By Chris Robinson
A sure-fire barn burner was recently announced, as former lightweight champion Brandon 'Bam Bam' Rios will be facing off with junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado in his first fight at 140 pounds. Set to go down on October 13th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Rios-Alvarado will serve as the HBO-televised co-feature to junior featherweight champ Nonito Donaire's clash with Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka.
Shortly after the fight was announced, I crossed paths with unbeaten featherweight contender Mikey Garcia inside of the Texas Station Hotel and Casino out in Las Vegas for the Jose Benavidez Jr.-headlined Telefutura show that took place on August 4th. Garcia knows Rios very well, as his older brother Robert serves as his trainer, and he took some time to speak on the matchup.
"It's going to be a great fight for the fans," Garcia stated. "They both come out brawling. You saw Alvarado with Herrera in April and that was one hell of a fight. Brandon always looks for that kind of fight. It's one of those fights that the fans really get to enjoy. I think Brandon will obviously win. I think he's the better fighter than Mike but Mike Alvarado, he's been doing real well. It's going to be a really good fight."
Asked to reveal his reasoning for siding with Rios, Garcia actually looks at him as the stronger fighter despite rising up in weight.
"I think his strength will be what's going to change the fight," claimed Garcia. "Brandon's relentless, doesn't stop. Alvarado's pretty relentless himself, but I think Brandon is bigger, stronger, and more experienced than Mike Alvarado is."
Garcia's opinion certainly comes with plenty of insight, as he has shared the squared circle with Rios several times.
"I've sparred with him many times and I'm able to do real well with him the first three, four rounds, but after that, the pressure, the weight, the non-stop pressure, it tires you out," Garcia says of his sessions with Rios. "Once you start getting tired, what else are you going to do? You have to stand in there and he takes control."