Two trains are colliding this Saturday night. There might a casualty but also the survivor will get a second chance of being relevant again. It won’t be the first time these two trains crash each other but for all intent and purposes it should be the last time. From the 1st Bank Center in Denver, Colorado, and live on the first HBO telecast of the year, former world champs Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios “Mile High” Mike Alvarado meet for the third time in twelve round fight. This time it will be for the vacant WBO International welterweight title. Also on the card will be up and coming super middleweight prospect Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez putting his undefeated record on the line against fe llow unbeaten Maxim Vlasov in a ten rounder.
The first time the two men met Rios came up on top via a seventh round TKO at the Home Depot back in late 2012. Five months later but in Las Vegas Alvarado out-boxed Rios in a twelve rounder to hand Rios his first professional loss. The men parted ways there but it was always expected for Rios and Alvarado to meet again.
Rios went on to face Manny Pacquiao in China in November of 2013 dropping a lopsided unanimous decision to the Filipino Congressman. After a nine month hiatus Rios went back to Las Vegas to face Argentinean Diego Chaves in his last fight. In a rough and tumble all-out brawl Rios won by disqualification after taking what was seen as an intentional elbow to the face. That was after Chaves was taken a point away for holding in the third round and head butting in the eighth. Rios wasn’t exactly a saint since he lost a point in the fifth also for holding.
Alvarado’s luck has not been any better than his foe and friend Rios. After defeating “Bam Bam” in their second fight, Alvarado came back home to Denver and was forced to retire in his stool by an unrelenting Ruslan Provodnikov after ten grueling rounds. Despite cutting the “Siberian Rocky in the seventh round, Alvarado found himself in the canvas twice in the eighth before calling it quits just before the championship rounds. In May of 2014 Alvarado faced Juan Manuel Marquez in the inaugural fight at the Los Angeles Forum. In an all-action fight Alvarado went down to the canvas in the eighth but returned the favor in the ninth dropping the Mexican legend. At the end Marquez’s skill was too much as he took the twelve round unanimous decision.
Now they both meet in what is the epitome of a crossroads fight with the winner going to bigger and better things while the loser might be a stepping stone for next crop of welterweights. What is a sure thing is that we might see an early candidate for fight of the year since every time these two men get in the ring with each other, fireworks can be expected.