If ever a fight demanded a rematch, then it was the vicious battle contested by light-welterweight warriors, Brandan ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (26), and Mike ‘Mile High’ Alvarado (32). Even the typically sensationalist, pre-fight rhetoric undermined the reality of this hellacious battle, staged on 13th October 2012, at the Home Depot Centre, Carson, California.
The lofty pre fight expectations were not merely exceeded, but totally eclipsed.
Early after the opening bell, the enormity of what was unfolding dawned on the crowd, who were enthralled by every exchange, each of which grew in ferocity, round after round. Until, the 7th round, when, ultimately, Rios’ relentless persistance rendered Alvarado’s resistance futile.
The writing was on the wall for the Denver native when Rios sent him reeling to the ropes as a result of two murderous right and left combinations which exploded off his chin. Rios continued the onslaught with two dynamite left hands which separated Alvarado from his senses, bringing an end to the explosive action, as the referee intervened to protect him from anymore unnecessary punishment.
The 1st fight set the bar high, higher than ever imagined, but, that doesn’t mean that the 2nd encounter should prove to be any less fascinating. Both fighters have a compendium of attributes – solid punching power, chins of iron, ability to fight inside and a insatiable desire to fight fire with fire – which make it inconceivable that the contest will be anything other than an absorbing, action packed affair, that will spontaneously combust from the outset until, the agonising end.
And, although Brandan Rios may have won the battle, Alvarado can still win the war. Yet, in order to do so, he will need to extract some of the action from proceedings and, rely on his boxing skills as opposed to, his brawling skills.
Alvarado needs to have a gameplan more like Richard Abril, who was so successful against Rios, only to fall victim to a scandalous judging decision which denied him a richly deserved victory. He’s cut from a different fighting cloth than Abril though and, as such, will find it difficult to maintain his discipline, especially as Rios is such a willing, yet able target.
Lest we forget, Alvarado’s impressive combination punching and power shots found refuge on Rios face with unerring accuracy and regularity in their 1st encounter. And Alvarado certainly had greater control of the fight, when it was fought at a distance. Yet, it was Alvarado who was seeking shelter when Rios withering assaults and unrelenting pressure exhorted him to fight on the inside.
It does seem conceivable that Alvarado could escape with a points victory, but only if he sticks rigidly to the tactics of landing his own shots before quickly moving out of harm’s way. It seems nigh on impossible that Alvarado will be willing, or able to, resist the temptation of going toe to toe with Rios.
And, if, as expected, Alvarado is unable to curb his fighting instincts, then the crowd will be similarly unable to curb their enthusiasm at the mayhem that will undoubtedly ensue. The feeling is that Alvarado’s inability or, reluctance, to suppress his machismo, will be the seeds that sow his demise, yet again. Brandan Rios possesses a seemingly impenetrable chin and, his capacity for sustaining punishment is evenly balanced by his ability to dish out pain. This is something Alvarado cannot lay claim to, as the knockout in their last fight proved.
Regardless of the outcome of their 1st battle, this rematch has boxing fans around the world purring in anticipation and it will certainly set the pulses racing of everyone lucky enough to witness the second coming of Rios and Alvarado.