Rios and Alvarado Erupt in an Epic Firefight

By David Matthew on October 13, 2012
Rios and Alvarado Erupt in an Epic Firefight
Brandon Rios is authentically iron-fisted at junior welterweight. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Rios has proven that he will bravely brawl it out with any fighter who dares to partake in his patented maniacal machismo brand of pugilism…

The question looming for Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) before his fight with Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs) was whether his power would carry to junior welterweight from lightweight.  After seven rounds of brutal exchanges, Rios proved yet again that in a pugilistic test of brawling machismo, he is difficult if not impossible to beat. “I have power and it will follow me up to 140 and 147,” said Rios after his Fight of the Year candidate thriller versus Alvarado. 

Apparently so.

As soon as the opening bell sounded off, both fighters made it clear that they were throwing with knockout intent. Within a minute, the fabric of the fight began to take form. Alvarado worked behind a steady jab, slinging wide right hooks that sought to find their target behind the Rios guard. Even though Rios was the smaller man he stalked forward and strategically opened up with blazing power shots. Rios landed a huge right hand in the middle of the first round—and then a sneaky left hook that buckled Alvarado momentarily. All of a sudden Alvarado flurried back with a combination of his own.

Rounds 2 and 3 picked up where Round 1 left off—with both fighters throwing punches in tight quarters, featuring picturesque inside fighting. Alvarado landed a heavy chopping right hand, Rios fired back with a left hook. Both fighters traded unbelievable shots, but it’s the left hook of Rios that made the most telling impact. After three rounds, Alvarado’s face looked as though he’d fought 12 rounds. Fans were treated to more action in the first nine minutes than anyone could’ve asked for.

Round 4 featured more of the same with Alvarado being busier, and Rios landing more power shots. Rios got caught with some good shots as the round expired and for the first time in his career, it seemed as if Rios was bothered a bit by the power shots from a bigger man. Alvarado found his rhythm in Round 4, and it appeared at least for a few moments that Rios might be eating the heavier shots.

As Round 5 ignited the fight seemed to be even, with both guys showing real signs of wear and tear. Alvarado settled into his pocket keeping Rios at a safe distance with a steady jab that continually coiled into a sweeping wide right hand. Alvarado’s work rate was significantly cranked up in the fifth and at this point in the fight he was simply outworking Rios.

By Round 6, so many power punches were landing that it was virtually impossible to ascertain who was landing the more accurate shots. Alvarado, maintaining his long-range bombing, launched what would prove to be his final assault, landing countless snappy shots that took Rios to the brink. But in pure Bam Bam fashion, Rios responded to being hit by firing off razor-sharp combinations with a maniacal grin on his face, thundering down straight right hands, counter left hooks, and leading uppercuts that continually rocked Alvarado’s head back. By the end of the round, Rios piled up accumulative work on the inside and changed the momentum of the fight at the end of the round with a huge looping right hand that had Alvarado seriously buzzed.

Round 7 started off as a relative breather in an absolute barnburner, but Rios suspected what many detected at this point of the fight—that Alvarado was worn down and vulnerable. Suddenly Rios exploded with an overhand right as Alvarado felt the full breadth of a Rios flurry that sent him into the ropes, hurt, stumbling, and forced into submission via TKO victory at 1:57 of the seventh and final round.

Rios landed 161 told punches to Alvarado’s 175, but it was the stifling power of Rios that ultimately told the story.

This was one of those fights that quenched the thirst of even the most KO-hungry fight fan, and the type of signature fight that has come to define the dynamic ascent of Brandon Rios. While some questioned his mettle at 140, it’s clear that Rios is authentically iron-fisted at junior welterweight. His weight class may have changed, but one thing remains the same: Rios is must-see TV and has proven that he will bravely brawl it out with any fighter who dares to partake in his patented maniacal machismo brand of pugilism.

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Брэндон Риос - Майк Альварадо Brandon Rios - Mike Alvarado

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  1. pugknows 11:28am, 10/17/2012

    Best I’ve seen in a long time.

  2. NYIrish 12:37pm, 10/15/2012

    Good action fight by two lionhearted pugs. Good referee who let them fight uninterrupted until he thought there was risk of permanent injury. BRAVO !

    Donaire fight was a stinker.

  3. pugknows 07:41pm, 10/14/2012

    Nice coverage, David.

  4. Joe 11:32am, 10/14/2012

    Proud Mexican American warriors.

  5. peter 09:10am, 10/14/2012

    Thanks, McGrain.  Much appreciated!

  6. FrankinDallas 08:11am, 10/14/2012

    Great fight. Would rather see this rematch than Martinez-JCC Jr.
    Especially if Alvarez learns to snap his jab and not be so open for a counter right.

  7. Planet Cheekay 07:09am, 10/14/2012

    Great fight, great coverage. Glad to read your work again.

  8. Pete The Sneak 06:54am, 10/14/2012

    Whew! It was everything we expected and then some. Still wired from it. Man, what a fight. Peace.

  9. the thresher 06:27am, 10/14/2012

    Good stuff, David. Solid account of a great, great fight.

  10. mcgrain 05:22am, 10/14/2012

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