By Jackie Kallen
Mike “Mile High” Alvarado is hoping that the second time is the charm. His 0 had to go last October when he was stopped by Brandon Rios in the 7th round. The first loss is always the toughest and he desperately wants to turn the tables on his nemesis this coming weekend when they face off again in Las Vegas.
He has openly admitted that he screwed up during the last fight and got sucked into fighting the wrong fight. He originally planned to use his boxing skills, but that plan went out the window and he wound up mixing it up and brawling with Rios. That’s just what 26 year-old “Bam Bam” wanted him to do.
Rios eats opponents up alive when they go toe-to-toe with him. But he is not Superman. When he fought Richard Abril last Spring, his flaws were clearly revealed. Though he was awarded the decision, many fans did not believe he earned it. It was another fight that had people looking at the judges and scratching their heads, wondering what fight the three judges were watching.
With a record like 31-0 (with 23 KOs), the judges tend to favor Rios. They love to see top fighters stay undefeated. They know what’s marketable for the sport and they often score accordingly. Alvarado is just hoping for fair judging on Saturday night.
The fight is for the Interim WBO Junior Welterweight belt. It’s an exciting division with names like Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia and Lucas Martin Matthysse. Alvarado’s only loss was the one against Rios and it is still haunting him. He knows that beating Bam Bam would move him up in the Top 10.
Alvarado beat the game Mauricio Herrera last April in Vegas and he has a great record (33-1). He is going into this fight to win. No doubt about it. He has added Rudy Hernandez to his team. I have known Rudy for many years. He did a terrific job with his late brother Genaro “Chicanita” Hernandez.
The first fight was a brutal bloodbath which had Alvarado leading for a time. His used his jab and seemed to be able to take what Rios was dishing out. But fights fought at that pace seldom go the distance. In this case, Rios caught him with an overhand right that shocked and stunned Alvarado and came back with two nasty left hooks. It was over.
Can Alvarado win this one,forcing a third fight and forming another boxing trilogy? I believe he can. He knows what he did wrong last time and if he is smart, he won’t make the same mistake twice. I have a feeling it will be a war again because that’s the way these two guys line up against one another. But I am picking Alvarado in this one.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen