By Reni M. Valenzuela
How can you not fall for boxing as a Sweet Science after having just watched the classic Rios-Alvarado yesterday?
The fight was truly classic in the sense that it lasted only seven rounds but there was more than enough action the fans needed to see to be awed and spellbound. Much unlike the hide-and-seek Halloween baccarat in the main card, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado pursued each other for a non-stop head-on collision in the ring, and with so much heart and boxing skill on display coming from both of them.
It was like a novel that keeps you hold your breath until the last paragraph of the last page wherein only you get to know for sure the storyline’s ending. “The War” ended uplifting as the people in the open-field Home Depot Center were exuberant and cheered like a dog with two tails, and with wide grin. They simply have fallen for everything that happened within those 19 minutes of the fight.
Classic indeed in the sense that just when you are at a loss who would win while witnessing the relentlessness of the slugging warriors from round to round, the drama suddenly unfolded for a magical twist to show everyone how miracles work, and how prayers are answered.
Classic in the sense that Rios-Alvarado was a rare evenly matched fight wherein the boxer’s body conditioning appeared to be the single factor that determined the victor. Both Alvarado and Rios were obviously well conditioned and had strong chins, but Rios emerged to be the more durable one.
Classic in the sense that both fighters possess command of the sport’s craft, but it was Rios who proved a point to earn a contest against Manny Pacquiao. Rios knocked out Alvarado with his endurance and with a masterful “finishing touches” despite Alvarado seemed to have slightly gained the upper hand from round four or five before “succumbing” to Brandon’s “lucky” hits in the seventh round. It is therefore perceived that the rematch could be another classic which may potentially go down in boxing anal as the very best among the best.
Classic in the sense that just when needless violence has been the common sight in boxing and mixed martial arts nowadays and from the time of their inception as sports, the Rios-Alvarado was a true “Sweet Science” to behold. Referee Pat Russel was keen and decisive making the prompt call to stop the bout in the seventh round at 1:57. Russel was interviewed after the bout, “It was a brutal fight. Rios was connecting in that round and Alvarado had absolutely no defense for those punches. I want to take them out to deep water, but I don’t want them to drown.”
Such is the beauty of the sport.
The Rios-Alvarado is undoubtedly classic in the sense that, this time, the whole world can finally agree with Top Rank’s Bob Arum when he bragged, “It’s definitely the Fight of The Year. How could it not be?”
And that makes it even unprecedented.
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