by Keith Idec
Brandon Rios expects his fight against Mike Alvarado to mirror the spectacular savagery that was Gatti-Ward I.
Henry Delgado, Alvarado’s manager, called their highly anticipated 10-round junior welterweight fight “must-see TV.” Cameron Dunkin, Rios’ manager, admitted he would just as soon have waited to make what’s sure to be at the very least a “Fight of the Year” candidate.
“This is a fight that Brandon really asked for and it was the fight I was real hesitant [to make], of course,” Dunkin said. “I wanted to get him a couple of other fights and I talked to [trainer] Robert [Garcia] about that. But when it presented itself Brandon was so excited and I didn’t want to disappoint him, so we went to work on this fight. And boy, everybody’s really excited about it.”
The Alvarado-Rios fight will open a “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader on HBO from Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. HBO Sports executives pushed to make the Alvarado-Rios bout because the network had more money left within its 2012 budget to pay for the fight than it ordinarily doles out for “BAD” co-features.
The non-title fight will mark an official move to 140 pounds for Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif. The 32-year-old Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs), of Thornton, Colo., has competed either at welterweight or junior welterweight throughout his eight-year pro career.
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.