By Keith Idec
Mike Alvarado’s manager maintains that his fighter’s highly anticipated slugfest against Brandon Rios doesn’t need to be the brutal bloodbath everyone expects.
Henry Delgado claims Alvarado has been preparing to employ a safer strategy at least to start their 10-round junior welterweight bout, a switch Delgado definitely would welcome Saturday night in Carson, Calif. (HBO; 10 p.m. EDT).
“I think Mike makes the fights tougher than they are,” Delgado said. “He is a gladiator. He is a warrior. And he has a lot of skills that we haven’t even seen yet. For this fight, we have a different kind of game plan going. We are going to try and stick to our game plan, but like I said, the warrior always comes out. He’s going to be in position to dominate the whole fight. We have some surprises coming.”
Robert Garcia, Rios’ trainer, would be stunned if Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs) didn’t come right at Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) at Home Depot Center, just like the Thornton, Colo., native has done throughout his 8½-year pro career.
“It shows me that [Delgado] doesn’t even know what he’s saying,” Garcia said. “I’ve only seen him fight the same way. Now they are going to show different skills? If I have a fighter with so many skills … I have no idea what he’s talking about. We are prepared for a war. If he wants to change his style to a boxer, well, good luck to him.”
Despite Garcia’s skepticism, the 32-year-old Alvarado seconded Delgado’s suggestion.
“My boxing skills are underrated,” Alvarado said. “I am going to keep him at bay. He is going to be right there in front of me, so I can do anything I want with him. I can fight his fight. I can bang with him. I can do whatever I want with him. It will be my fight. I will control the pace.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.