It’s safe to say that Rios hasn’t fought well since his 7th round knockout win over Alvarado nearly three years ago in October of 2012. It’s unclear if the punishment that Rios took in the first fight deteriorated his physical skills or if he’s simply faced better opposition since the first fight. Whatever the case, Rios is no longer shining like he once did, and there’s major questions about how much he had left in the tank.
“I know for a fact this fight is a do-or-die fight for me,” Rios said. “We’re cool with each other, but we know which kind of fight we’re going to give each other. I come to hurt. I hurt to kill. When I smell blood you better be damn straight I’m going to be right in front of you hitting. When I get hit what I’m thinking about is ‘Mother [expletive] you tagged me. Now it’s time to tag you back.’”
Rios and Alvarado will be fighting for the third time when they get inside the ring on 1/24. Rios won their first fight by a 7th round knockout in 2012, but then Alvarado got the upper hand in their rematch in March of 2013 in winning a 12 round decision.
At this point it’s difficult to predict which of them will win the third fight because both guys are struggling so bad with their respective careers. Alvarado has lost his last two fights to Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov.
Rios has lost two out of his last three fights, but really he’s lost his last three fights because he clearly was on his way to losing when the referee working the Rios-Chaves fight disqualified Chaves in a bizarre manner for an elbow that he supposedly threw.
The winner of this fight will likely find themselves in an interesting fight due to them being promoted by Top Rank. But the loser of this fight could be on skid row because there’s only so much you can do with a fighter who has lost as many fights as the two of them have recently.