BOXING boff Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) has lined up two bets from Saturday night’s Mike Alvarado- Brandon Rios bout for us. Let’s get it on!
Mike Alvarado v Brandon Rios | Sunday 03.00 | Box Nation
Two of Boxing's fan favourites complete a trilogy of fights in the early hours of Sunday, as Mike Alvarado (34-3, 23 KO's) takes on Brandon Rios (32-2-1, 23 KO's) at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
This group of fights has been described as the most recent equivalent to Micky Ward-Arturo Gatti from the early 2000's, with neither guy the most technically proficient boxer. But their two previous contests have been thrillers, and this rubber match has got boxing fans excited ahead of this weekend's contest.
Rios controversially stopped Alvarado in their first clash in October 2012. With the fight incredibly close on the scorecards, referee Pat Russell jumped in to save “Mile High” in the 7th round, although many feel he should have been allowed to continue.
Their second duel took place five months later in Las Vegas, with the Denver man gaining revenge on a 12 round Unanimous Decision, but once again there was little to split the two.
Since then, neither has looked as effective as they once were, and given the aggressive styles of both fighters, it's likely that they've reached the peak of their careers. And the feeling in the trade is, the loser of this fight is all but done with Boxing at the high level!
Rios went on to be comprehensively outboxed by Manny Pacquiao in November 2013, but did at least bounce back with a victory last time out in August. Rios bounced back, albeit with a 9th round disqualification against tough Argentinian Diego Chaves with his opponent subsequently going on to draw with Timothy Bradley late 2014.
Meanwhile, there are massive question marks hanging over how much Alvarado has left in the tank; he's lost both of his fights since his victory over Rios in their second meeting. The first was in a challenge for the WBO Light Welterweight title against Russian hard man Ruslan Provodnikov.
Alvarado was forced to retire at the end of the 10th, having taking one of the worst beatings seen in an American ring in the last five years. The form of that result hasn't really been ‘franked' either, as Provodnikov lost his title in his first defence to unheralded New Yorker Chris Algieri.
Alvarado was last seen in May, when once again he found himself outclassed, this time by Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez, who won a wide 12 round decision, this despite the Denver slugger putting him down in the 9th.
This fight is a toss up for most people, but I do favour “Bam Bam” Rios to resurrect his career with a victory. The second bout between the two was more of a technical match than fight experts expected, but I see a return to the more all out aggression that we saw when these two first clashed. Both have lost some speed and snap in their punches at Welterweight, which this fight is taking place at, but in my eyes Rios simply has more left in the tank.
There's serious doubts over Alvarado heading into this contest, he's just not looked at the races in his last two bouts, and he's had a couple of problems outside of the ring, having been arrested on a weapons charge just three weeks ago.
There has been talk that the altitude of Colorado will suit Alvarado in this contest, but it didn't deter Provodnikov, and I doubt it will stop Rios, who is a high intensity fighter, with better skills than people give him credit for.
Ladbrokes and Coral did open up with generous quotes of 5/6 on a Brandon Rios victory, but there's already been some money, and now the best price comes courtesy of Sportingbet, who are still offering some value at 3/4. I can see Rios attracting further support ahead of the clash.
However, the bet I really like is only offered by Paddy Power, who I must note are superb with Boxing markets, and that's for the Oxnard-based banger to win between rounds 7-12 at 3/1. I can't see this contest ending early, given as I've already mentioned, neither boxer looks as explosive having moved up in weight.
It's going to be another war between these two guys, but the feeling I get is that Rios will slowly break Alvarado down, and either the referee or his corner will rescue him.
Mike Alvarado v Brandon Rios – Brandon Rios to win (3/4 Sportingbet)
Mike Alvarado v Brandon Rios – Brandon Rios to win between rounds 7-12 (3/1 Paddy Power)