Their first encounter was one for the ages: Brandon Rios waged a memorable war and took out Mike Alvarado in the seventh round. The rematch was exciting, but Alvarado used much better boxing to win the decision. The rubber match? It had nothing from either bout.
Alvarado admitted afterward that he had a lousy training camp and was nowhere near his best and after witnessing his performance, he couldn’t have been more accurate. Rios was all over the local fighter from the start, siphoning the life out of the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., a suburb just outside of Denver.
Alvarado didn’t bother to throw a punch for nearly the first two minutes of the fight; rather, he stood with his guard up and defended the whirlwind of bombs from the Oxnard, Calif., fighter. Alvarado had his head snapped back repeatedly from vicious uppercuts on the inside and absorbed a cornucopia of nasty shots to the body. He simply was a shell of himself and it was just a matter of time before he was stopped.
Related » Rios vs. Alvarado Play-by-Play
Things didn’t improve too greatly in the second, but Rios still dominated each moment of the round. Alvarado was more active and he tried a few times to end the fight with one shot, but Rios eluded the bombs easily and made the former title holder pay in spades.
Rios increased his attrition in the third with a hellish onslaught, but Alvarado dropped his rival with a shot to the groin. Referee Jay Nady correctly ruled it an illegal blow and warned Alvarado, but the end was just around the corner. “Bam Bam” dug a ferocious right uppercut through Alvarado’s guard and exploded on his jaw. Alvarado’s knees buckled and he was soon felled by the follow-up shots. Alvarado bravely got back to his feet at Nady’s count of eight, but Rios -- sensing a knockout -- unloaded every punch in his arsenal until the bell sounded to save the hometown fighter.
Between rounds, the ringside physician held up two fingers and when he asked Alvarado how many he was holding up, “Mile High” replied with, “four.” Nady, who was already threatening to stop the fight, had seen enough at that point and on the advice of the physician waived it off, giving Rios the revenge he was seeking.
Rios, who improved to 33-2-1 with 24 KOs, called out “The Russian” and Victor Ortiz after the slaughter. Alvarado, who dipped to 34-4 with 23 KOs, was a rambling mess to HBO commentator Jim Lampley, saying that he didn’t train right and that he deserved what he got.
In the co-feature, Mexico’s Gilberto Ramirez used a terrific body assault to slow down and stifle Russia’s Maxim Vlasov, where he won a hard-fought unanimous decision. The official judges all favored Ramirez (31-0, 24 KOs) via tallies of 97-93 (twice) and 96-94. Vlasov (30-2, 15 KOs) landed dozens of right hands throughout the contest, but they weren’t enough.
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