The definition of “bam” is (a word) used to imitate the sound of a hard blow. No need for special sound effects tonight in the ring at 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO. The stuff heard was no died in the wool imitation. It was the real article! Genuine, double-rectified bust head! (John Wayne, True Grit). Mike “Mile High” Alvarado looked like a bobble head doll. He let Rios get in close, and Bam Bam went to work. He literally hit him with every punch in the book, and Mike’s face took on a bruised and battered look before the end of the first round.
Alvarado’s corner scolded him for not moving and punching more. Everyone knew that’s why Mike was victorious in the second fight of this trilogy. However, even in that fight, it took him approximately half of the rounds before the light bulb came on. Once he started lateral movement, it opened up punching opportunities, and he was able to out throw and out land Rios. There was a lot less bam bam in the second half of that fight.
Going into tonight’s action, there were rumblings that a loss by either fighter might spell the beginning of the end of a career. In fact, Rios said as much, which is strange, because he has lost twice: once to Alvarado and once to Manny Pacquiao, plus a draw back in 2008. Alvarado’s not too shabby either. Including tonight, he has lost four times. Twice to Rios, once to Juan Manuel Marquez and once to Ruslan Provodnikov. Who knows, if he and Rios meet for a fourth time, Alvarado might just even the score.
The big question now is whether or not Alvarado can get his personal life straightened out. Events leading up to this fight had to affect his focus and preparation. It was obvious from the opening bell that he wasn’t at his best. He unsuccessfully played the “shell game”. He remained stationary, depending upon his gloves for protection. To Rios that tactic was like a waving a red cape in front of a raging bull. Rios snorted and pushed off his back foot and charged ahead.
Once in close, he was a wrecking machine. He loves it when he can work his way inside, which enables him to throw short hard shots. He starts with a straight hard jab, followed by a short quick hard left hook, then a right with an uppercut to top things off. Too often for Alvarado, all of them seemed to find their target. Incredibly, halfway through the first round, a set of red lips tattooed on his neck had company.
The onslaught continued into the third round. The punishment was hard to watch. Referee Jay Nady looked long and hard at Alvarado, poised and ready to jump in to stop the abuse.
Combination after combination ripped into Alvarado’s head and body. He was beginning to look like a piece of tenderized meat, whacked and walloped into the desired state. A four punch combination ending with a particularly hard right uppercut, put Mike down on one knee. He beat the count, but looked like a beaten man. In his corner there was a lot of talking going on between Mike, referee Nady and the ringside physician. Mike gave the impression he couldn’t see, and couldn’t continue. His cornerman quickly leaned in and whispered something in Mike’s ear, but the verdict had been made. The fight was over: RTD 3:00 of the third round. Rios won the vacant WBO International welterweight title and maybe another shot at the big time. Alvarado mumbled through swollen lips that he wasn’t done. He stated the obvious, and that was he was not at his best. The big question with him is will he ever be again?