A capacity crowd gathered inside the 1stBank Center just outside Denver, Colorado to watch the rubber match between “Mile High” Mike Alvarado and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. Oxnard, California’s Rios entered the ring first; drawing boos from the pro-Alvarado crowd. The hometown fighter followed, making his way to the ring among chants of “3-0-3” (Denver’s area code) from the fans. The atmosphere was electric and the stage was set for an epic finale to one of boxing’s finest trilogies in recent years.
The opening round started with Rios stalking and Alvarado looking to stay defensive. Rios controlled the action and buzzed his opponent late in the round, dominating over the final 30 seconds. In the 2nd round Alvarado was already bleeding from the nose and taking a ton of punishment. He tried to buy a minute by nailing Rios with a low blow halfway through the round, but the writing was on the wall. By the 3rd round it had turned into a shellacking. Alvarado’s face was a bloody mess as he was dropped with about a minute remaining. The proud warrior made it to his feet but he looked like a shot fighter. Rios seemingly couldn’t miss, especially with the uppercut.
In the corner after the 3rd, the ring doctor held up two fingers and asked Alvarado how many he saw. He responded “two” and that was all referee Jay Nady needed to hear; calling the fight off and awarding Rios with a TKO victory. Punch stats tell the story, Rios landed 120 of 290 total punches (41%) while Alvarado landed just 20 of 87 (23%). The level of domination increased with each round; in the 3rd Rios outlanded Alvarado 52-4. Trainer Robert Garcia had his man very well prepared, as Rios improves to 33-2-1 (23KO). For Alvarado, who drops to 34-4 (23KO), it’s time for some serious soul searching.
In the co-feature, undefeated Mexican Gilberto Ramirez faced his toughest opponent to date, squaring off against Russian Maxim Vlasov. Ramirez entered the ring to cheers from the mostly Mexican-American crowd. The fight started out slowly, with Ramirez (a southpaw) attempting to establish position against Vlasov (orthodox). Neither fighter sat down on their punches or established control early on, but Ramirez began investing to the body and seemed to do the better work.
By the middle rounds both men were breathing heavy, and the restless crowd was jeering for more action. A welt began to form under the left eye of Ramirez, as Vlasov managed to get in several straight right hands. Toward the late rounds it was the Russian doing the better look and appearing to be the fresher fighter. Both men came out very aggressive in the 10th and final round, sensing it was a very close fight. Exhausted at the final bell, the fighters embraced as a show of respect after a hard fought match.
The judges scored it 96-94 and 97-93 twice for the Mexican, who improves to 31-0 (24KO) and passes his sternest test as a pro. Vlasov drops to 30-2 (15KO), but made a fine account of himself and figures to be back on HBO Boxing air at some point. Ramirez landed 112 body punches; indeed his investment to the body early paid off.
Untelevised undercard results:
In a junior welterweight slugfest, Mexico’s Abner Lopez broke down previously undefeated Russian Aik Shakhnzarian. The judges scored it 76-74 and 78-73 twice for Lopez, who improves to 22-4 (19KO) while Shakhnzarian drops to 15-1 (6KO).
In a welterweight contest, Russian Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0, 13KO) maintained his unblemished professional record via decision over Canada’s Steve Clagget (20-3-1, 14KO). The judges scored it 78-74 and 77-75 twice Konstantin, drawing boos from many in the crowd who felt Clagget had done enough.
Ukrainian light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk looked impressive, stopping Baltimore native Cory Cummings in the second round. Gvozdyk, now 5-0 (4KO), was simply too tall, rangy, and skilled for Cummings, who drops to 18-8-1 (13KO).
In a 4-round super welterweight contest, Denver native Jeremy Ramos improved to 7-1 (3KO) with a 3rd round TKO victory over Rene Marquez (4-2, 2KO), of Nebraska.
The opening bout of the card was a 4-round super welterweight match between Canadian Zsolt Daranyu and Nebraska native Luis Marquez. Daranyu improved to 3-0 (3KO) with his first round destruction of Marquez, who lost his pro debut.
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