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The Rule of Three: Rios v Alvarado III

The rule of three is a principle utilised generally by writers and suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things.

The assertion being that the reader or audience of this form of text is more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. We humans tend to agree as the rule of three has been applied across our lives in theatre, film and of course boxing in the form of the fabled and beloved trilogy.

A great trilogy see’s the perfect marriage of styles, personalities and backgrounds create an unbreakable bond between fighters that will define their careers and transcend the ages.


There have been many trilogies, but as in the movies there are few that are considered great, Barrera v Morales, Bowe v Holyfield and Ali v Frasier to name a few, I’m sure you all have your personal favourites.

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado meet in Colorado on Saturday to conclude their own personal trilogy, but whether we are looking at Return of the King or Home Alone 3 remains to be seen.

When Rios now 32-2-1 (23KO’s) and Alvarado now 34-3 (23KO’s) first met at the Home Depot centre in Carson, California they did so as unbeaten light welterweights, ferocious and unwavering. The result was an absolute barnburner between two fighters unwilling to take a backwards step and with total belief in their own invincibility.

Brandon Rios after some rocky patches of his own stopped Mike Alvarado within 7 rounds, a truly brilliant fight which resulted in an almost immediate rematch to be held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay.

As is generally the case during act 2, adjustments are made and the excitement of the first contest plateaued, when Alvarado chose to utilise his superior movement from round 5 onwards to run out a unanimous victor on the judge’s scorecards.

And so we move onto the third and final act, with both fighters in a state of stagnation, Rios coming off the back of a two defeats in three and Alvarado two defeats in two. What can we expect?

The stakes couldn’t be higher for a pair of fighters who looked incapable of causing a stir in the welterweight division, when mixing unsuccessfully at what was admittedly elite level in Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao.

A loss at this stage for either fighter would prove catastrophic.

I expect the action to take this into account, Alvarado had success when adopting a more elusive style and choosing to box Rios, who has looked static and somewhat gun shy as he has moved through the weight classes. I feel this will prove a telling factor and lead to a decision victory for Alvarado, especially if he can avoid Rios in the early stages.

Unfortunately, I feel the memory of the first fight will remain just that and the fact that not once during this trilogy has this fight been contested for a legitimate world title will ultimately see this competitive and extremely interesting series fail to scale the heights of what has gone before.