Rios-Alvarado: A Spine Tingler

By Ted Sares on October 14, 2012
Rios-Alvarado: A Spine Tingler
It was a fight that met and may have exceeded all expectations. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Bruce Curry vs. Monroe Brooks (1978), Hearns vs. Leonard (1981), and Hagler vs. Hearns (1985) did it and then some…

“I am humbled by watching these two guys (Gatti and Ward).”—Larry Merchant

“He’s (Hearns) gone…he’s gone.”—Sugar Ray Leonard yelling into his microphone

“This is one of the best fights I’ve seen in the last 10 years.”—Gil Clancy during the Bruce Curry vs. Monroe Brooks classic.

“…it is no surprise that during an age where hardened fighters exemplified the true purity of the sport, before Gerry Cooney was marketed to the masses, and the words ‘champion’ and ‘champeen’ were universally recognized, that Curry vs. Brooks didn’t receive commensurate notice, and is virtually forgotten today.”—Greg Smith (Fight Beat)

Bruce Curry vs. Monroe Brooks (1978), Hearns vs. Leonard (in the “Showdown” in 1981), and Hagler vs. Hearns (in the “War” in 1985) did it and then some, but they did it without the modern-day marketing turbo charge of HBO 24/7, hyped weigh-ins attended by thousands, Showtime, ESPN2, other cable networks, superb online boxing sites via the Internet, and magazines (though the latter have seen their best days).

The first fight between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward was not as hyped as the fights to come in their epic trilogy, mainly because most didn’t give Irish Micky much of a chance against Arturo. Their next two, in 2002 and 2003, received as much hype as could be generated during those years and the fights incredibly lived up to the publicity. Writer Greg Smith explained it precisely in a compelling article on Fight Beat, “HBO knew that the sanctioning bodies and promoters had politicized the sport to the point of dangerous inertia. A good, honest, old school fight might help make things better. As should’ve been expected, a trilogy resulted, and both men made more money than they ever did before. The boxing public actually called for it.”

There have been other such battles too numerous to cite here. If Kirkland vs. Angulo in 2011 fit the bill of a fight that met all expectations, then Alvarado vs. Rios was one that may have exceeded expectations.

At a time when political correctness has gone bonkers, violence is not acceptable (except of course at the movies and on TV). Maybe so, but when two men do in the ring what Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado did on Saturday night, I felt the old spine tingle. I remembered Curry vs. Brooks; I recalled Angulo vs. Kirkland; I was reminded of Zale vs. Graziano and Hearns vs. Hagler. I was in Boxing Heaven. Political correctness be damned.

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Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado - Full Fight Part 1/2

Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado - Full Fight Part 2/2

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  1. Bodyshots 09:33pm, 10/17/2012

    Don from Prov’s expressed what i’ve only been thinking myself: it was a great fight that probably does deserve to be added to a pile of classic bouts but it was also such a relatively even contest that it lacked the dramatic ebbs and flows of a “classic” and also lacked the scope, grandeur, or importance to be considered a true epic, e.g., undisputed welterweight dominance. still a great fight and one hell of a tough 140lb debut for Rios.

  2. the thresher 11:30am, 10/17/2012

    I agree.

    They have worn out thier welcome. Move over Rover and let Bam Bam take over.

  3. Don from Prov 11:26am, 10/17/2012

    This is the year that Canelo and Rios wash away Floyd and Manny—

    The time is nigh.

  4. raxman 04:19pm, 10/15/2012

    it was everything we hoped for and more. i can imagine people in the crowd not even bothering with the main event. i watched 4 rounds of donaire and turned it off so i could rewatch this one straight away.

    i think had MA had more experience he may’ve handled that final salvo in such a way that the ref wouldn’t have felt the need to stop it. fighters like these two hold so much import in staying on their feet, so i know it would never have been an option for alvardo, but a smart fighter takes a knee in that situation. i think i agree with Don from prov a little in that had the fight gone on, had alvardo come back to get the upper hand it would ‘ve raised the bar even higher but hey we’re splitting hairs here - it was a great fight
    i think rios should hurry the rematch along though cash in before he fights quality like pac or jmm - coz even as old and weary as they are no way he beats either of them getting hit the way he does. marquez would break him down over 12 and pac - oh my god - he is tailor made for pacquiao - that fight lasts 8 at the most

  5. THE THRESHER 02:50pm, 10/15/2012

    It was a classic IMO. It was epic.

  6. Don from Prov 09:21am, 10/15/2012

    I liked the hell out of Saturday night’s battle—

    Didn’t have enough taking turns on the edge of KO to = classic, but….

  7. pugknows 07:40pm, 10/14/2012

    I like the way you approached this with the angle of hype not always being there.

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