Rios Alvarado

As soon as the fight between unbeaten junior welterweights Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado was announced, most boxing fans figured it could very well be the fight of the year. They were right.

The Oct. 13 bout at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles lived up to all of the pre-fight hype and then some. This was a slugfest right from the opening bell and the only problem was that it lasted just seven rounds instead of the scheduled 10.

Since both boxers had never lost and also have considerable power, it didn’t surprise fans when they went toe to toe as soon as it began. It was a step up in weight for Rios, a former lightweight champion, as he was fighting at the 140 lb. limit for the very first time.

Alvarado was the naturally bigger man in the fight and it was apparent that he could take a solid punch... at least until it was stopped by referee Pat Russell when the 32-year-old, who fights out of Denver, Colorado, was hammered helpless along the ropes in the seventh round.

Up until that point though, Alvarado was arguably getting the better of the 26-year-old Rios in the fight even though the official scorecards showed that two judges had the bout even when it was stopped and the third had Rios slightly ahead.

Alvarado used an excellent jab to setup his power shots while Rios preferred to go for power with every punch that he threw. Most of the shots thrown by both men had knockout written all over them and this was apparent at the bruising and lumps that appeared on both of their faces during the bout.

The fight was back and forth up until the seventh round when Rios nailed Alvarado with a perfectly-times right hand to the head. The powerful blow hurt Alvarado and Rios followed up the shot with several more damaging blows.

However, Alvarado stayed on his feet and his hands were still up when Robertson ended the battle at the 1:57 mark of the round. After the fight, Russell defended his actions by saying he doesn’t mind taking boxers out to the deep waters, but definitely doesn’t want to drown them.

It was arguably an early stoppage and Alvarado claimed after the bout that he could have carried on. In total, Rios threw 541 punches and landed 161 of them while Alvarado connected on 175 out of the 779 that he threw in just more than six rounds of boxing.

With the win, Rios, who was born in Lubbock, Texas, and fights out of Oxnard, California, upped his pro record to 31-0-1 with 23 KOs while Alvarado fell to 33-1 with 23 KOs.

The fight was definitely one of the best of the year and probably the best if truth be told. Rios has a lot of tough opponents ahead of him at the junior welterweight division and he’s undoubtedly gunning for a title belt. It’s also possible that he could take on the winner of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez bout in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.

Other possible opponents include former champion Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse and current WBC champ Danny Garcia, who will fight Erik Morales in a rematch on Oct. 20.

Even with the loss Alvarado’s stock has risen greatly and he could very well be matched up against one of these opponents too. However, after the Rios vs Alvarado spectacle, there’s no doubt that boxing fans are aching to see them do it all over again in a rematch.


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