By Rick Reeno & Edward Chaykovsky
A second war is coming. Top Rank has announced that a junior welterweight rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado will take place on March 30th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. HBO will televise. The first meeting took place last October at Los Angeles' Home Depot Center and saw Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) stop Alvarado in the seventh round of a classic.
"It's a can't miss. They will pick up where they left off in round seven. How much can it be different," said Top Rank VP Carl Moretti to BoxingScene.com.
Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs) was not happy with the referee's decision to stop the fight in the seventh and afterwards he demanded a rematch. The shot-callers at HBO were clamoring for a second meeting between the two boxers. Rios was being positioned for an April fight with Manny Pacquiao, but those plans were quickly changed when Pacquiao was knocked out in last December's fourth meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez.
"The way that Pacquiao and Marquez ended, sort of entailed with those guys fighting each other. The way it ended, it directed itself to its own fifth fight. The biggest fight you could make for Rios is Alvarado even though he won the first one," Moretti said.
One possibility for the HBO televised co-feature is a battle of undefeated welterweights with Wale "Lucky Boy" Omotoso (23-0, 19KOs) and Jessie Vargas (21-0, 9KOs) locking horns. The HBO co-feature has yet to be decided, says Moretti.
"There are like four possibilities [for the co-feature] being disucssed with HBO and various camps. I think it will take through the weekend to figure out what it will be," Moretti said.