Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-0, 23 KO’s) Vs. “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KO’s) II
On October 13th of last year, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado engaged in an absolute war at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA that took off right where the 12th round of Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez’ epic third fight ended. This coming Saturday(March 30th), live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV – Rios and Alvarado will meet in the ring again, headlining HBO’s Boxing After Dark series at 7:15 PM PST.
Their first fight was scheduled for 10 rounds, but Rios and referee Pat Russell needed just 7 of them to bring Alvarado’s night to an early end as the bout was waived off. Rios had landed punishing flush shots on Alvarado who was up against the ropes, visibly hurt and unresponsive to Rios’ onslaught. While understanding the referee was just doing his job in halting the action, Alvarado believed it was a premature stoppage. The prior 6 rounds were non-stop action, with Alvarado doing his best to out-box Rios with crisp combinations from the outside. But by the 6th frame, both men had landed everything in each others’ arsenal and Rios’ pressure mixed with Alvarado’s warrior spirit brewed a glorious battle, and a nightmare for Alvarado’s game-plan.
This time around, Alvarado has stated that he’s solely looking to win the fight and redeem himself, acknowledging that he must box Rios’ ears off and not give in to the temptation of exchanging shots with Rios. Meanwhile, Rios believes that once he imposes his will on Alvarado – we will see more of the same back & forth bludgeoning we were treated to in their first affair.
Saturday night’s rematch is a bit of a crossroads fight for Alvarado who is 31 years old and has been in some grueling matches in his career. And with that, the Denver, CO native’s body has taken some excruciating punishment, specifically within his last three bouts with the Prescott and Rios fights having put some high mileage on Mr. Mile High, indeed.
For Rios, who is 26 years of age, his youth and not being nearly as shopworn as Alvarado will be the determining factors come Saturday night, topped by his relentless pressure and heavy fists. Added in with the mental confidence knowing that he was able to beat Alvarado the first time by stopping him. This will be a breaking point for Alvarado as his opportunities to become a big money-making prizefighter are trickling away and a second loss to Rios would only help cement the fact. Even if Alvarado does taste defeat once more at the hands of Rios, he is truly a fan-favorite and nothing should ever be taken away from the guts and warrior spirit which he’s displayed valiantly time and again.
Will Mike Alvarado avenge his first loss and stoppage, and disrupt Rios’ rise to the top – or will Rios be too much once again? One thing’s for sure, the second that Rios taps Alvarado’s jaw, is the very moment that Alvarados’ fighter instinct will kick into high gear and they go back to a phone-booth style slugfest until Rios ends the show in five violent rounds or less.