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15 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Rios vs. Alvarado II – Lightning Could Strike Again

Counting Down To Rios-Alvarado II
Counting Down To Rios-Alvarado II

By Marc Livitz: The most and sometimes least of which fans of boxing can hope for is a satisfying paid ticket-to-ring action comparison once the evening is a memory. Quite and perhaps too often, fight fans present and past voice their opinions in regard to the lack of activity or fireworks within the squared circle. They want Hagler/Hearns, Pryor/Arguello or a similar classic to sink into their own collective boxing memories. Last October, a showdown took place between two fighters in the talent-laden junior welterweight division. Just outside of Los Angeles, California in nearby Carson, undefeated boxer Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and then undefeated Mike “Mile High” Alvarado participated in a seven round back and forth, see-saw type matchup which had just about everything for which dedicated fight fans clamor. The two pugilists stood toe to toe during many points of the bout and two of the three ringside judges saw the bout even until “Bam Bam” Rios (31(23)-0-1, Oxnard, CA.) proved too much for “Mile High” Mike (33(23)-1, Denver, CO.) to handle, which resulted in a stoppage of the action at the 1:57 mark the seventh round.


Rios was just six months removed from a highly controversial win over Richard Abril, which was a result many if not all boxing pundits agreed that Rios had lost. Alvarado, by contrast had been quietly racking up the knockout victories for his resume and had last participated on the undercard of the aforementioned Rios v Abril contest. On March 30, the two men will get another chance to settle their differences, only this time the beckoning lights will be coming from the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas. The bout will be aired on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” at 10:15 ET/PT. Fans should be in for a real treat, especially on the heels of last week’s epic war between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Ruslan Provodnikov. This afternoon, Rios and Alvarado participated in an international media conference call to discuss the upcoming rematch. The event is promoted by Top Rank.


Hall of Fame inductee and face of Top Rank Promotions, Bob Arum got the call started by acknowledging the impact of last week’s Bradley/Provodnikov fight and how he hoped the contest set for next weekend in Vegas would ignite the same type of passion from fight fans worldwide.


“We’re coming off the great fight from last Saturday and we’re looking at really one of the highlights of the first quarter of boxing on HBO. It was indescribably great and I’m sure we’ll see an equally great fight this time. We should get just that because both Brandon and Mike know how to bring it and that’s great for the sport and for the fans.”


Brandon Rios then spoke of his excitement for the interim WBO light welterweight title fight. The Oxnard boxer said, “Training camp has been great. I’m hyped up again. This will be another great fight and another great show. I’ll be meeting a warrior just like me in the ring.”


His opponent from Denver, Colorado heartedly agreed as he commented, “Everything’s on schedule. It should be another great show for everyone and I’m glad to have another opportunity.”


The commonplace trend in professional boxing is to let two fighters strengthen their respective resumes as opposed to immediately facing off once again in a rematch. However, such an opinion is shared by neither Rios nor Alvarado.


“No. It’s never too soon to do it again”, said Brandon Rios. “If you’re a warrior like me, then you can’t wait to do it again. Why wait?”


Mike Alvarado’s opinion was just as blunt as he said, “I agree with Brandon. I wouldn’t want to wait any longer. People want to see this again and we’re ready to do it again.”


Mr. Arum then commented on the upcoming bout.


“I usually don’t like to do immediate rematches, but this first fight was so great and the demand was there. The HBO team came up with a great financial package and each fighter will be earning considerably more than their previous fight. The exception trumps the rule.”



The legendary promoter then added, “The fans aren’t stupid and they want to see action. These guys are action fighters. Timothy Bradley and (Ruslan) Provodnikov showed that they are action fighters. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao are action fighters. They don’t play around and they don’t dance around because they’re there to fight.  There are approximately 1,500 tickets left and we expect a sellout.”


“Mile High” Mike is anticipating another slugfest on March 30 when the fight takes place at Mandalay Bay, just as he did last October.


“I knew it would be that kind of fight. We fought a war. Our styles and our approach almost automatically make the fight a battle in the ring.”


“Bam Bam” Rios agreed with his opponent and admitted that their styles are so similar that another vicious throw down should be expected in less than two weeks’ time.


“We can try to change it up in the ring, but once the bell rings and we begin getting hit, it will go back to a war. We’ll be going at it again and we’ll see what happens.”


Before he met Alvarado in the ring, Brandon Rios experienced a well publicized struggle to make the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. Prior to his October 2012 fight with Mike, Rios was twice in as many fights penalized for failing to make weight. He registered on the scales at 135 ¾ for his December 2011 bout with Englishman John Murray and once again he lost the contest of the scales when he weighed in at 137 for his April 2012 fight with the previously mentioned Richard Abril. Rios spoke of his weight issues and how the junior welterweight class is the right place for him to call home at the present time.


“I grew out of the lightweight division. It all caught up to me. I feel stronger here. I had power at 135 (pounds) and I brought it up to 140. I just don’t have the same problems and I don’t have to dehydrate myself as much anymore. I know he’s going for a knockout and so I will be, too.”


Mike Alvarado let it be known that he’s ready for whatever comes his way when he commented, “He’s strong and I don’t underestimate him at all. It will only help me focus more on a better game plan. I didn’t have much of one last time and I adjusted just a bit. I’ll be more on my game this time. This gives me the chance to redeem myself. I don’t want to think of fighting anyone else. I’m excited and I’m ready. It’s right around the corner.”


Brandon couldn’t have agreed more as he said, “I can’t wait to get back into the ring. It will be one exciting show. The first one was great and the second one will be even better.” 


March 21, 2013

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