Rios surprised by rival Alvarado's performance
MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios was shocked to see his former foe, Mike Alvarado, fall apart in his title defense against Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov last weekend in Denver.
Rios knows Alvarado well, having engaged him in two bouts that were all-out wars. “Bam Bam” won their first fight in October last year, giving Alvarado his first career defeat via technical knockout. But Alvarado got his revenge in their March rematch, winning a close decision.
“I don’t know what happened to Alvarado,” Rios said in an interview with Hustle Boss. “He came in, and he didn’t look as he did with me in the second fight. He didn’t look good.”
“He looked like he was getting hurt with every punch. He looked like he didn’t train right. I don’t know what the (expletive) happened,” he added.
Alvarado went down twice in the eighth round and was nearly out on his feet by the end of the 10th as Provodnikov kept up a relentless assault. He was eventually unable to come out of his corner for the 11th round, giving the Russian the victory and the WBO light-welterweight belt.
Alvarado had come in a pound over the weight limit the day before, although he was eventually able to make the weight. Rios does not think that his weight was a factor in his performance, however.
“He’s a warrior. I don’t think it was a weight issue. I don’t know if he didn’t train right,” he said.
It may be that Alvarado’s last three fights – two against Rios and one against Breidis Prescott, another hard-hitting fighter – may have affected him more than he let on.
“The last three big fights that he had – Prescott took a lot out of him, and it could be mine and his,” said Rios. “To me, it looked like he didn’t come in shape.”
“He wasn’t quick on his feet like he was with me in the second fight. He didn’t move around, he gassed out quick," he added.
The loss to Provodnikov was Alvarado’s second in his last three fights. He now has a record of 34 wins with two losses, with 23 wins coming by knockout.