There's no doubt that we'll see a third fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, following Alvarado's action-packed decision win last night in Las Vegas, but promoter Bob Arum wants to get other fights for the pair of blood-and-guts warriors first.
Alvarado (34-1, 23 KO) got some measure of revenge last night, sticking to his game plan and fighting better than he ever has before, frustrating Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) somewhat over the distance, keeping the first fight's winner from getting totally comfortable inside, and raining down a series of overhand rights that kept Rios more than honest.
It was another magnificent fight between a couple of guys who were basically born to fight one another, and after the fight both said they were very open to a third fight (Rios was more than that), possibly in Alvarado's backyard in Denver.
Arum's decision to not go right to the third fight does make some sense, though. Rios-Alvarado III will be there and profitable and a desired fight no matter what they do in the interim. Right now, either of them could face Ruslan Provodnikov, for instance, in what would be another must-see fight on paper. Or either of them could move up to 147 and face Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, or Timothy Bradley. There were really no losers in these two fights; both Rios and Alvarado are bigger deals now than they were before their 19 rounds of battle.