Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Mike Alvarado has spoken out a few times after the Rios fight, saying that he didn't agree with referee Pat Russell's stoppage in Round 7. The fact that Alvarado was getting hit with a number of clean shots and not throwing back is justification enough for Russell to have stopped the fight.
Alvarado should be glad to know that Tony Weeks will be the third man in the ring for his rematch with Brandon Rios. As many folks may remember, Weeks was the referee for the first classic war between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo, so he is no stranger to all-action brawls.
Advantage: Even. Tony Weeks is a class act and should give both men the ability to work their own game plans. Week is definitely a good choice for what surely will be a high-action fight.
Both men have shown tremendous heart throughout their careers. Brandon Rios has shown his heart versus the likes of Miguel Acosta, Urbano Antillon and Mike Alvarado, while Alvarado has shown it versus Breidis Prescott, Mauricio Herrera and of course, Brandon Rios.
On March 30, we will likely once again get a firsthand look at what determination and heart truly looks like in the ring.
Alvarado needs to remember that boxing intelligently does not downgrade his toughness or heart. To win the rematch, he simply can’t afford to trade with Rios like he did in the first matchup.
Advantage: Even. It’s obvious that both Rios and Alvarado are warriors with endless amounts of heart.
Shann Vilhauer has been with Mike Alvarado since the beginning of his career. Although the importance of that bond can't be measured, Vilhauer definitely knows Alvarado better than anyone.
Before the first fight between Rios and Alvarado, Vilhauer spoke about Alvarado's underrated ability to box (per Ryan Burton of Boxingscene.com). It would definitely be in Alvarado's best interest to follow a boxing blueprint this time around.
Robert Garcia was voted the 2012 Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has the accolades and stable of fighters to be considered one of the best trainers in the sport.
Rios is one of Garcia’s star pupils and the two have a longstanding relationship. Garcia knows how far Rios can be pushed, which is important considering the bombs he's hit with during fights.
Advantage: Rios. While both men have a close relationship with their trainers, Garcia has the higher profile and was a world champion himself.