By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com recently spoke to Shann Vilhauser who trains Mike Alvarado (33-0). The undefeated junior welterweight faces Brandon Rios (30-0) on October 13th in one of the year's most anticipate fights. This past April Rios struggled in a controversial split decision victory over Richard Abril. Rios struggled to getting down to the 135 pound lightweight limit and ended up weighing in at 137 pounds. Throughout much of the fight he had trouble getting past Abril's jab and was outboxed for long stretches of the fight.
Vilhauser saw the fight live after Alvarado defeated Mauricio Herrera in the evening's co-featured bout. I asked Vilhauser for his opinion on Abril's performance and what he thought of the controversial decision.
"He did some good working stepping around and he outboxed him. I think the reason why Abril didn't get the decision is because when he would hit Rios he didn't step on the ga s. He just would hold on. He didn't want to ga s out I think. He hoped for a decision instead of forcing the issue and making the judges give him the win. That is why I don't think he got it," explained Vilhauser.
Alvarado is currently training in Southern California where he has held his past few training camps. The quality of sparring is much higher in the LA area than what is available in his hometown of Denver, CO. The 31 year-old's nickname is "Mile High", a reference to Denver's altitude which is a mile above seal level. Alvarado is a big draw at home and his trainer said that there is already a buzz in town for the upcoming fight.
"I talk to my wife everyday. She is a big boxing fan and she knows a lot of the boxing people at home. She says that everybody at home is talking about it. It is the talk of the town. They did a big article in the local paper, The Denver Post. It is a pretty big deal," Vilhauser said.
Vilhauser feels that a win over Rios will lead to even bigger opportunities for his fighter. He finished our conversation by saying that the fight is must see TV and that the fans should make sure that they don't miss it.
"We will fight anybody. We feel that this fight will open up a lot of doors for Mike. I don't see anyone at 140 beating Mike. I want to tell the fans to make sure their TV is tuned in to HBO on October 13th. Mike is going to be in the center of the ring and they don't want to miss it. Either watch it on TV or get your tickets now because they are going fast," stated Vilhauser.
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