There was no need to hype the third fight between warriors Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado.
Their first two bouts were brutal delights, with each man claming a victory. The main question heading into tonight’s third go-around was who had more left in the tank.
Two minutes into the rubber match, it was obvious that Rios was the more energetic fighter. The 28-year-old from Oxnard, Ca. pounded Alvarado from pillar to post--leading to a stoppage after round three at the 1stBank Center, in Bloomfield, Colorado.
The fight started slowly. Both fighters tried to establish their jabs. Rios (33-2-1. 23 KOs) opened up at the two minute mark of the stanza. He landed a number of sharp combinations. A uppercut and right hook found the chin of Alvarado.
In round two, Rios continued to work the body and head. His lead right couldn’t miss. His inside uppercut snapped Alvarado’s head back. Alvarado (34-4, 23 KOs) wasn’t throwing many punches. He tried to jab. But he was listless and lacking his usual fire. A heavy right staggered him. Rios worked Alvarado over along the ropes. Alvarado, 34, finally connected with a left hook, but the punch did nothing to deter the attack of the relentless Rios.
The Rios beatdown resumed in round three. He stunned Alvarado with a right hook. A few seconds later--a four punch combination--punctuated by a glancing hook dropped Alvarado. The former junior welterweight champion beat the count, but his body language suggested that he didn’t want to continue. He did anyway. He tried to fight back at the bell.
Chaos ensued in his corner. The ring physician questioned Alvarado. He motioned to the referee Jay Nady that the fight was over. Alvarado shook his head as Rios celebrated.
“I never thought it was going to be easy,” said a beaming Rios. “Alvarado has power in both his hands. I love my uppercut. I’m a fighter. I’ll a fight anyone.”
“He caught me with an uppercut right on my eye,” said a depressed Alvarado. “I couldn’t see.”
In the days leading up to the fight, Rios had told the media that he was focused and ready. Words can be cheap in boxing, but not this time. Rios fought with an edge. He moved his head. He smiled. His performance was his best since he destroyed Urbano Antillon in 2011.
The fight was aired live on HBO Boxing After Dark.