Junior welterweight Mike Alvarado believes he will prove himself to be the bigger, stronger fighter -- as well as the superior boxer -- when he and Brandon Rios both put their undefeated records on the line, Oct. 13.
Denver-based junior welterweight "Mile High" Mike Alvarado told RingTV.com that he believes he will be the first man to score a knockout against former WBA lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios, whom Alvarado has signed to face in an HBO-televised clash on Oct. 13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
If he also signs, Rios (30-0-1, 22 knockouts) will be making his 140-pound debut against Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs) on a card which also matches Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) against Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs), THE RING's No. 3 and No. 1 junior featherweights, respectively, in what will be a 122-pound championship bout.
Alvarado and Rios are known for their fierce, blood-and-guts approach to boxing, with Rios having won his past two bouts by 11th-round knockout of John Murray in December and controversial split-decision over Richard Abril in April.
On the Rios-Abril undercard, Alvarado overcame rugged Mauricio Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs) for a 10-round unanimous decision, after having survived for a come-from-behind, 10th-round stoppage of Breidis Prescott on the November undercard the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
RingTV.com spoke to Alvarado for this Q&A:
RingTV.com: Where are you training now?
Mike Alvarado: I'm out here enjoying this Cali weather. [Laughs.] I'm in California right now, in Los Angeles. We're out here going back and forth to different gyms.
We've been at Azteca, Maywood, all of the different gyms. We've been sort of jumping around to different places and getting the best training that we can.
RingTV.com: So what do you think of this opportunity?
MA: I'm excited. I'm in a good position right now. I'm excited and motivated and I'm ready for this shot. It's a huge opportunity for me, and I'm excited.
RingTV.com: Do you feel like you've become sort of an all-action hero of the sport?
MA: Yeah, I'm just happy to be in the position that I'm in. I think that I've proved a lot in the past two fights, the Prescott fight was amazing. I mean, they had me down on the scorecards and it was a comeback win.
It was an all-action fight and a bloody war. Against Prescott, that was the main one. I came back from being down and from being cut and being in a bloody war. I believe that I set a new standard for myself.
I also set a standard for whoever gets into the ring with me. Basically, that's because they now know that if they're in the ring with me, that they're going to have no choice but to fight.
I fight to the very last second of every round. So they're going to have to come into this fight and meet expectations. The expectations are that they will have to be ready to fight every second of every round in there with me.
RingTV.com: What are your expectations for Rios, in particular?
MA: Brandon Rios is a great fighter with a lot of heart. He's a tough warrior and he comes to fight. I mean, he's very, very tough. But I believe that I'm the bigger and the stronger fighter, with him coming up from lightweight to junior welterweight.
He's moving up and he's never fought anybody as big as me or as strong as me and who is also as quick as me. I believe that my skills are coming together even more now.
I'm still learning, and I feel like I'm still very young in the game. But it feels like everything is falling into place and coming together. I'm really starting to pick up on the actual specifics of boxing. Everything is coming together.
RingTV.com: Do you think that you've seen everything Rios has?
MA: I mean, I'm not underestimating Brandon Rios at all. I give him all of the respect in the world for his accomplishments so far. But then again, he hasn't faced a fighter like me.
I'm a warrior and I come to fight and I come to win. You know, I just get in there and I get the job done every time. I'm just going to get in there and do what I have to do.
RingTV.com: Was the one big fight against Prescott on the big stage of the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard enough to get you ready for being a co-main event against a high-profile name such as Rios?
MA: I think that it was. It proved a lot. It showed my heart and I showed my endurance. I showed a lot and I've learned a lot from that Prescott fight.
I've learned a lot and I've improved from my last couple of fights. Anyone can say what they want to say, but I still deserve my shot.
I mean, the only way that we'll really see what I've got is to continue to put me on that higher level to see what level I'm really on. I know that I can perform at that level. I feel that I'm ready for that level anyway.
I've been tested at that level and I'm ready to be tested at that level again. After this fight, everybody will know where I'm at. Everybody is going to be able to see it and they'll know.
RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction for this fight?
MA: I don't think that Brandon will be able to counter my power and my boxing skills together. So I think that within six or seven rounds, I should have Brandon out of that ring.
RingTV.com: Are you saying that you will win by a knockout or by cuts or some other form of stoppage?
MA: I think that the fight's going to be stopped. Brandon's tough and he can take a shot, but we'll see how tough he is and what sort of a shot he can take.
I don't think that he has been in there with anybody as tough as I am, so we'll see how he can handle it. I'm already on my way. I'm in shape, I've been healthy and I've been taking care of myself.
I still have a long, eight-to-nine week camp to go. But I'm ready for this. This is one of the longest and most successful camps that I've had. I'm ready for the next step in my career.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com