This Saturday Night: Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II

On Saturday night, two of HBO’s brightest will step into the ring once again. The rematch of Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado is one of the most anticipated fights of 2013. Their first fight was widely considered as one of the top candidates for “Fight of the Year” in 2012. Most publications and websites either picked Rios-Alvarado or Marquez-Pacquiao IV for that honor as the year came to an end.

As the co-feature of the Nonito Donaire vs Toshiaki Nishioka showdown, Rios vs Alvarado was hyped up to be a guaranteed mano a mano brawl. HBO was pushing that narrative, as were most boxing publications and websites. Even UFC’s Lorenzo Fertitta decided to miss the absurd squash match of Anderson Silva vs Stephan Bonnar to attend the much more interesting and exciting Rios vs Alvarado.

For seven rounds, Rios and Alvarado went back and forth. It’s rare to see such consistent, tit for tat action in combat sports. At first, I thought Alvarado was going to be too much for Rios. I had Alvarado ahead on the score cards and I thought that he was looking sharper early on. As the the fight unfolded, the tide would turn and Rios would start to take over in the 6th round. A big right hand proved that Rios could hurt Alvarado. Perhaps it was Rios’ chin and his unrelenting aggression that proved to be the difference maker here. In what may have been a bit of an early stoppage, referee Pat Russell stopped the fight as Rios pummeled Alvarado against the ropes in the seventh frame. The brawl did live up to its hype.

After the fight, there was talk about a potential Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios fight for April 2013. One thing got in the way of that fight – Juan Manuel Marquez’s right hand. With Pacquiao recovering from an all time great KO and Marquez weighing his options, we’re being treated to a second installment of Rios vs Alvarado. If it equals the first fight in terms of quality, we should consider ourselves very lucky. If it surpasses it, we’re going to be in for something special on Saturday.

Powered by