Fight Pick & Preview: Rios vs. Alvarado Rematch
On March 30 in Las Vegas, unbeaten TV favorite Brandon Rios takes on tough Mike Alvarado in a rematch from their sizzling October 2012 bout. Rios won the first fight via 7th-round stoppage, but that hardly tells the whole story. The 32-year old Alvarado pushed Rios, who had to fight hard to subdue his then-unbeaten foe. Fireworks are again expected.
Word on the street is that Alvarado is going to box more in this fight. That wouldn’t be a bad idea. A warrior at heart, Alvarado is a little longer than Rios. Though he did well in exchanging with Rios in spots during their first fight, he would have done even better if he had not laid in there so long and used his legs a bit more.
- Date: March 30, 2013
- Site: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Weight Class: Interim WBO Junior Welterweight Championship: 12 Rounds
Brandon Rios, 30-0-1 (23 KOs), Oxnard, California
Mike Alvarado, 33-1 (23 KOs), Denver, Colorado
At the same time, one shouldn’t expect Alvarado to become Sweet Pea Whitaker overnight. At some point, this one is going to get heated. When a guy who spent most of his recent career brawling starts getting tagged, he tends to eschew his boxing philosophy and revert to what he knows best. Some rematches of great brawls are disappointing because one or both guys decides they don’t want to go through that again. I wouldn’t expect that in this fight.
Alvarado certainly pushed Rios and gave him one heck of a fight. Perhaps how close the fight actually was has been overstated a bit–or at least how much trouble Rios was really in. While the fight had been scored evenly at that point, it never looked like Rios was going to lose. Alvarado was hanging in there, but fighting for dear life in order to do so, while Rios always seemed to have another gear available.
You have to wonder about a fighter slipping a notch after what happened to Alvarado. Sometimes a fighter is never quite the same in a fight where he fights absolutely as hard as he can, only to have the opponent spit nails back into his face. Alvarado is a proud warrior, a real blood-and-guts kind of guy. While he is likely to be physically recovered after a 6 month-long break, is he mentally the same guy? We’ll found out on March 30.
Rios needs to have his head screwed on right for this. With him, that has been an issue in the past, especially with his weight issues. Now at 140, hopefully that’s a thing of the past. Beyond that, however, is the fact that he has beaten Alvarado before and this is probably his last fight before stepping into the real big-time fights at 140, where the landscape is loaded. He needs to remember how hard it was to defeat Alvarado the first time. “Bam Bam” should also be careful to not look ahead at what awaits him should he again defeat Alvarado.
Rios knows he can just be himself and beat this man. Alvarado, though, is the one who needs to question his ring identity in this fight. He’s the one who needs to change. This might be a stretch, but it’s like being in a relationship where you get dumped. Then you decide to give it another try, promising you’re going to change. It creates a power structure where you’re not the boss in this relationship. You’re not the one in charge of what’s what. Rios knowing he’s the boss can be a big asset for a fighter like him who relies on so much heart and machismo.
Alvarado can’t be sold short. He is a versatile performer and a top-flight 140-pounder. Never underestimate a capable fighter with a lion’s heart who is bent on revenge. He may even be prepared to box more, which could keep him in the fight. He’s just not going to be able to provide Rios with the same problems Abril caused him with his highly-mobile approach. A little more boxing here and there, though, could bolster Alvarado’s chances.
Rios vs. Alvarado Rematch Prediction
Alvarado really unloaded his guns in the first fight and although he troubled Rios, he couldn’t get over the hump. Now he has the option of trying a different strategy that might or might not work as well. Then again, what Alvarado did in the first fight did in fact work. It just didn’t work well enough. It puts him and his training team in a difficult situation.
I see another action-packed fight. Alvarado might be able to out-shift Rios at the beginning of the fight, but Rios’ powers of pursuit and Alvarado’s warrior heart will soon give way to another war. Both men will certainly have their moments. This time, I again see “Bam Bam” being a little sharper, but also taking less time to get going. A Rios onslaught with Alvarado on the ropes will bring an end to a short, but explosive fight.
Prediction: Brandon Rios Wins by 4th-Round Knockout.