By: William Holmes
HBO’s Boxing After Dark opened up their 2015 schedule with two bouts from the 1st Bank Center in Bloomfield, Colorado.
The opening bout of the night was between rising prospect Gilberto Ramirez (30-0) and Maxim Vlasov (30-1). Vlasov agreed to meet Ramirez at a catch-weight of 171 pounds.
Vlasov focused his attack to the body of Ramirez in the first round and used his straight right hand to slow down his advancing foe.
Ramirez’s straight left hands were landing in the second and he connected with a crisp jab to the face after faking to the body. However, Vlasov was landing the cleaner shots when they exchanged. Ramirez picked up his pace in the third round and his volume of punches continued at a high pace for the rest of the bout.
Ramirez was warned for a low blow in the fifth round and Vlasov was able to bust up Ramirez’s nose with short right uppercuts.
It was clear that Ramirez was going to be in a tough fight at this point, but he never wavered with his pressure and was taking the best punches of Vlasov without being fazed.
Both boxers looked exhausted at the start of the ninth round and the crowd booed the action as both fighters’ activity levels had decreased.
Vlasov had his moments in the tenth round, including landing several hard right hands to the chin of Ramirez with forty seconds left, but Ramirez was never in danger of being knocked down.
The final scores were 96-94, 97-93, and 97-93 for Gilberto Ramirez.
The third bout and deciding in the bout in the trilogy between Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (32-2-1) and “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (34-3) was the main event of the night.
Brandon Rios was the first to enter the ring and he was met with a smattering of boos. Hometown hero Mike Alvarado entered the ring second and was met with a positive, but not a raucous, reaction.
Alvarado and Rios both came out with high tight guards and it was clear Rios was in much better shape.
Alvarado spent the early parts of the first round circling around Rios and switched midway through to a southpaw stance. Rios caught up to Alvarado with a short left hook and began landing successive combinations to Alvarado. Rios dominated the second half of the first round and Alvarado’s face already looked like he had been through a war by the end of the initial stanza.
Alvarado’s corner could be heard yelling “we have to get some respect back” before the start of the second round, but Alvarado came out tentative and Rios jumped on him with two hard right uppercuts. Rios’ shots were vicious and were rocking the head of Alvarado. Alvarado was rocked several times in the second and appeared to have intentionally land a low blow to slow down the assault of Rios. Rios continued to pummel Alvarado after the short break to the end of the round.
Rios remained in complete control in the third round and was mixing up his combinations to the body and head. His uppercuts were repeatedly snapping back the head of Alvarado, who eventually had to take a knee under the onslaught. He got up at the count of nine, but continued to get pounded as the round came to an end, and it was now obvious that Alvarado was just about finished for the evening.
When Alvarado got back to his corner at the end of the round, he could be heard telling his corner that he could not see. The ringside physician examined Alvarado and amidst much discussion and seeming disagreements in the corner, and the fight was declared over.
A focused Rios embarrassed Alvarado badly and out-landed him at a 6:1 ratio (120 to 20 punches). As the HBO announcers pointed out, this was not a competition, but a total annihilation.
Brandon Rios wins the final fight of the trilogy with a third-round TKO.