A trilogy fight which will contain guaranteed excitement is the main agenda for boxing on television this weekend, as Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios battle once again.
Alvarado vs Rios, Saturday night 2.00am, BoxNation
Like Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera or Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the names Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios are tightly conjoined in the world of boxing, with the defining victory of each fighter against the other.
Their first fight took place in October 2012, with both men unbeaten at the time. The bout was not for a world title, just an eliminator, but it produced round after round of intense, furious action which ended with Rios stopping Alvarado in the seventh round.
The scorecards at the time of the stoppage were tantalisingly close, with two judges scoring it equal, and one favouring Rios.
Voted the greatest fight of 2012 by many media outlets, an immediate rematch took place in March 2013, and this time it was Alvarado who proved victorious, changing his tactics successfully towards the latter part of the fight and winning another entertaining decision.
Since their second bout however, the fortunes for both fighters have diminished. After suffering the first defeat of his career in the rematch, Rios then lost a near shutout against Manny Pacquiao, before winning by disqualification against Diego Chaves in August despite being behind on the scorecards.
Alvarado has been unsuccessful too, with consecutive losses to Ruslan Provodnikov, and Juan Manuel Marquez, although he did knock the Mexican legend down to the canvas in the ninth round of their fight.
So as well as being an intriguing fight because it’s the third battle between the two men, it is also a crossroads fight, one which will enable to winner to go on and challenge again for a world title, but it leaves the loser looking up at the lights, having amassed tremendous damage throughout the course of their career.
The bookies have Rios as a slight ¾ favourite, with Alvarado available at 23/17. Masochists might like the draw at 22/1, while both boxers to be knocked down during the fight is 9/2.
Chief support on the undercard is a clash between unbeaten Mexican sensation, the 30-0 heavy hitter Gilberto Sanchez fighting 30-1 Maxim Vlasov at Super middleweight.Reuse content