It’s very rare a fight can live up to, or even exceed, the kind of hype that surrounded the Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado fight. But that fight was pretty brutal and fantastic and the leading candidate for fight of the year. Rios won with a seventh-round TKO when he was able to close off the ring and then unload on Alvarado. Up until that point, Rios took a good about of abuse from Alvarado, who fought extremely well.
It puts Rios in a great position as the hottest boxers out there, and now a leading candidate to fight Manny Pacquiao sometime in the spring of 2013 in what will be his biggest payday and a star-making opportunity. However, Rios will have a long wait if he tries to secure the Pac-Man fight. Pacquiao won’t fight for another two months, on Dec. 15, taking on rival Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time. AFter that, there’s talk that Pacquiao would like to step back into the ring in April. But that seems unlikely. After the third fight against Marquez last November, Pacquiao wasn’t ready to fight for seven months. Further complicating things is that Pacquiao is up for re-election in the Philippines, so July could be problematic.
Pacquiao has dragged out his decisions in the past, and with this time table, it could be a while before Rios could get an answer. If he decides he doesn’t want to wait, he has some attractive offers.
First would be a rematch with Alvarado. Judging by the fans and media reaction on Twitter, that fight would be a huge attraction and the most anticipated fight outside Pacquiao-Mayweather. Maybe it would be good enough to become a pay-per-view event. If not, what about Rios taking on Timothy Bradley? It would be an interesting fight, but you can expect both fighters to demand a lot of money for a risky fight. That could be the deal breaker.
In other news, it was announced today that Robert Guerrero will fight Andre Berto. Both guys were leading candidates to fight Bradley. With the continuing problems between Golden Boy and Top Rank, it was difficult to land either guys for Bradley, who will likely pass on his Dec. 15 date. The fight between Guerrero and Berto will be in Ontario on Nov. 24 as both fighters are moving up to a bigger stage. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Whoever wins, it doesn’t seem like either would be a natural to face a Pacquiao or Mayweather or Cotto. Guerrero still has questions to answer at welterweight after just one fight at that division, although he did win the WBC interim title. Berto’s appeal lost some luster when he fell to Victor Ortiz in 2011 and had a failed drug test earlier this year to keep him inactive for all of 2012. They are both terrific fighters, but they have to prove if they have what it takes to be a star. The winner will likely be on track to stardom, but it seems unlikely it will be a fast track.