By Michael Maestas and Gabreal Gallegos
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There are times when the boxing gods (promotional companies) get the match-ups right and this Saturday night from Carson, California, boxing got it right. Former lightweight champion Brandon Rios makes his light welterweight debut against the tough and hard hitting Mike Alvarado in the Co-main event of Nonito Donaire and Toshiaki Nishioka
fight. If these two fighters’ previous fights are any indication of what fight fans should expect to see, then boxing fans will want to DVR, go to your mom’s,…even call your ex-girlfriend who has HBO
to watch this fight. It may turn out to be a fight for the ages and maybe the fight of the year for 2012.
G.G: Why Rios will win
• Experience: Rios has been in the ring with Anthony Peterson, Miguel Acosta and Urbano Antillion. All three fighters have vastly more experience than any of the competition Alvarado has faced. Experience that comes in handy when the fight gets into the later rounds. Alvarado’s toughest challenge has been Bredis Prescott. A fight that he was losing going into the late rounds and not to mention that he had to have a knockout to win. Before the win, Alvarado’s best win was Ceasar Bazan or Emmanuel Clottey? Bam Bam’s last 3 wins were better than all of Alvarado’s wins combined.
• Trainer: Robert Garcia has taken not only Rios to the top but helped Nonito Donaire, brother Mikey Garcia and most recently Marcos Maidana become legitimate title contenders or world champions. Garcia has proven to get the best out of his fighters and if there needs to be changes during the fight, Garcia can adjust the fight to tailor to Rios. Alvarado is going into the biggest fight of his career, against a fighter that is just a good if not better than his is, but Rios and Garcia have been in the spot before. Alvarado… Oct. 13th will show just how prepared he is.
• Game Plan: As stated, Rios has Garcia as his trainer and while Garcia will change up if need be, Rios will already be ahead because of Garcia, therefore Alvarado will have to fight a Rios fight to win; Which means, that no matter where Alvarado is, Rios will be in his back pocket, stalking Alvarado and making the fight as uncomfortable as he can for the Colorado native. This will also show up in the scorecards, as both men can take a punch so the aggressiveness and ring generalship Rios will have will work to his benefit with the judges.
• Chin/Power: Rios can take a punch and give it right back. There is no doubt that Alvarado hits hard but Rios hits just as hard and along with the superior experience he enters the ring with his power and chin are on his side. Rios has been struggling to make the 135lb weight limit for the last year and the struggle of making weight is a direct effect of his performances. Now that Rios is back at a weight he is comfortable with, training is less on making weight and more on the game plan Garcia has in place.
• Hometown: This fight should be the main event. Most of the fans will be at the Home Depot Center to see Rios-Alvarado. Donaire may be the main event, but Rios-Alvarado is The FIGHT and with this being the fight to watch it will also show that Rios has a majority of fans at the fight. While Alvarado was working his way up to this fight, Rios has been gathering steam and fans for the last 5 years. Alvarado has been just trying to get a marquee fight for the last 5 years and while Alvarado has been in the spot light since high school, fighting in his opponent’s backyard in his first major fight, the pro Rios crowd will show from the beginning and won’t slow down support through the fight. Rios will feed off the support and Alvarado and his team will try to find a way to cope, only to fail to block out the noise as well as the man in front of him.
• Alvarado is no slouch and he will be Champion, but it will have to be put on hold after his loss to Rios this weekend and while he has been waiting for this type of meaningful fight for some time, it will also show what he needs to do to become champion one day.
G. G. predicting Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios by Decision
M.M: Why Alvarado will win
• Natural weight: Alvarado is a natural light welterweight. Rios is moving up after failing to make weight at lightweight his last couple fights. Both fighters punch hard; however Rios won’t be strong enough at this weight to knock out Alvarado.
• Styles: Both fighters like to come forward and throw bombs. This will play to the advantage of Alvarado who thrives off a bloody action fight. Rios may adjust somewhat, but being a head case like fellow Garden City, Kansas fighter Victor Ortiz, Rios will get caught up in the slugfest.
• Training: Although he has yet to fight 12 rounds, Alvarado will battle to the end as proven it all his previous fights and with being a two time state wrestling champ out of Skyview High School in Denver, CO. He is used to taking punishment and his opponent has proved he does not always train the best; subsequently, his (Rios’) stamina could be in question with the weight issues he has had over the past few fights. I agree Rios has an edge in trainer Robert Garcia, but everyone has a coming out party, and with the clock ticking on Alvarado who is 6 years the senior over Rios, the time is now for the Mile High Kid to prove something.
• Chin/Power: This area could really be a tie between the two fighters. I say Alvarado fighting at his natural weight with Rios moving up a weight class gets the edge in power. Time will tell though. Is this a better weight for Rios? Is Alvarado for real and likewise for a fight like this? Whose chin will go first? My guess is the guy with less stamina and less power. Rios will fade first unless Garcia is able to get him to box a little more and not get caught up in a slugfest. He may be in Alvarado’s back pocket all night but that may just be where Alvarado wants him.
• Everything to gain/less to lose: Alvarado has not been as hyped, nor has he been on the same stage as Rios over the past few years. He is an exciting fighter (See HBO’s Jim Lampley’s Gatti List for crowd pleasing fighters) for fans that know him, but Rios has more to lose, and he knows it. Through wrestling, some of his legal troubles, and some of his battles in the ring, Alvarado has proven he is tough and he won’t fold under pressure. This is his biggest stage to date, yes; however, everyone has to have their biggest and toughest fight sometime. I see him getting in Rios’ head and overwhelming him toward the later rounds.
• Paid his dues: As he said after his last fight against Mauricio Herrera, Alvarado has paid his dues. I am not sure he is ready for Juan Manuel Marquez, but I think this fight with Rios is tailor made for him and perfect timing. In the end, I see it being a great fight and candidate for 2012 fight of the year. I agree with G.G. and it could be one for the ages so, yes call ol girl up if you have not paid the cable bill and don’t miss out.
M.M. predicting an 11th round TKO for Mike “Mile High” Alvarado
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