Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are headed for a March rematch, and Mike Coppinger says that the fight is being targeted for March 16 on HBO, with the Staples Center in Los Angeles a possible host for the bout.
Rios (31-0-1, 23 KO) stopped Alvarado (33-1, 23 KO) in the seventh round of a blistering toe-to-toe war on October 13 at the Home Depot Center, in a fight that had massive expectations from fans and then not only lived up to them, but may have surpassed them.
Rios, 26, was being lined up to face Manny Pacquiao on April 20, but that fell apart when Juan Manuel Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold on December 8. Talk of a rematch with Alvarado, 32, followed shortly after, and now that appears to be a done deal.
While it's still a fight that fight fans will tune in to watch, there has been some mixed reaction and valid criticism. Rios won definitively the first time around, and there seems to be little belief that Alvarado will be able to change the outcome in a rematch. There seems to be fan desire for a fresh matchup for Rios, who may be seen as beyond Alvarado.
The trick, of course, is Top Rank doesn't have much to work with at 140-147. Golden Boy controls the bulk of U.S. talent in those divisions, and without working together (which they will not), you're getting into the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Karim Mayfield, etc., and while those wouldn't be bad opponents necessarily, they don't kill two birds with one stone for Top Rank, and wouldn't generate the sort of attention this rematch ultimately will.