By Keith Idec
If for some reason Brandon Rios doesn’t fight Juan Manuel Marquez in his 140-pound debut, Mike Alvarado is more than ready to face Rios later this year.
“That’d be a very entertaining fight,” Alvarado said. “I would love to get a shot at Rios. I’m willing to fight the best out there in my division, so let’s do it. I want that No. 1 spot.”
Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs), of Thornton, Colo., is scheduled to fight Mauricio Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs), of Lake Elsinore, Calif., in a 10-round junior welterweight bout on the Rios-Richard Abril undercard April 14 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Promoter Bob Arum’s plan is to match Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) against Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) if Rios beats Cuba’s Abril and Marquez defeats Ukraine’s Sergey Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KOs) the same night in Mexico City.
But if the Rios-Marquez match doesn’t come off July 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Arum has said he would love to make a Rios-Alvarado fight.
“Well, [Rios] can pretty well fight everybody,” Arum said after Rios stopped England’s John Murray in the 11th round Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden. “But I think the fight that would probably be the most exciting fight that could be made would be Brandon Rios against Mike Alvarado. Boy, would that be a [fight]. I’d pay to see that fight.”
The 31-year-old Alvarado, like Rios, is promoted by Arum’s Top Rank Inc., so that surefire slugfest wouldn’t be difficult to make.
“I know Brandon,” Alvarado said. “We’ve fought on the same cards. I don’t have anything bad to say about him or anything like that. It’s just business. Business is business. If it happens, that’s what it is.”
Alvarado has been impressed with the 25-year-old Rios’ recent run, which has put the former WBA lightweight champion from Oxnard, Calif., in prime position for higher-profile fights.
“He’s winning,” Alvarado said. “He has come a long way. He’s doing good for himself, doing what he’s supposed to be doing. Hopefully one day we’ll see that fight between us happen.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.