Having produced one of the finest fights of 2012 their first time out, junior welterweight standouts Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado locked horns once again last night (March 30, 2013) in the HBO "Boxing After Dark" main event.
Rios was looking to keep his perfect record intact, while Alvarado was gunning for revenge after being stopped in the seventh round the last time out. Most combat sports fans expected an equally-violent slugfest the second time around, but it wasn't quite as hectic as their first showdown.
Regardless, it was damn close and fun, too.
Things looked bad for Alvarado, a serious underdog, in the early going, seemingly unable to keep enough distance between him and Rios' short, clubbing blows. The second round in particular was exceedingly unpleasant for him, as Rios buckled him badly with a jab. Smelling blood, he continued to lay on heavy uppercuts and hooks, only for Alvarado to fight back and literally ask for more mid-combination.
The fight took an abrupt u-turn in the second round, when Alvarado hurt Rios for the first time in either fight with a crushing overhand right. While he was unable to put away Rios, the overhand right proved to be Alvarado's best weapon as he established both it, as well as his jab, for the remainder of the bout.
Rios looked to have regained control in the middle rounds, his customary point-blank punches connecting while Alvarado's longer blows hit glove, but the Denver, Colo., native soon took control of the latter half of the bout, picking apart Rios with long combinations and using surprisingly-effective footwork to stay out of range.
The wild battle, to the surprise of many, went the distance, with Alvarado taking a narrow, but well-deserved, unanimous decision inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rubber match, please.
For quick results and detailed play-by-play of of "Rios vs. Alvarado 2" on HBO click here.