3 More Rounds

Alvarado’s lack of preparation cheated the fans

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

This past Saturday night, Mike Alvarado stepped into the ring against Brandon Rios in what many felt would be another action-packed fight to conclude their trilogy.  In some sense, it did have action, but it was all one-sided, as Rios put a beating on an ill-prepared Alvarado that felt looked like a one-time contender being put out to pasture.

Alvarado looked nothing like the fighter who boxed well and earned a unanimous decision over Rios in their rematch, or even the hard-nosed warrior who finally succumbed to Rios’ pressure in their first fight.  No, Alvarado looked like a guy who would have rather been out on the town, than being in the ring with another prizefighter.

“It was all in the preparation. I didn’t train like I should have,” Alvarado said after failing to come out of his corner for the fourth round. “I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, and I got what I should have got. I’ll get myself out there again, and I have my marriage to look forward to, and my kids and I will be back.”

Whether or not he comes back is anyone’s guess, as the law might have something to say about it, not to mention the fans who turned on him after his lackluster performance.

In the weeks leading up to the fight, Alvarado was again having legal troubles, as he was formally charged with having possession of a gun, which he claims wasn’t his.  On fight night, HBO aired an interview Jim Lampley conducted with Alvarado, where he basically asked what in the world he was thinking?  Alvarado, is a convicted felon and cannot legally have a firearm, but Alvarado told Lampley that it belonged to his friend.  During the interview, Alvarado attempted to convince Lampley that he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time (apparently going out to buy a soda at 4 a.m.), which Lampley didn’t seem to believe (did anyone really?!).

The run-in with police had obviously been a distraction for Alvarado, whose body language seemed to back up, as he entered the ring, looking like his mind was elsewhere. The word around boxing circles was that Alvarado trained seriously for about two weeks and it showed.  After taking a pummeling at the hands of Rios, and telling the ringside physician that he was seeing four fingers (when two were being held up to test his vision), the fight was called off.

It came as no surprise that the pro-Alvarado crowd, from his nearby hometown of Denver, immediately turned on him and booed him out of the building.  It was an anti-climactic finish to what was supposed to be another entertaining trilogy in the sport, that ultimately left a foul taste in fans’ mouths.

Alvarado says he’ll be back, but after the way he looked on Saturday night, coupled with the legal issues he keeps bumping into, he may as well call it a day and focus on getting his life back together.

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