By: Jack Dutton (@jd_boxing)
Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios put in a truly devastating performance to land a TKO3 victory against fellow Mexican-American welterweight Mike “Mile High” Alvarado. The victory for Rios has ensured he has the bragging rights between the two, who share a friendly rivalry, by clinching the scintillating trilogy two-one.
Rios started the fight in round 1 by cutting off the ring with impressive footwork, not allowing Alvarado the space to execute his height and reach advantage. By closing the space inside the ring it ensured he was toe-to-toe with Alvarado throughout the fight which allowed Rios to throw sharp combinations, who was having success with some huge shots.
In round 2, it seemed Alvarado was less interested in moving around the ring, perhaps due to the lack of success he had at it in the previous round, but I believe more down to the fact that Rios had taken so much out of his opponent in the previous round. Alvarado looked like a fighter heading into the championship rounds, certainly not the second, and so took to tying up Rios on the inside by trying to hold to halt Bam Bam’s momentum. Rios used effective body movements to ensure that didn’t happen and was able to tee-off at will to even more damaging effect than in the first.
With that not working, cynically or not, Alvarado resorted to a landing a low blow, in what was desperate times for the Mexican-American, however not even that managed to stop the progress of his opponent who just would not be denied and slipped straight back into his rhythm moments after the referee indicated to continue.
Round 3 was very much the same, with the exception of Rios finally landing the hurtful punch that led to Alvarado taking a knee. With the two fighters in close quarters and Rios landing big shots, a huge snapping right uppercut from Bam Bam shook the home fighter, and after a short left and a scuffing right, Alvarado was down and only just missing the count by getting to his feet at “nine”.
Alvarado managed to hear the final bell for round three, but you do wonder had this been between two other fighters, whether or not the referee would have considered stopping the fight towards the end of the round, but in true warrior-like fashion that has dominated this trilogy, Alvarado replied in the last ten seconds of the round with some punches himself. I for one, as were the fans present in Denver, was glad the referee allowed Alvarado to return to his corner.
However Alvarado was unable to come back out for round four and the fight was stopped, with the decision being that the referee had stopped the fight on the advice of Alvarado’s corner, ring announcer Michael Buffer informed us.
As disappointed as no doubt some people will be in Alvarado’s performance, Rios was impressive in equal measure, if not more so. Rios had stuck to a well thought out game plan put in place by his trainer Robert Garcia, and nobody can begrudge the fighter who will now be looking to the big names of the division for his next opponent after this performance.
After the fight, Rios told us “that was the performance I wanted. I’m still young in the sport. This is the new Bam Bam.”
Although I’m not sure there will be much clamour for a Pacquiao-Rios II, there are some exciting possible match ups for Rios with the other big names of boxing’s glamour division. Fights with both Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez would be entertaining based on this performance and perhaps more importantly, easier to make seeing as they are all part of the Top Rank stable.
Looking beyond Top Rank, nobody would be upset seeing Rios share a ring with Marcos Maidana which would set up to be a brutal fight, just like the previous three shared with Mike Alvarado.
So with Rios taking the triology two-one in destructive fashion and “the new Bam Bam” ready to take the welterweight scene by storm, I think we can expect some entertaining fights to be made across the division with Rios on one side of the fight card. But then again, this is boxing.by