Alvarado vs. Rios 3: ‘Rocky Mountain rumble’ could place trilogy among best everWritten by Brian Opal
The legendary ring wars between Morales-Barrera, Gatti-Ward, Holyfield-Bowe, Ali-Frazier and Graziano-Zale are a few of the most common. The majority of those prizefights were awarded “Fight of the Year” honors by The Ring magazine; those that were not awarded were more than likely in the running. Those instant classics are what commentators often refer to as “throw back” fights. They’re the type of old-school “go for broke” thrillers that make viewers stand up and cheer loudly while shaking some to the core of their souls.
(Image courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank)
If Alvarado vs Rios III lives up to the intense action and high drama we witnessed during their previous two meetings, both warriors could be added to that list of legendary boxing trilogies, and as a result, forever cemented in history. Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and “Mile High” Mike Alvarado are all too familiar with the lineage of those famous sagas and have made it very clear that they plan on going to war once again, putting it all on the line, and leaving everything in the squared circle. If the excitement generated by this showdown is on par with the first two fights, don’t be surprised to see their names added to the aforementioned list.
"This will be the best fight of the trilogy, as it should be," states Rios. "I am ready for anything Mike Alvarado brings to the table. "
"I know all his tricks. He can't surprise me this time…for both of us, it's do or die. If I lose this fight, I may just call it a day as a fighter. "
"I've been at this a long time…I am so ready for chapter three on January 24. This is the ending fans have been waiting for and I promise you they will not be disappointed!"
Rios vs. Alvarado I
The first time these two gladiators met was in a WBO title eliminator back in October, 2012. Both fighters were undefeated red-hot prospects who appeared to be on the path to winning a major world title, or perhaps even the junior welterweight championship of the world. The match was a brutal all-out battle and virtual highlight reel of scrappy toe-to-toe action in which Alvarado was stopped by Rios in the seventh round.
It was somewhat of a controversial stoppage because many viewers felt that Mike was still intelligently defending himself, while still on his feet, when referee Pat Russell stepped in to halt the action. And thus began the beating drums, ever-growing demand for a rematch, and the makings of another real-deal boxing rivalry. Rios vs. Alvarado I was The Ring’s runner up for “Fight of the Year” in 2012.
Rios vs. Alvarado II
The rematch was held just five months later and contested for the interim WBO super lightweight title. In what turned out to be another close and competitive war packed with awe-inspiring fireworks, Alvarado won the second installment by unanimous decision. Right after the decision was announced, Rios raised his hand and threw three fingers up in the air…encouraging the pumped-up crowd to go even crazier over the thought of seeing a tie-breaking rubber match.
It was a major, much needed win for “Mile High” at the time and the victory set him up for his next two high-profile fights against Ruslan Provodnikov and Mexican-legend Juan Manuel Marquez. Although Rios lost on the cards, he accepted a big-money offer to face Manny Pacquiao in his next outing. Rios vs. Alvarado II was definitely one of the most all-around entertaining bouts of 2013, and for a second year in row was a close runner-up for the honor of being named The Ring’s “Fight of The Year.”
Alvarado vs. Rios III
This is first time that Alvarado will be fighting in front of his hometown Denver-metro crowd since suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of “The Siberian Rocky.” So for him, the pressure must be mounting. However, this is an immensely important crossroads bout in the careers of both fighters, as the loser could easily be eliminated from the contender ranks. That’s a significant setback that would put major world title fights and championship belts out of reach — at least for the near and foreseeable future. And that’s one of the main reasons why spectators and viewers are almost guaranteed to get more than what they paid for on Saturday, Jan. 24.
For the more “blood thirsty” fight fans who prefer to see balls-to-the-walls brawls full of heart, courage and reckless abandon, they should be treated to more than enough of that type of action to curb their appetites for a while.
“I will not fight his fight. I am sticking to our plan. But you can bet I will shoot the works when I have him in my sights. Brandon is right about one thing it is do or die for us,” states Alvarado.
“Fighting Rios has and continues to be an honor. This is a trilogy fans will remember for a very long time. We are entertainers and our fight on January 24 will be the grand finale. I intend to start the fireworks early in the fight.”
Tune into HBO at 9:45 p.m. EST, tighten-up your seatbelts and get ready for the roller-coaster ride! This fight looks and sounds like it’s destined to be the highly-climatic ending we’ve all been waiting to see. Will Alvarado vs. Rios III be named “Fight of Year” for 2015 and take its place among the greatest trilogies in boxing history?
Video: Rios vs Alvarado Promo | Bombs Away