Boxing fans were treated to another pugilistic classic from "Mile High" Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KO) and Brandon Rios (31-1, 23 KO) on Saturday night.
Their rematch of one of the best fights in 2012 was just as good as the original. This time Alvarado was smarter, and he out-boxed Rios to earn a unanimous decision.
Here are the official judges' scores, per BoxRec.com.
Dave Moretti 115-113, Duane Ford 114-113, Bill Lerch 115-113
Instead of fighting the entire fight in a phone booth the way he did in the first fight, he employed movement that Rios never adjusted to.
This was not a dance, though.
Alvarado picked his spots to trade, and he rocked Rios on multiple occasions with hard overhand rights. Although he was staggered in the second round by a hard Rios jab, he recovered and took control of the fight in the middle rounds.
If you looked at both men's faces after the fight, you would think the judges had the wrong decision, but Alvarado deserved the victory.
He fought through swelling and a bad cut over his left eye, but this time he gave better than he received. Rios is just one of those fighters with thick skin who rarely shows facial damage, and Alvarado is the exact opposite.
Who would be the early favorite in a third fight?
Immediately talk turned to a third fight between the two men. Ring announcer Michael Buffer prefaced his announcement of the decision by saying: "Looks like we're going to have a rubber match."
Rios climbed to the second rope and held up three fingers, presumably indicating his desire to clash for a third time.
He was loud and belligerent after the fight, which made for an uncomfortable and awkward post-fight interview for Alvarado. It was his first loss, and Rios didn't handle it well.
Alvarado seemingly agreed to a third match and indicated he wanted the fight to be held in his hometown of Denver, Colo.
We'll have to see how and when this comes to fruition.
But after yet another dramatic and action-packed battle, I think I speak for other boxing fans when I say: (in my Ryback voice) Feed me more!
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