Alvarado Makes the Adjustments

By Ted Sares on March 31, 2013
Alvarado Makes the Adjustments
Mike Alvarado was focused, disciplined, and stuck to a game (Chris Farina/Top Rank)


This time it was different; this time there was no phone booth to be won as Mike “Mile High” Alvarado (34-1) showed what focus, discipline, and sticking to a game plan is all about.

Keeping great separation, giving angles, using superb movement, switching from a southpaw stance, and throwing deceptively fast but thunderous rights that constantly found their mark, the Denver-based Alvarado won a close but convincing unanimous decision over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1), who seemed baffled at times by Mike’s strategy. One other key (that the HBO team missed) was that Mike tied up Rios in clinches preventing him from getting in his bruising uppercuts and minimizing his incoming attack. 

The first two rounds belonged to Bam Bam, as he staggered Alvarado with a fully leveraged power jab in the second round, a rarely seen occurrence in a boxing match these days. However, Rios could not follow-up. Then it was Alvarado’s turn to bring the heat as he staggered Rios in the third with one of his crunching rights and from that point on, Rios seemed to lose his rhythm, though he kept things close until the 9th stanza, or depending on how you judged the fight, until the final round.

The final scores were 115-113, 115-113 and 114-113. I had it 115-113 for Alvarado even though I (along with just about everyone else) thought Rios would win by early stoppage. In fact, he was a 4-1 favorite going into the fight.

At the end, Mike looked like he had gone through a meat grinder, but his hardworking corner kept him in the fight and his stamina held up as usual. Alvarado has a tendency to get stronger as a fight progresses and that’s what happened Saturday night.

Alvarado’s team and camp deserve a lot of credit for this victory, and his cutman Rudy Hernandez in particular gave some savvy advice in the corner.

As for Rios and Robert Garcia, now it’s their turn to make adjustments. Rios must figure out a way to win without engaging in the trenches, which is his wont, because we now know Alvarado will not be lured into those dangerous trenches.

Hopefully, there will be a trilogy (maybe in Denver) and boxing fans will be the winner as they have been so far this year with this fight and the Bradley-Provodnikov war.

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  1. the thresher 03:26pm, 04/01/2013

    I think you might be right

  2. Don from Prov 12:53pm, 04/01/2013

    Mike deserved that fight but I’m not sure it was the adjustment alone—

    Rios needs to stay in shape between fights.
    He was able to use his jab and cut off the ring early—

    Honestly, I was disappointed in him middle rounds on
    I think he gassed a bit

  3. the thresher 06:23am, 04/01/2013

    Dan Adams, their fights will keep boxing alive for years to come. And Donaire-Rig is another that could fill the bill. 2013 has been and will be a great year for boxing.

  4. the thresher 06:22am, 04/01/2013

    “goggle eyes Kellerman” Good one Matt and good post.

  5. Dan Adams 03:22am, 04/01/2013

    Ted, this fight, along with the Bradley-Provodnikov fight, is what year 2013 boxing should be all about:  a combination of stamina and skill coupled with ample amounts of courage and desire.  These two mutually respectful fighters deserve each other one more time.  And so do we.

  6. Matt Mosley 12:59am, 04/01/2013

    Great fight and very good game plan from Alvarado. He fought smart but also showed a massive heart after being hurt early on.
    His face just goes to prove what a BS saying that is about “Look at their faces. Who would you rather be?”, when stating who should get the judges call in a close fight.
    I think goggle eyes Kellerman came up with that one.
    This one was not all that close though. It was very competitive but MA pulled away in the second half.
    I’ve been in a couple of street fights myself where i got a black eye or whatever, but still won. You’re gonna get it, you know.
    It’s how you respond to adversity that matters.
    Kellerman looks like the type who would tuck his tail and run for the hills at the first sign of trouble, so what would he know, amirite??  :)
    BTW, i love watching Rios fight in the inside. He’s one of the best currently out there at this style of fighting, imo.
    His hook in particularly, but also his uppercut, jab and body shots are all pretty lethal, thrown with textbook technique and maximum leverage.
    He’s also tough as old boots.
    One of my favourites to watch.
    Mike Alvarado surprised me in this fight with his improvement and, as Ted said, his adjustments. For all i like Rios he is a little one dimensional, at least up to now anyway.
    He can be out-boxed if you can stifle his pressure, which is what both Alvarado and Richard “Like Watching Paint Dry” Abril did.

  7. the thresher 06:25pm, 03/31/2013

    Yes they are.

  8. dollarbond 04:47pm, 03/31/2013

    These two guys are animals.

  9. the thresher 02:15pm, 03/31/2013

    De nada, amigo

  10. Walt 02:00pm, 03/31/2013

    Thanks for the analysis, Ted Sares

  11. the thresher 01:57pm, 03/31/2013

    Irish, I am in total argreement upon reflection. I’d love to know how much they made last night. By fighting others, they still carry star power and will still make a ton of money.

    Ward was left in less than great physical shape after the Gatti trilogy. It’s not worth it.

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:42pm, 03/31/2013

    Ted Sares- Years ago my friend had two pit bulls in the backyard….they got into a hellacious fight and one was killed….every night after the victor cried incessantly because he was lonely. I realize full well that these two are not pit bulls although that’s how they fight…. what I’m saying is this….these two don’t need each other again…at least not right away…ther are so many other asses for them to kick (especially cranky poodles who think they’re pit bulls) and so little time!

  13. the thresher 01:36pm, 03/31/2013

    If they fight a third time, I don’t Alvarado as not fast enough for him to be successful a second time.

  14. the thresher 01:33pm, 03/31/2013

    “... Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying no to the idea of them facing each other in an immediate rematch. Arum wants to put them in with other fighters first, and then match them up at some point in the future…”

  15. jofre 01:28pm, 03/31/2013

    I thought Rios was going to blow Alvarado away and stop him after the first two rounds. Boy, was I wrong. Ted, you are dead on. Alvarado stuck to his game plan, which I didn’t think he would, and gutted out a win. Kudos to both fighters for another classic. Both fighters are easy to cheer for - a rubber match is a natural!

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:27pm, 03/31/2013

    Trilogy….really….more than anything these two need a break…especially from each other. Karim Mayfield thinks that he wants some…what he would get is a rude ass reality check from either of these two!

  17. pugknows 10:00am, 03/31/2013

    That’s a world class breakdown Ted. Those were adjustments that Garcia should have thought about. I had it 116-113.

  18. the thrsher 09:46am, 03/31/2013

    That’s his wont Tex. He has great stamina and it probably derives from his training routine which in turn derives from his wrestlig days. Wrestling is all about stamina and strength.

  19. Tex Hassler 09:24am, 03/31/2013

    It was a great joy for me to see the judges give the fight to the real winner. Mike had the winning game plan and stuck to it. His ability to get stronger as the fight progressed was also a winning asset.

  20. the thresher 08:00am, 03/31/2013

    A real throwback , Mike.

  21. Mike Casey 07:36am, 03/31/2013

    Gritty, well thought out and thoroughly deserved victory by Mike. Boxing - as in the clever and disciplined art of boxing - will always be the name of the game. Mercifully, that’s one thing that nobody can change!

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