Fight of the Year competition for Timothy Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov comes this weekend in Rios-Alvarado II

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado will have their highly-anticipated rematch this weekend, and could be an early contender for Fight of the Year along side Timothy Bradley’s unanimous decision victory over rugged Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16.

In their first fight, Rios scored a seventh-round TKO when he rallied against Alvarado. It was an exciting fight between two guys who just went after each other. The first fight was also a Fight of the Year candidate, losing out to Manny Pacquiao getting knocked out cold in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez.

But during their tele-conference last week, they were still buzzing about Bradley-Provodnikov.

“I was almost jumping on the TV watching that fight,” Rios said.  “It brought back memories.  I was like ‘Damn, they are showing the warrior spirit.’  They were going at it.  Like they said, Bradley came out with a different game plan and he proved that he’s a warrior and a fighter.”

Promoter Bob Arum is in a nice position. He promotes Rios, Alvarado, Bradley and Pacquiao. And he has worked well with Marquez. The talk is there might be a mini-tournament between the top welterweights.

So if Rios wins, he could set up a fight against Manny Pacquiao probably in the fall. Marquez has talked about wanting to fight for another title and that’s where Bradley will come in. Only time will tell if that materialize. If it does, it will be a great situation for Arum and HBO, which last week announced it won’t air any fights from Arum’s rival Golden Boy Promotions.

“Fans aren’t stupid.  They want to see action,” Arum said. ”Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios are action fighters.  Timothy Bradley showed that he is an action fighter.  Juan Manuel Marquez is an action fighter.  Manny Pacquiao is an action fighter.  Ruslan Provodnikov is an action fighter.  They don’t play around.  They don’t dance around.  They fight.  That’s what the public wants to see, so we’ll mix and match as we go along because they are the big fights that people want to see.  That is the way the fighters can be rewarded monetarily.”