rios calling for promoter Bob Arum to get the papers ready for a third bout. He said he'd give Brandon an immediate rematch, but said it's up to Arum.

Rios agreed he lost, to Kellerman. He said he'd go to Denver to fight again. "Respect, we'll go to your city," he said. Rios said he wasn't hurt and he'd be happy to go 15 more rounds.

Alvarado (33-1 entering; from Colorado) was 140 pounds, while Rios (31-0-1; from Kansas, living in Oxnard) was 140, after losing his undies.

The vacant WBO light welter title, interim version, was up for grabs, but really, the title was immaterial, as fight fans knew stakes larger than a gold plated trinket were to taken.

The two men battled last October, with Rios winning a TKO7 victory. Did he figure that his power would again carry the day and maybe he'd be able to finish the night even earlier?

In the first, Rios came out banging, stalking. He cut off the ring masterfully, and took the round. Alvie looked to jab and move, but his right eye started swelling.

In the second, a jab buckled Alvie. He started well, busy and sharp, but had to hold with a minute left. They traded and the crowd roared in the final minute. The jab was a leaping jab, with great momentum.

In the third, Alvie landed another overhand right, his third or fourth of the fight. Rios worked the body well, but he was hurt with 40 seconds left. An overhand right did it. Of course, he grinned after the round.

In the fourth, Alvie kept up the momentum. His jab was popping, his right hand looked crisp. Instead of moving, circling, he stayed flat footed and that made him busy, and more effective.

In the fifth, Rios threw low and Alvie got a break. It was another busy, tight round, looked a lot like the first tangle. Alvie went lefty for quick bit once or so every round and again early in the sixth. Both men landed power shots with perhaps Alvie landing more. Robert Garcia called for uppercuts after the round.

In the seventh, Alvie was again looking confident. He moved more this round than the one before. Both men, again, landed power shots, and it was anyone's guess what the judges would say.

In the eighth, Alvie landed clean, hard shots to take the round. He moved smartly, and engaged when he wanted to. Rios showed a chin of a champ.

In the ninth, Alvie ran a lot. His eyes looked swollen, but then he got busier late and took the round. His slingshot right once again landed clean. "I need three punch combinations," said Garcia after.

In the tenth, Alvie might've stolen the round in the last five seconds with power launches. In the 11th, Rios had better luck. His jab returned and Alvie looked to hold some. In the 12th, Alvie kept on outboxing Rios and landed a hellacious left hook. What would the judges say?

We heard pre-fight that some scrapes evident on Alvarado's face came from a bar fight, perhaps by some glass breaking on his face. We also heard that Rios is tight with trainer Robert Garcia, who he said has bailed him out a few times from jail.

Comment on this article

SouthPaul says:

Senfuckingsational!

riverside says:

Good to see Rios lose, close good fight, I still think he will lose against any top 10 junior welterweights, Broner will embarrass his @ss. Feeling it for Robert and Mikey real class act.

SouthPaul says:

Yuppppp, Broner's got the hand speed to offload consecutive punches to put Rios on his back and out, nighty night favorite blanky style. On the flip side ...Rios has the heart, chin, toughness ... To make Broner dig deeper than he's ever had to. Rios is great at forcing his opponents to switch gears. Fun match up, the build up would be hilarious.

ali says:

I was starting to feel like teddy Atlas with my predictions lately but I was right on point with this one.I said Alvarado would win a close UD and would have a few rocky moments but would survive. Did y'all see Terrance Crawford he looked like sweet pee when he was fighting southpaw we now have another hellva fighter at 140 clearly the best division in boxing.

The Good Doctor says:

Brandon Rios is the second coming of Margarito. Will win fights with pressure, maybe even knock off a name or two but will never be a top fighter because his defense is invisible.

ali says:

Good doctor good comparison good point..

stormcentre says:

Yes a great fight

maromero says:

I saw JMM in the background. he was waiting for the winner but I think destiny is part 5

amayseng says:

Great fight. I've said for years rio will lose against the top.
However he is a great fighter.
If Alvarado learned how to use head movement and move and slip
he would have been able to get rios out of there.
Alvarado chopped his *** up with those chopping hooks.
Add in 50% more body shots and rios will be knocked out next time.

Why does NOONE go to the body these days?

Broner had the offensive tools to compete at 140

but let's be honest he's been taking batting practice

at 135 and arguably has two losses already.

I think paulie decisions him.
Paulie will box and move and won't be in the pocket for broner to throw combos.

deepwater says:

Great main event. Trilogy will settle the score. Both men fought their hearts out. Judges had it right. It was a close fight with a round or two going either way . Rios had a lot of energy for the post fight ,which was funny and entertaining, he should of jabbed just a few more times each round and he would of got it. Alvarado did enough to win it and 3 rd fight should be another classic. These types of fights go down in history. Opening fight was snoozer

jzzy says:

Great fight, boxing's on a roll!!. Alvarado showed great heart and ring generalship, his footwork was better
and that's what he needed to win. Rios could't cope. I would urge both combatants to take at least 6 months
off and look for greener pastures against the top guns. Marquez, Bradley, Pacquioa all need a dance partner.
Arum is salivating at the potential matchups for Top Rank.

brownsugar says:

I deliberately didn't pick a winner. No need...... These guy are like a natural phenomenon when they fight.
Like a tornado... You can't calculate the damage until its over.

Too bad there's a rift between TR and GB. GREAT potential for some interesting fights.

If Alvarado can continue to work on his movement and learn how to punch moving backwards.... He'll beat Rios easy the next time. Rios hasn't changed a thing in regards to his approach to boxing since he beat Peterson's brother several years ago.

I thought Crawford was amazing.... He took Prescott on 2 weeks notice at a higher weight class and basically played with him for ten rounds. I haven't seen reflexes like that since Pernell Whitaker.
Where has TopRank been hiding this guy?
But it was obvious the audience didn't come out to watch boxing.... They wanted to see a fight and they got one..

The limited Rios and Alvarado don't need to fight anyone else. They've entered the Ward/Gatti zone.

amayseng says:

Good post bsug,

But I think Alvarado and rios should take different fights

for their own longevity and meet again in a year or 2.

brownsugar says:

Agreed.. But I have a feeling Arum will milk it... It would be more interesting to me if Rios or Alvarado fought Bradley...Marquez or Broner... Even Paqman

teaser says:

after the second round i thought alvie was finished ...what a recovery !! man that guy was not gonna be denied...he dug down and deep and took over the fight from there ...these guys both should take a long well deserved vacation...thanks to both for two awesome fights !

DaveB says:

These guys are anxious to get it on again, especially Rios. Alvarado needs to take off at least until December to let that eye heal properly. Two brutal fights in the last two weeks. Three if you count GGG's knockout.

brownsugar says:

Arum has announced that he won't allow these warriors to face each other again in their next fights. Which is a wise move. No need for these guys to prematurely shorten their careers.
And according to Paq's advisor,(Koncz) Rio's loss won't exclude him from getting a date against the once fallen ATG.
.......Now there's the unfinished business that needs to be resolved between Rigo and Donaire...
I'd like to cut my cable now and go off the grid for a while, but I'm hopelessly caught up until MAY DAY.

The Good Doctor says:

Arum has announced that he won't allow these warriors to face each other again in their next fights. Which is a wise move. No need for these guys to prematurely shorten their careers.
And according to Paq's advisor,(Koncz) Rio's loss won't exclude him from getting a date against the once fallen ATG.
.......Now there's the unfinished business that needs to be resolved between Rigo and Donaire...
I'd like to cut my cable now and go off the grid for a while, but I'm hopelessly caught up until MAY DAY.


Please tell me you are kidding. Even a slowed Manny will massacre Rios. That type of fight would shorten his career even greater than it may have been already. I hope Koncz was just talking out of the side of his neck.

brownsugar says:

Please tell me you are kidding. Even a slowed Manny will massacre Rios. That type of fight would shorten his career even greater than it may have been already. I hope Koncz was just talking out of the side of his neck.


Arum has been wanting to match the 2 fighters for sometime now. Nothing has been decided but it could potetially be a relatively safe but intertaining comeback.

amayseng says:

PAC knocks rios head off in under 3.

McHomer says:

I really enjoyed this fight. Lots of Boxing 101 in this one. Rios did a great job of cutting off the ring in rounds 1 and 2, but Alvarado was able to land some great body shots in the mid rounds which took a lot out of Rios later in the fight. Towards the end of the fight, those body shots allowed Alvarado's lateral movement to be really effective. Hats off to both fighters, great fight. Alvarado had every reason to quit in this one but stuck to his game plan. Great work by Alvarado and his corner to get through this one. Amazing effort.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

This was an exciting match, but both main event fighters have a short shelf life because they take too much punishment. Terrance Crawford would out box Rios and Alvarado from what I observed last Saturday. Crawford is only 25 and has the most upside "skill wise" out of the televised boxers on the card.

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