SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2013 - When any fight gets hyped as much as Saturday’s rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, it risks being a disappointment.
Not to worry. Expectations were not only met, they were exceeded with the kind of thrilling action fans live for as Rios and Alvarado put on another wildly entertaining fight jam packed with action from start to finish in Las Vegas.
Can you say Rios-Alvarado III?
Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) won a close unanimous decision over Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs), handing Rios his first defeat and evening the score in their series. It was 115-113 on two scorecards, and 114-113 on the third. Alvarado won three of the last four rounds on two scorecards and all four on a third to pull out the fight.
Alvarado gained the edge with superior boxing skills, just as Alvarado said he would prior to the fight. He combined movement with the same vicious punching power he showed in his first battle with Rios. Alvarado also needed to withstand the same punishing treatment dealt to him by Rios, who hit him repeatedly with body shots, sharp right and left hooks and upper cuts. At least a dozen of those punches would have dropped most other boxers.
The fight is being compared by more than one person to Gatti-Ward II. In many ways it was better because Alvarado is a more skilled fighter than people give him credit for. He mixed it up with Rios plenty, but while he got hit hard, he kept his legs under him although who knows how, and avoided the same fate as in their first bout.
When these two get in the ring, they are warriors and they get right down to business. They are blessed with jaws of titanium and steel will. Incredibly, neither has managed to put the other on the canvas.
At the end of the fight, Alvarado threw his hands in the air. He believed he’d won and the crowd of 5,418 present seemed to believe it, too.
The fight was exhilerating to watch, and exhausting too. Both fighters threw more than 700 punches apiece; Alvarado landed 261 punches to 241 for Rios. Over half of these shots were to the head, and they did plenty of damage. Both fighters missed the post-fight news conference; they headed straight to local hospitals for CT scans.
But before leaving the ring, Rios and Alvarado got into an energetic verbal brawl after the fight over the outcome and the prospect of a rubber match, witnessed by the fans present and the HBO audience.
“Brandon gave me a shot to redeem myself,” Alvarado said. “I’ll give him a shot for the trilogy.”
“I won the first won, now they want to make the third one,” Rios said. “Let’s make the third one.” Rios also said he’d even fight in Alvarado’s home town, Denver, Colorado.
Fans are giddy at the prospect of getting Rios-Alvarado III on the calendar right away, but their gratification may be delayed. Top Rank’s Bob Arum said he wants to see both fighters face new opponents before getting in the ring together again. He promised they would be good fights, not tune up fights.
“Are these guys going to fight again?” Arum asked. “Of course they will. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be next.”
Gennady Golovkin gets knockout victory
Middleweight Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin may have scared off a lot of opponents after his devastating knockout of Japan’s Nobu Ishida ealier in the day in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Golovkin circled Ishida quietly for two and a half rounds, then sent him to the canvas at 2:11 of the third round. The referee didn’t even bother to administer a count. Ishida, who had never been stopped in a fight, was out cold. It was a display of force that many compare to Mike Tyson. Perhaps the better comparison is to George Foreman. Golovkin is that good; he’s the real deal.
It’s going to be tough to find someone willing to get in the ring with Golovkin at this point who’s worthy of him. He is still building an American fan base, and he doesn’t command the big pay day of a major pay-per-view just yet. He’ll get there, but in the meantime the reward versus the risk for boxers like Canelo Alvarez, Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr., or the fight everyone would love to see, Golovkin vs. Sergio Martinez, is still a long way in the future. It’s probable that Golovkin will face someone like Ireland’s Michael Macklin next. Book Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center right now.
The good news: if these fights are any indication of what’s to come, 2013 will be a dandy year in boxing and fans have a lot to look forward to.
Crawford remains undefeated with win over Prescott
American Terrence Crawford (20-0, 15 KOs) remains undefeated, winning a unanimous decision in his television debut against Breidis Prescott of Colombia (26-5, 20 KOs) on the Rios-Alvarado II undercard. Crawford stepped up in weight class from a fight on the undercard to take on Prescott, and not a lot was expected of him. Crawford stayed true to his technical style, moving well and counterpunching when it counted. Prescott became frustrated at his inability to pin Crawford down, but he didn’t press the action anywhere near enough. The crowd became frustrated, booing at the lack of action. No matter, Crawford fought a smart fight and due credit to him for taking the risk at this point of his career.
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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