Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/HBO
The weights are in for the fight many are hoping will be a definitive, Fight of the Year level conclusion to the rivalry between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios.
Mike Alvarado: 146.5 lbs.
Brandon Rios: 146.75 lbs.
PREDICTION: If you’re an optimist, you’re banking on a fight similar to Ali-Frazier III in the sense of two warriors being past prime but having the perfect style contrast to put on a breath-taking battle. Unfortunately, the main difference here is at least one fighter, Mike Alvarado, is beyond past prime and into “shot fighter” territory. Rios hasn’t looked good in his last two bouts against Manny Pacquiao and Diego Chaves. And in the Manny bout, Rios took sustained punishment. But Alvarado has take considerable beatings in his last two against Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In the training videos that surfaced, Alvarado appeared lethargic. Vocally, he sounds like an old man battling pneumonia. At this stage, I don’t believe he has the stamina nor discipline needed to replicate the boxer-puncher strategy he executed in the second fight. Rios will drag Alvarado into another war where Bam Bam prove again to be the more durable fighter. RIOS TKO6
Gilberto Ramirez: 170.5 lbs.
Maxim Vlasov: 170 lbs.
PREDICTION: Ramirez is 23 and this is being framed as a coming-out party due to his pedestrian competition down in Mexico. On the other hand, Maxim Vlasov has been in there with Isaac Chilemba (his only defeat) and recently journeyman Derrick Findley, Vlasov is tall, rangy and very active with his offense. An upset wouldn’t be shocking, but Martinez’s strength, particularly his body punching, should pay dividends against a guy who likes to exchange. MARTINEZ UD10