By Ryan Burton
On October 13th, two of the most anticipated fights of the year will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Nonito Donaire (29-1) will face Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4) in the evening's main event while Brandon Rios (30-0) will square off against Mike Alvarado (33-0) in the co-feature. The fights will be televised by HBO. Alvarado's trainer Shann Vilhauser said that this exactly the type of fight that his pupil has been waiting for.
"I think it is a great fight. It is a fight that Mike has been waiting for. it is going to be a barn burner like everyone thinks and I am sure we will come out victorious," Vilhauser told BoxingScene.com.
Rios will be making the move from the lightweight division up to the junior welterweight division. The Oxnard, CA based fighter is very big for a lightweight and failed to make the 135 pound weight limit (137 pounds both times) in each of his past two fights. Alvarez is a big junior welterweight himself and I asked Vilhauser if he thinks Alvarado's size will be one of the fight's key factors.
"I think that is going to be one of the keys but I think that Mike is a better boxer than he has shown," Vilhauser stated. "Mike has always been the bigger guy, the stronger guy. Just like Brandon was at lightweight. He (Brandon) just kind of bullies his opponents around. This is one of those fights where you shouldn't leave to go to the kitchen. Mike is going to be in the center of the ring and he is going to pretty much overpower him I think. I think Mike is going to be too strong for him. He's a little too strong and too forceful for him."
The Colorado based trainer doesn't think that Alvarado has gotten the credit he deserves for his boxing ability. He has been labeled a one-dimensional banger and while it is true that he will never be confused for a slick fighter, Vilhauser thinks that this will be the fight that Alvarado shows his boxing skills. He also thinks that Rios will be in for a surprise when he meets Alvarado in the ring.
"Mike can brawl with him or box him. He is the better boxer and his size just adds to it and gives him the advantage and I don't think Rios fought anyone at lightweight that boxes as well as Mike either," opined Vilhauser who said that Alvarado is having the best training camp of his career. "This camp I am not worried about Mike. He is very motivated for this fight. He knows this is a big fight and his big chance. He knows this is his step up fight. We are chomping at the bit and ready to go."
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