Rios-Alvarado II set for Saturday night

Posted: March 29, 2013 in General
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Brandon Rios, l, and Mike Alvarado pose for the media Wednesday at the final pre-fight press conference.

Brandon Rios, left, and Mike Alvarado pose for the media Wednesday after the final pre-fight press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The two fought in an epic battle last October, won by Rios. PHOTO CREDIT: W.G. Ramirez

LAS VEGAS —  All that’s left to do is fight.

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado both weighed in at 140 pounds Friday in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and now the world awaits the rematch from last year’s Fight of the Year-nominated bout Rios won. In that Oct. 13 bout last year, judges Max Deluca and Zach Young had the fight scored even, 57-57, while judge James Jen Kin had it 58-56 for Rios, whose crushing right hand changed the complexion of a fight that had gone back and forth the entire fight. Rios’ onslaught was relentless enough for referee Pat Russell to step in and stop the fight at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the seventh round.

And while Rios celebrated, Alvarado looked on in amazement, as he believed the fight should have continued.

Rios-Alvarado II takes place Saturday night, with the 12-round World Boxing Organization interim junior welterweight championship being televised live on HBO.

The two have headlined an event-filled week, giving the media entertained with their quips and critiques about one another, not to mention their analysis on the first fight.

“As long as there’s a ring and an opponent in front of me … I’m ready to fight,” said Rios, the former WBA lightweight champ and No. 1 ranked WBO fighter at 140 pounds.

Rios (31-0-1, 22 knockouts) is looking for his second world title in as many weight divisions, and comes into this one having won 11 of his last 13 fights by knockout. And though it’s Alvarado who is out for revenge in this fight, Rios swears he’s just as hungry as he was the first time around.

“I’m always ready for a fight,” Rios said. “I can’t go in the ring and not expect a fight or not being hungry or motivated for a fight because I can hurt myself.”

Rios, who was installed as high as a 5-to-1 favorite but settled back to -450, said though he was victorious, he’s learned plenty after watching the first fight “3, 400 times.”

“Every time I watch it I see something new and I bring it to the gym,” Rios said.

Hoping to not leave himself open after taking his shots, by pulling back and leaving his chin squared up in front of Alvarado, the former World Boxing Association lightweight champion is confident his new strength and conditioning program will have him mobile enough to avoid Alvarado’s power bombs.

“I’m not going to say this (has been) the best training camp ever, I just worked on different things I had never done before and I see a difference in my ability to move around the ring more and I’m not so much flat-footed anymore,” Rios said. “But like I’ve said, I’m a warrior, I only know one way to fight. So I might forget everything. In the gym we practice (one way), but once I get in the ring it’s a whole different story. You go back to knowing what you do best, and that’s to fight.”

And while Rios swears he’ll get Alvarado to do just that – get in the ring, scrap the gameplan and get into a slugfest – the Denver-native says he learned from the biggest mistake of his career that resulted in the first loss of his career.

“Every time I threw a shot at him, he would crouch up, block it and then fire,” said Alvarado, who bis bringing back a price of +350. “He was there the whole… every second of every round pressuring me the whole time. Not giving me any room to breathe whatsoever. Making me have to move, making me have to defend myself more and more.

“This time around I’m going to stay tighter and move. I didn’t use no leg movement at all that first fight. I didn’t even train for that type of fight.”

Alvarado took his camp to his hometown of Denver for this fight, using the elements in the high altitude to help with his conditioning, while using a new Russian sparring partner to keep the pressure on him during training sessions.

“This dude was like Forrest Gump, he didn’t stop,” Alvarado said. “He gave me the best sparring I ever had.”

And now the key for him is simple: “Keep my gameplan and focus. That’s what’s going to win this fight.”

Again, Rios says it won’t happen.

“He’s a fighter, he’s never boxed in his whole entire career,” Rios said. “He’s a toe-to-toe guy, and once he gets hit, he’s going to go back to what he does best and that’s to fight.

“So at the end of the day, me and him in the center of the ring, we’re going to be getting it on.”

As I said, all that’s left to do is fight.

#RiosAlvarado #RiosAlvarado2 @MileHighMike303 @Brandon_Rios1 @HBOBoxing @TRBoxing


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