SAN DIEGO, March 29, 2013 – Fight fans live for the kind of classic all-out, full throttle inside brawl delivered by Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado in their October 13 fight last year. The pair traded more wicked shots per minute of action than any fight since Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti got it on a decade ago. If not for the Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight, this would have been a nearly universal choice for 2012 Fight of the Year.
Alvarado was winning the fight until Rios found the perfect placement for a right hook that finally hurt Alvarado and permitted Rios to get the upper hand. Referee Pat Russell stepped in to stop the fight in the seventh round. Following the fight, Rios was asked if he’d give Alvarado a rematch. He called out to the 7,655 people in attendance at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California: “Fans, do you want it? Do you want it? (Bleep) it, let’s do it again.”
And so they will on Saturday, March 30 this time in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, as Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) takes on Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs) at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
The fighters were congenial, delivering good-natured trash talk all in fun at Friday afternoon’s weigh-in in Las Vegas. Both made the weight limit of 140 pounds, but Rios had to strip down and get on the scale without his shorts to drop the weight another half-pound to the 140 limit.
But when the bell rings, these two get down to business. Smart boxing fans won’t take a chance on missing another fight even half as good as the first Rios-Alvarado match up. It’s perfect for the casual fan too. Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado deliver high-test boxing entertainment. Despite their easygoing personalities and friendly, respectful relationship outside the ring, these guys like to fight and live to bring it in the ring.
Rios is the prototype brawler puncher. He likes to hit and likes to get hit, as if it proves to him he’s fully engaged in life. His trainer Robert Garcia has figured out how to channel Rios’ energy and aggression into punches that punish and take a serious toll. Rios has notched 11 knockouts in his last 13 wins.
The single loss on Alvarado’s record is his defeat by Rios. He’s highly motivated to avenge that loss and do some damage. He says he’s in better shape and worked more on strategy this time, and he will fight smarter this fight. He plans to move more and box more against Rios to try and frustrate him, causing him to make mistakes.
For his part, Rios says he doesn’t see what Alvarado can do differently this time. “He can try boxing more, but it will end up the same way,” says Rios. Alvarado cannot get so worked up by Rios coming straight at him that he abandons his game plan to box Rios and stay on his outside.
“I’m ready to do it again like the first fight. I’m ready to redeem myself,” said Alvarado at a pre-fight news conference on Thursday. “I take my hat off to Rios for doing it again.”
“I’m ready for another action fight,” said Rios. “It’s in the ring, toe to toe, man to man. I’m ready for this.”
Rios has one style and one speed: pedal to the metal. He relishes mixing it up. It leaves him open to being hit, but as long as he can take it he can dish it out all day. Alvarado has to box to win. If he can box and avoid the sort of punishment Rios dealt to him in the first fight, he’s the better boxer puncher. If it goes the distance, he can prevail on a judges’ scorecard.
Rios will need to do his best to force Alvarado to abandon the game plan and trade shots. The fans at the Mandalay Bay will want to see Rios and Alvarado engage. They will be quick to boo and jeer if the action slows down. Fighters hear this. They want to please the fans. It works to Rios’ advantage. Alvarado must tune it out.
Prediction: it won’t go the distance, it will devolve into a fan pleasing battle that ends with a late round knockout or TKO for Rios.
Join us for our first Communities boxing chat of 2013 for Rios-Alvarado II on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark.” We will get started at 10 p.m. Eastern Time for pre-fight predictions, then open up with the undercard action between Breidis Prescott of Colombia (26-4, 20 KOs) and undefeated American Terrence Crawford (19-0, 15 KOs) at junior welterweight. Crawford is a last minute substitution for Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev, who withdrew due to an elbow injury.
These two are power punchers and will make a nice lead in to the main event – but it won’t go the distance so be sure you are in your seat early so you don’t miss the main event, Rios-Alvarado II.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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