Alvarado says he wants to box more this time, and I'm sure that he does. But my suspicion is Brandon Rios is right on two counts: That Alvarado will turn back into himself when the heat index goes up, and Alvarado isn't really a good enough boxer to keep the fight at a comfortable distance anyway. Alvarado isn't unskilled, but he's not so good as a boxer that he's going to be able to keep Rios at bay. He's not Richar Abril.
Alvarado may have some success early, like last time, but Rios knows how to break Alvarado, and while Alvarado may know how to beat Brandon Rios, because it has been done before no matter what the record says. But Alvarado doesn't strike me as someone capable of changing long enough even over one fight to get this job done. In this style matchup, Rios is the better fighter. Rios by ninth round stoppage.
I like both of these guys, but in the build-up to this rematch, it's Alvarado that I've been trying to convince myself to side with more. It's not like he couldn't find Rios in the first fight, and the simple advice from his camp would be, surely, to keep this at range and fight to his strengths, using the jab as well as he did last time, or at least in patches.
The problem for Alvarado, though, is that another of his strengths, standing toe-to-toe and fighting like all hell, doesn't particularly stand him in very good stead against an opponent who would seem to be more effective at doing it than he is. I don't see the fight being particularly different to look at than the first, nor do I see it being a letdown, but I do see the same victor, maybe with a knockdown or two - but no referee intervention - along the way. Rios by decision.
It may not be quite as good as the first fight, but I think it will be close. I figure Alvarado will honestly try to box a bit more this time by staying out of range for much of the first three or four rounds. But as the bout wears on and his legs get a little tired, he will stand and trade like he did the last time. We know what Rios will bring to the fight: pressure and tons of it. He will gradually smother Alvarado and rake him with power punches on the inside. I think Alvarado will build up a small lead early that gets quickly evaporated as Rios begins to land more and more as he cuts off the ring slowly but surely. Basically, I feel this is will be a lot like the first fight, just spread out over a few more rounds. I'm taking Rios by stoppage in 10.
I hope this will be as good as their first meeting but gut instinct tells me that Rios may get the job done in a far more convincing fashion this time. I feel the number of hard battles Alvarado has had is beginning to catch up with him, plus Rios knows what to expect this time, as I feel Alvarado surprised him somewhat last time.
I can see Alvarado trying to outbox Rios early on before reverting back to toe-to-toe tactics when Rios matches him for boxing ability. As soon as it goes toe-to-toe, Rios will club Alvarado to submission in quick fashion. Rios by a one-sided 6th round stoppage.
Final Tally: Brandon Rios 4, Mike Alvarado 0.