It has been just over a week since boxing fans were treated once again to a terrific fight from Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios. With the result of the fight now settling in for both fighters and with myself having had a chance to speak to Brandon Rios, there was only one piece of business left unfinished, and that was to get Mike Alvarado’s take on things. In this special “On The Ropes” interview, I had had a chance to speak to Mike Alvarado and get his in depth views on his recent fight. Besides going into detail on the match, Mike also touched on a possible trilogy fight with Rios and what options he sees out there for himself if he has to fight someone different next time out. Additionally Alvarado talked about what his dream fight would be, a possible Manny Pacquiao fight and how fans compare his fights with Rios, to that of Gatti and Ward. Here is what Mike had to say.
Jenna J: Mike, fans are still talking about the fight that you had last week with Brandon Rios. Can you tell me your thoughts on the rematch you had now that you had some time to think about it.
Mike Alvarado: It was a very entertaining action packed fight. I knew it was going to be a great fight, I knew I was getting myself into another war with Brandon. I have a lot of different skills that I implemented for this fight, which worked out really good for myself. I boxed well, I fought when I wanted to. I did not have to fight the whole time, like I did the last fight. I switched my game plan up a lot, and bringing Rudy Hernandez into my camp helped me bring in different skills to the table. It was a good camp and I was happy with the good performance I put on.
Jenna: Can you talk about the action of the fight. After an even first round, you found yourself getting hurt in the second. Can you tell me what was going on in you head during that round?
Alvarado: It was a flash hurt, when he hurt me. I was real quick, it was fast. I wobbled for a quick second, he shook me up for a quick second, but I got my head back pretty quick after that. I knew if he did not knock me out then, that he could not hurt me again, which he never did. He hurt me that one time and that was it. I felt his shots but I was smart enough to brace myself, to get away from those big shots. I just felt good going into that fight, so I just stuck with my game plan and I overcame Brandon's style, I overcame his punches, I overcame a lot. Just sticking to my game plan I showed that focus, showed my boxing ability, showed that I could fight another way, not just slugging in the fight the whole time, I showed I could box as well.
Jenna: You certainly did stick to your game plan, and actually surprised a lot of people going out in that third round, as you ended up hurting Rios the round after you got hurt. How hurt do you think you had him?
Alvarado: I had him hurt, I thought I was going to get him out for a second there. I really could not get it past that, Brandon is warrior and fought a lot past that before. I felt the punches I landed on him, I know he felt my power, I know he went through a lot in the last fight. So I knew it was not going to be that easy, I went in for the kill, I tried. I hurt him a lot, he felt it this time. My game plan was superb this time.
Jenna: What was it like trying to stick to your game plan, but also dealing with the cuts that you got early on?
Alvarado: I was just so focused on that game plan I did not even realize that I was cut. I did not even realize I had those two gashes over my eyes, I had no idea. My corner was just giving me the instructions and I was just so focused on the instructions they were giving me to win that fight and not get caught with those excruciating shots that would hurt me and cost me the fight. I was on my game that night.
Jenna: Going into the final rounds, how close did you think the fight was and did you think you have to secure that round in order to win the fight?
Alvarado: I knew I had to win the last few rounds to seal the deal in that fight, I knew it was a real close fight. I did not want to leave it up to the judges on a split decision. I knew I was winning, I knew I ahead on the scorecards, and I just wanted to stay ahead on the scorecards and seal the deal.
Jenna: Lets talk about what's next for you. Brandon Rios said he wanted a third fight, but do you want it?
Alvarado: If it happens I'm willing to give him a shot, to be fair about it. If they want that fight, if the fans want it and if Top Rank wants to make it, I'm all for it. It's a great fight, the fans loved it, it was very entertaining, it was action packed. It was a good fight for me, it made me that much better and stronger, a smarter fighter and if we have to do it again, I'm ready to do it again. I have the book to beat Brandon, I have the skills, I have the blueprint to this fight, so if he comes at me again, I'm just going to box him again, but even better! I will fight him when I feel like fighting him. When I do fight I feel I can beat him at his own game, but I don't have to fight him at his own game, I will beat him at my own game. If it happens, I will be ready for it.
Jenna: Well Mike, I’m gonna ask you a question that I also asked Brandon. I asked him about the 140 pound division, I said it’s one of the most talent rich divisions in boxing but there’s one problem, a lot of that talent is with a different promoter than the one either of you guys are with. Do you think there are certain fights out there that you would love to see yourself in but you unfortunately can’t have them because of promotional issues?
Alvarado: Yeah that’s pretty irritating, knowing that there’s still another champion out there in my same division. I don’t see why they wouldn’t negotiate on letting fighters fight for a championship belt, to see who the real champion is in that division. There’s Garcia, Matthysse, Judah and all those other guys, it would be awesome. I would love to fight those guys but Top Rank and Goldenboy really aren’t negotiating on fights with each other so it gives us the short end of the stick to do what we have to do to maintain on our own division. I don’t let it bring me down though, I’m still on top of my game and I’m still gonna beat the best. It would be great to fight one of the top fighters at 140.
Jenna: Well Mike if you had your choice of any fighter out there that you could fight between 140 lbs. and 147, one guy out there who you would love to see yourself in the ring with, who would it be?
Alvarado: I would say Juan Manuel Marquez.
Jenna: Alright Juan Manuel Marquez, why?
Alvarado: Marquez because he’s the champion to beat. He’s the one with the crown. He had the belts that I’m currently holding, the WBO. He has the 147 lbs. crown, he knocked out Pacquiao, so I believe that’s the dream fight for me in my position right now. Him and maybe Mayweather, that’s one of the biggest fights I could ever ask for.
Jenna: Alright well Mike you mentioned Juan Manuel Marquez, but I've actually seen your name tossed around with a fighter that he beat, Manny Pacquiao. Would you at all be interested in fighting Pacquiao if that opportunity presented itself?
Alvarado: Oh definitely that too, that’s a big money payday, it’s a big fight. I think he’s up on the wins on Marquez anyways but anyone of those fights, those are all championship fights, they’re all big fights and I wouldn’t pass any of those up.
Jenna: Mike, one of the fights you’ve had with Brandon Rios, people are starting to drop comparisons to Gatti/Ward judging on the action of the first two fights. What do you think of the comparisons the fans are drawing?
Alvarado: That’s amazing, to be brought up and labeled as that kind of fighter who has those types of classic fights. That’s motivation to me to have fights that people remember. It’s gonna motivate me that much more to put on fights like that, knowing I’m doing something in this sport, knowing I’m opening the eyes of the whole world to see an entertaining fighter like myself.
Jenna: Mike, a lot of people are wondering when they’re going to see you back in the ring, obviously you sustained a few cuts over your eyes, how soon do you see yourself getting back in there?
Alvarado: Within another 4-5 months, maybe by August or September I’d be back in the ring.
Jenna: Ok, well when I talked to Brandon Rios I asked him if he could say anything to you at all what would he say, and he said “you know what, lets have a third fight, I don’t care where I have to go, I don’t care where it is, I wanna have the third fight” So I ask you that same question, if you could say anything to Brandon Rios what would you say to him?
Alvarado: I would tell him that it was fair that he gave me a shot and I would be willing to give him a shot. I don’t call the shots, I’m not gonna say that this is the fight that has to happen but I’m willing for it. I think it will happen regardless. If the people want it then lets do it again.
Jenna: Ok, and speaking of the people, the boxing fans and everyone who enjoyed your fight, is there a message you would like to pass along to them?
Alvarado: I just want to thank all the fans and everybody who supports me and tunes in on Mike Alvarado fights, I want to thank everybody.