Two undefeated junior welterweights will be slugging it out for 12 rounds or less at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles this Oct. 13 when Brandon Rios squares off against Mike Alvarado.
The bout is being billed as a junior welterweight eliminator with the winner earning the number one ranking in the division by the WBO. Fans are looking forward to this match-up as it has the potential to be one of the best of the year.
Rios is a former WBA lightweight titleholder who has had problem making weight in the past. He was stripped of the lightweight title before his last bout in April, against Richard Abril, for coming in two pounds over the weight limit. He struggled against Abril and many fans though he was the recipient of a highly-dubious 12-round decision against Abril.
Rios has now moved up to the 140 lb. division and will be putting his 30-0-1, 22 KOs record on the line against Alvarado, who is 33-0 and has 23 KOs to his name. Alvarado may have a slight advantage due to the fact he’s a natural junior welterweight.
The Lubbock-Texas born Rios now calls Oxnard, California his hometown and the 26-year-old turned pro there in 2004 when he was just 18. He’s got a 68-inch reach and stands 5-foot-8. He learned the ropes with an extensive amateur career.
Alvarado, who was born in Denver, Colorado, has a 70-inch reach and stands 5-foot-9, giving him a slight advantage in both of those areas. If you’re looking for a disadvantage for Alvarado, it could be considered his age since he’s six years older than Rios at 32.
He’s been a pro since 2004, but has yet to really take on an elite fighter. The same could probably be said about Rios even though he’s a former world champ. He’s fought some good boxers, but not any great ones.
Rios took the WBA lightweight crown in 2011 with a 10th-round stoppage over Miguel Acosta of Venezuela. He knocked out Urbano Antillon during the third round of his first title defence five months later and then scored an 11th-round KO over John Murray of England last December.
Alvarado’s toughest opponent has been Carlos Molina, who he beat in 2007 by a majority decision. He has also stopped Emmanuel Clottey in 2009 and Breidis Prescott two years later. He ended both of these fights in the 10th round.
Prescott is well known for knocking out former world champion Amir Khan in about 90 seconds a few years ago. Alvarado last fought in April and he scored a 10-round decision over Mauricio Herrera.
Both Rios and Alvarado have good power, but Rios also possesses better boxing skills and has faster hands. He’s also quite aggressive and would rather brawl than box. The throws a lot of punches, likes to go to the body, and is an exciting fighter, making him a favourite with boxing fans.
His defence isn’t the greatest and Alvarado will be attempting to counter him. Alvarado has a good left hook and also likes to launch a body attack. He’s not as fast as Rios though and is a bit of a slow starter.
There should be a lot of action here, but Alvarado will have to start quicker than usual or he’ll find himself behind on the scorecards and will need to score a KO to win. It looks like Rios’ better skills and speed will carry him to a decision win after 12 rounds in a crowed-pleasing fight.