By Jake Donovan
Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios spent their Easter weekend beating the hell out of each other. Both will be pleased to know that no hidden surprises were found in the commission’s Easter Egg hunt in the laboratory.
Drug test results came back negative across the board for the pair of 140 lb. contenders following their thrilling rematch last Saturday in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Alvarado avenged last year’s defeat with a close but clear 12-round points win over Rios in their HBO-televised main event at the Mandalay Bay.
The co-feature saw a breakout performance from Terence Crawford, who moved up in weight on short notice to soundly defeat Breidis Prescott in their 10-round super lightweight contest.
“The steroid/drug test results for Alvarado, Rios, Crawford and Prescott are back and they were all negative,” informed NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer in a statement.
No form of random pre-fight drug testing was performed, though such practice is one that is favored by Angel Heredia, Rios’ recently hired strength and conditioning coach. Their working relationship was kept under wraps only to avoid distractions during champ.
Heredia comes to the sport with a checkered past, but has openly campaigned for more stringent testing in pro boxing. The trainer put his money where his mouth is in successfully lobbying for random drug testing to be performed prior to the May 25 bout between Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute. Heredia is currently working with Pascal for the upcoming light heavyweight bout.
All fighters on the card were tested, but the results back as of Wednesday afternoon were for the aforementioned HBO bouts.
“We also tested all the undercard boxers and expect those test results soon,” Kizer promised.
The HBO doubleheader drew 1.2 million viewers, according to a recent press release from the network. The ratings were nearly double that of the first bout between Rios and Alvarado, which served as the televised co-feature to Nonito Donaire’s 122 lb. lineal championship winning effort over Toshiaki Nishioka last October.
Rios won the first bout, stopping Alvarado in the 7th round of a bout many hailed as the best fight of 2012. The loss was the first as a pro for Alvarado, who in turn snatched Rios’ “0” this past weekend.
Talks of a rubber match have already surfaced, with both fighters expressing interest in doing it again.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox