Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado II set for March 30 in Las Vegas on HBO

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

Great news for fans of two men who stand in front of each other and throw haymakers: Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said Wednesday that a rematch of the great 2012 fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado has been signed and is set for March 30 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Rios stopped Alvarado at 1:57 of the seventh round on Oct. 13 in Carson, Calif., in a staggeringly brutal fight. At the time, I called it the best fight I'd seen since 2000. I may have to revise that list in light of Juan Manuel Marquez's knockout of Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 8, but Rios-Alvarado I remains a classic.

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"When the bell rings, basically this picks up in Round 7," Moretti said. "That's how these guys are."

Top Rank had groomed Rios as a potential opponent for Pacquiao for a year and after Rios stopped Alvarado, it seemed certain that Pacquiao-Rios would occur in April.

Marquez, though, had something to say about that and altered plans when he knocked Pacquiao cold.

"Once Manny lost, and after the kind of fight that was, it made Pacquiao-Marquez 5 a viable fight and a fight that we really needed to make" Moretti said. "And so that left Rios and Alvarado kind of outside there."

A fight with Pacquiao would have meant life-altering money for Rios, who now will have to pick up the pieces and be content with fighting a guy he's always beaten. That would seem to give Alvarado a bit of a boost, but Rios has never been a guy to look ahead too much. Plus, he has to have earned great respect for Alvarado during their first battle, so it's unlikely that he'll look past him.

Moretti said the bout will be broadcast by HBO.

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