Former world champions and co-stars of one this era's most intense and exciting boxing rivalries, Denver's "Mile High" Mike Alvarado and Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios of Oxnard, Calif, announced the final chapter of their epic trilogy at a Denver press conference today.
Boasting a combined record of 66-5-1 (45 KOs), a winning percentage of 92% and a victory by knockout ratio of 68%, each warrior owns a victory in the series, both of which were candidates for Fight of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
Alvarado-Rios 3 is scheduled for 12 rounds with the vacant WBO International welterweight championship on the line. It will take place Saturday, January 24, at the 1STBank Center, located in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, CO. The fight will be televised live on HBO, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The last boxing event hosted by 1STBank Center was sold out in advance; the October 19, 2013 WBO junior welterweight world championship between Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov.
"This is going to be like our wars in fight no. 1 and fight no. 2. We are two warriors. We will go into the middle of the ring and mix it up. For me, all of this is for one thing; redemption," said Alvarado.
"If Alvarado wants to go the center of the ring and trade, he will feel my power right away," responded Rios. "A few of my big punches and he will change his game plan. That's when I hunt him down, win the fight."
"This is a rematch made in heaven," said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. "Their first two fights were barn burners and arguably Fights of the Year. Alvarado and Rios know what is at stake. Fans can expect to see a finale that will rival, if not surpass, the legendary Morales-Barrera and Pacquiao-Marquez wars."
"In 2015, we begin with a trilogy's conclusion. In the course of two years and 3,003 punches exchanged between them, Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios traded triumphs,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports.
“Now, in their third fight, both seek to author their saga's definitive chapter. Styles make fighters, but fights themselves are made from heart, and fans recognize that these men have two of the biggest hearts in boxing. On January 24, Alvarado-Rios 3 promises to be a must-see event."
Alvarado (34-3, 23 KOs) of Denver, had won 10 of his last 14 bouts by stoppage en route to his rematch victory over Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, on March 30, 2013, which not only avenged Alvarado's loss to Rios in 2012's Fight of the Year, but also made Alvarado a world champion.
Alvarado had lost to Rios on October 13, 2012, via a seventh-round technical knockout in one of the most action-packed fights of the millennium. Going into round seven, two of the three judges' scorecards had it 57-57. In the sequel, which was as action-packed as the first fight, Alvarado made subtle adjustments to eke out a narrow but unanimous decision and win the WBO junior welterweight title.
Notable Alvarado knockout victims have included Breidis Prescott, Ray Narh, Emmanuel Clottey and Cesar Bazan. In 2012 Alvarado fought in two Fights of the Year-nominated fights. On April 14, 2012, Alvarado went toe-to-toe for 10 brutal and exciting rounds winning a unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs).
Herrera entered that fight world-rated No. 7 and riding a two-year, five-bout winning streak, highlighted by victories over future world champion Ruslan Provodnikov (17-0) and Mike Dallas, Jr. (17-1-1). That was followed by his first fight with Rios in October.
Alvarado's world title reign ended in his first defense, on October 19, 2013, where he suffered a 12th-round TKO to Provodnikov in front of a sold-out crowd at the 1STBank Center in his Denver homecoming.
Rios returns to the ring after losing a unanimous decision, in his most recent fight, to Mexican icon and four-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez last May 17.
Rios (32-2-1, 22 KOs), the former WBA lightweight champion, from Oxnard, Calif., is on the hunt for his second world title in as many weight divisions. Thirteen of his last 17 victories have come by way of knockout. One of boxing’s most exciting fighters, Rios is known for his all-action fan-friendly fighting style.
His trainer, former IBF junior lightweight champion and 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, calls it a “throwback” style with a warrior’s mentality that screams excitement. Highlight knockout victories on Rios’ resume include Miguel Acosta, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon, John Murray and Mike Alvarado.
Alvarado, the natural 140-pounder, entered that fight as the undefeated WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender. Many consider it 2012's Fight of the Year. In their exciting rematch, which took place on March 30, 2013, Rios lost a close decision for the vacant WBO interim junior welterweight title.
It was considered a finalist for the 2013 Fight of the Year award. After losing a unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao, on November 24, 2013, which headlined a pay-per-view event that emanated from Macau, China, Rios returned to the winner's circle in his last fight, on August 2, winning a gritty, foul-filled battle against former interim world welterweight champion Diego Chaves, via a ninth-round disqualification.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Tecate, tickets to the Alvarado-Rios welterweight championship event will go on sale just in time for the holiday gift giving season on Friday, December 12, at 10:00 a.m. MT. Priced at $250, $200, $125, $65 and $40, tickets will be available at www.AltitudeTickets.com or by phone at 866-461-6556. Tickets may also be purchased at the Pepsi Center box office, beginning on Saturday, December 13.