This Saturday, we will see a rematch between two light welterweights, but the stakes are much higher than the “interim WBO title” that is on the line. The winner of this may find himself in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, and the favorite in this contest is Brandon Rios, 31-0, 23 KO’s.
Rios went toe to toe with Mike Alvarado, 33-1, 23 KO’s, fighting evenly before battering a tired Alvarado into submission in round seven. Five months later, here we are with a rematch and that is not always a good thing for a fighter that suffers their first defeat. If you examine boxers that have immediate return matches, it’s a rarity that they find a different result. This rematch has to do with the pride and ego of Alvarado rather than good business, but he will be in this to win, regardless.
The money has to be on Rios and if this bout follows the idea that the rematch starts where the first fight ends, then don’t go to your refrigerator. The knockout is still fresh on both of their minds and it will be interesting to see how Alvarado reacts when he is hit and he will be hit early. How fragile is his psyche going into this match? That’s a question that will be answered relatively early.
Rios wants into this “tournament” that Bob Arum is proposing and the prize, despite the two losses in a row, is Manny Pacquiao. Rios must knock out Alvarado impressively and then move on to challenge the PacMan, a fight that he could win, considering the stage that Manny is at in his career.
Expect another war on Saturday night on HBO between Rios and Alvarez, but don’t expect it to last too long. Rios by TKO in 3 rounds.