With a week remaining until the anticipated war between undefeated sluggers Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado next Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, a repeat viewing of the third episode of HBO's "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley" has effectively served to build the fervor even further. In promotion of the October 13 HBO card that headlines a super bantamweight championship between Nonito Donaire and Toshiaki Nishioka, Lampley eloquently stated that we could be "stunned into fight fan ecstasy by the noble violence" of the Rios vs Alvarado undercard.
During review of the most recent "Gatti List" that acknowledges those fighters who possess the qualities of one of the greatest warriors the sport has ever seen in Arturo Gatti, host Lampley described Alvarado's (33-0, 23 KO's) last two fights as "memorably hurtful". Lampley went on to say that Alvarado is about to get hurt in the ring again when the Denver native faces the bruising Rios (33-0-1, 22 KO's), but will enjoy it and respond by delivering pain of his own.
Alvarado's face was busted up by Round 4 in his battle with Prescott, bleeding from the nose, a bad split to his lip and a gash on his left eyelid. These came courtesy of sharp, straight jabs and a mixture of uppercuts and power shots that got around the guard of Alvarado while Prescott effectively boxed from the outside.
Midway through the fight, a bloody Alvarado adjusted by dropping his hands and letting them go to force exchanges with more intensified power punches and uppercuts on the inside. Although Prescott was able to land his share of uppercuts during the trades, he was visibly tiring and landing less frequently than he had over the first five rounds of the bout.
The momentum had shifted to Alvarado who was landing the cleaner shots and finding success with his right hand. He was the fresher and stronger fighter down the stretch, up on his toes even though he was fighting through a mist of his own blood.
Prescott started the final Round 10 by trying to re-establish his jab but Alvarado caught him with three solid right hands that once again spurred an exchange. The fresher and stronger Alvarado took advantage and landed a right then left uppercut that knocked down Prescott for the first time in his career. He arose but was unable to adequately tie up Alvarado, draping both hands over his charging opponent's shoulders which left him wide open for three consecutive right uppercuts as he was stumbling and leaning forward to gain balance. This caused the referee to wave off the fight, one where Prescott had been winning on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
Alvarado was not in the same type of danger when he faced Hererra. Although it was an all-action fight against a very brave and cagey opponent who continuously fired punches in return, Hererra did not have the power or strength to hurt Alvarado.
Herrera had his moments fighting off of the ropes in the early rounds and tagged the body while on the inside. Alvarado responded with bigger and more impactful punches, including a clubbing right hand that consistently landed as Hererra's left eye was swelling shut.
By Round 8, Hererra's eye was swollen closed while Alvarado controlled the action as he pressed forward and outworked his tiring opponent. It was memorably hurtful for Hererra, yet both men gave their full effort and were trading punches right to the final bell.
Rios is not expected to box and keep his distance against Alvarado as Prescott successfully did in the early rounds of their bout. Unlike the Colombian, Rios thrives on the inside and is more effective when banging with reckless abandon. The body attack of the Mexican-American may force Alvarado to once again make adjustments and drop his hands which will open up opportunity upstairs and invite more exchanges.
The power of Rios is far greater than that of the light-hitting Hererra who only had seven knockouts on his record. In this match, Alvarado will have to contend with both the heart and the heat of Rios.
Regardless of the outcome, this fight should be the most memorably hurtful.
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