Rios and Alvarado prepare for 'War of the Worlds'
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 6, 2012) Photos © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing
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Brandon Rios
Mike Alvarado
“It’s going to be a bloody, massacre fight. It’s going to be one of those fights when people are on their feet the whole time.”
Brandon Rios (Top Photo).

“I know it’s going to be a great, thrilling, non-stop action fight and I’m ready for it. Can’t wait.”
Mike Alvarado (Bottom Photo)

It’s likely the spirit of Arturo Gatti will be at ringside on October 13 in Carson, Ca. when Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) and Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs ) go to war. Gatti engaged in some of the most fearsome battles in boxing history. His three fights with Micky Ward were loaded with drama, suspense, and violence.

Rios wants to eliminate any lasting odor from his dubious victory over Richard Abril in April. His inability to make weight (two pounds over the 135-pound limit) cost him a title. His performance cost him some respect.  

On the other hand, Alvarado has kept laboring away, knowing his big opportunity would come. The 140-pound weight class is loaded with talent.

Rios, 26, stands 5’8” with a reach of 68 inches. Alexander, 32, is an inch taller. Rios won the WBA lightweight title in 2011 when he stopped the game Miguel Acosta in round 10. Five months later, Rios and Urbano Antillion planted themselves in the middle of the ring and unloaded on each other.  In round three, Rios landed an overhand right that deposited Antillion on his face. The tough challenger got up, but was soon on the canvas again. Referee Earl Brown stopped the bout with Antillion staggering near the ropes. Rios failed to make the 135-pound limit in his next fight and lost his title. It’s not clear why Rios attempted to make the 135-pound limit.

Alvarado debuted in the junior welterweight division in 2004. Unlike Rios, his weight has never been an issue. Some have complained about the quality of his opposition. In 2009, he fought Joshua Burns who entered the ring with a record of three wins and nine losses. Alvarado came from way behind to stop Amir Khan conquer Breidis Prescott in round 10. In his last outing, on the undercard of Abril-Rios, Alexander outlasted Mauricio Herrera.

Rios is a genuine tough guy. He brings an edgy hard-hitting style into the ring. He’s all business and likes to hurt his opponent. His bodywork is impressive, as is his ability to box when needed. He can overwhelm his adversary with intense combinations. Rios doesn’t worry about his defensive liabilities. He’ll take three to land one. His confidence never wavers.

Alvarado likes to stay close and work the body. He’s not the natural banger that Rios is, but he’s consistent, and knows how to work the ring. His left hook is above average. Prescott displayed for the world in 2011 that Alvarado could be outboxed.

War is an over used term in boxing. Nevertheless, in this fight, the definition fits. A close bout could turn brutal in the last few rounds. Alvarado will hang in there like grim death. Rios will be a beat faster with his punches. Alvarado will land his own heavy punches, but by the late rounds, Rios will be too far ahead on the scorecards. The Oxnard resident will still be trying for a knockout. He might get it, but a decision looks more probable.

The main event October 13 features Nonito Donaire putting his junior featherweight world title on the line against fellow super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka. The fights will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10 PM ET/PT.

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