Brandon Rios will never win plaudits for style, but he'll
certainly get them for excitement.
The 26-year-old from Oxnard, California stopped the previously
unbeaten Mike Alvarado in seven rounds to take the low rent WBO
Latino title at light-welterweight.
But while the bauble may be meaningless, the action itself was
far from it. Indeed, it was one of those blood and thunder battles
that will live long in the memory of boxing aficionados.
From the very start both men looked to throw heavy leather.
Alvarado, naturally the bigger man, tried to work his jab but when
the fighters came close together it was bombs away.
In the second round, Rios, the former WBA champion down at
lightweight, had his head snapped back by a weighty left uppercut
and follow up right hook. However, he bit down on his gumshield and
before the session ended, detonated some hefty blows of his
From then on it was all out war. Alvarado, now 33 - 1 (23 KOs),
continued to keep Rios off balance with his stick before firing in
hooks when the chance presented itself, while the smaller man
attempted to plough forwards and make it an in close affair.
When Rios clattered Alvarado with a left to the head, the
Thornton, Colorado-native quickly shook the blow off and retaliated
with a brutal left hand of his own.
A similar thing happened midway through the fifth stanza when
Alvarado teed off a fast combination upstairs only for Rios to
swiftly fire back.
However, in the penultimate round Rios started to find the punch
which would ultimately win him the fight.
Rather than attempt to move in and hook around the side of
Alvarado's guard, Rios was now letting go a right hand over the top
and it was this that brought the bout to a sudden but thrilling
conclusion one minute and 57 seconds into round seven.
Alvarado's jab lacked the snap it had earlier the fight and Rios
punished him with an hellacious right. Stunned, Alvarado moved back
to the ropes but before he could get his hands up properly Rios
whipped in two lefts to the jaw.
With Alvarado in survival mode for the first time, Rios shook
him with a further flush three rights and two lefts before referee
Pat Russell elected to move in.
Afterwards Rios said that he feels he has the tools to defeat
the winning of this December's fourth meeting between Manny
Pacquiao and Juan Manual Marquez
"See what happened to Mike Alvarado? I think I could do it to
them too," he stated.
"Mike Alvarado - I think he hits harder than them and he's
tougher. Pacquiao, he's an in-and-out guy, but like I always do,
Julio Cesar Chavez Snr. taught me very well, you break the body,
the head will fall down."