One Battle Too Many For ‘Mile High’ Mike

Live from Denver, Colorado and screened on Box Nation from 02:00 on Sunday morning in the UK, Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios meet for the third time in their professional boxing careers.

Compared to the legendary Gatti vs Ward series, Alvarado v Rios 3 is big news in the boxing world and a must watch bout for long term and casual fans alike.

Both fighters have lost two of their last three fights, so this series decider really is a must win bout for each if they’re to remain at the top level of boxing and compete for titles.

Before I give you my best bets for the bout, though, let’s have a look at each fighter’s career and background so far.

Alvarado: 34 -3 (23 KO) Pro Record

Born in Denver, Colorado, 34-year-old Mike ‘Mile High’ Alvarado was a successful champion high school wrestler, but opted for a career in boxing. Compiling a 26-5 record in the amateur ranks, Alvarado defeated current super-middleweight Andre Direll amongst others.

Making his pro debut in 2004, Alvarado eventually won the WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title and IBF Latino Light Welterweight championship, earning a 33-0 record in the process.

Alvarado is a tough, hard-hitting boxer who’s been in a few physically testing brawls over the years – none more so than when he lost his undefeated record in a WBO Latino Light Welterweight bout against the then also undefeated Brandon Rios when they fought for the first time in October 2012.

Going toe-to-toe with Rios and leading on the scorecards heading into the sixth round, Alvarado was hurt with a hard right hand and later stopped in the seventh after the referee intervened. All in all, it was a terrific see-saw battle that was voted the 2012 Sports Illustrated Fight of the Year.

Winning the rematch with Rios on points but still taking a lot of punishment in the process, a brave and courageous Alvarado then lost a ridiculously bruising battle with Ruslan Provodnikov for the WBO Light Welterweight title after his corner made him retire at the end of the tenth round.

Rios: 32-2-1 (23 KO) Pro Record

Nicknamed ‘Bam Bam,’ 28-year-old Texas native Brandon Rios got into boxing at a much younger age compared than his opponent Alvarado. His career so far has been impressive, after becoming the US National Amateur Featherweight champion in 2004 and racking-up an impressive overall tally of 230 wins and 35 defeats in the amateur ranks.

A highly rated prospect upon entering the professional ranks, Rios defeated his first opponent by KO and amassed a reputation as an entertaining and hard-hitting boxer on his way to winning the NABF Lightweight title in 2010. A year later, Rios defeated Miguel Costa to win the WBA Lightweight championship with a 10th round TKO.

After one defense of his title, Rios was then stripped of the WBA championship for failing to make weight (too heavy) in a title bout against Britain’s John Murray – whom he defeated by TKO – in December of 2011. Regaining his title by defeating Richard Abril a few months later, Rios then faced Mike Alvarado.

After defeating Alvarado by stoppage, Rios lost the rematch on points and also later tasted defeat against Manny Pacquiao via the scorecards, but ‘Bam Bam’ beat Diego Chaves in his most recent bout to earn favourite status against Alvarado in their third and, surely, final match.

Alvarado v Rios 3 Betting

Away fighter Rios is best priced at 5/6 to win the bout at the time of writing, while hometown fighter Alvarado is offered at 27/17.

In terms of method of victory, Rios is available at 13/8 by KO/TKO or DQ and 11/4 to win on points, while Alvarado is 11/2 to win by KO/TKO/DQ or 9/4 to win on points.

The Alvarado v Rios 3 Betting Verdict

In conclusion, the appropriately named ‘Mile High’ Mike Alvarado has home and altitude advantage. It might be fair to say he has more ways to win – by KO/TKO, or by boxing smartly in spurts and winning on points – than he did in the second match between these two, but his brutal loss at the hands of Ruslan Provodnikov seems likely to have ‘taken too much out of him.

I expect the younger Rios to lose the early rounds before eventually ‘getting to’ his opponent and winning by KO/TKO in yet another bruising war.

Rios is a come-forward fighter who generally only has one way to win – by brawling – and the away fighter isn’t likely to get the decision if the bout does go to the scorecards, but 5/6 is an acceptable price for Rios to win (no less than 4/5) outright and I’ve also had a smaller bet on the expected method of by KO/TKO (or DQ).

Recommendation: Rios to win at 5/6
Worth a punt: Rios to win by KO/TKO or DQ at 13/8
Of course, whether you do or don’t opt for a wager, have a great weekend and feel free to contact me on Twitter via @JCLaLiga if you have any questions or feedback.





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