Brandon Rios put himself firmly back in the picture at 147lbs with a decisive third round stoppage win over arch-rival Mike Alvarado in Denver.
‘Bam Bam’ lived up to his name once again with a pummelling performance at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield as Alvarado failed to cope with a barrage of punches from the get-go.
Rios, 28, piled on the pressure in the first round and had Alvarado’s face a mess, before continuing his onslaught into the second round and eventually taking out ‘Mile High’ in the next session. Alvarado complained of problems with his vision following a knockdown and doctors decided to pull him out on his stool as the writing was already on the wall for the 34 year-old.
A third straight defeat for the Colorado slugger, and a second in four bouts at the hands of Rios, has left Alvarado’s career in tatters and the former world champion really needs to sort himself out away from the sport before contemplating a return.
Scrapes with the law won’t have help Alvarado at all in his bid to turn his career around, and to be honest, the once-top contender looked a shadow of the fighter that defeated Rios in a twelve round war just under two years ago.
On the flipside, Rios, who improved to 33-2-1, is now in line for some huge bouts at the welterweight limit as clashes with the likes of Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov come into play for the Californian.
In the co-feature, WBN Prospect of 2012 Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez scored a career-best victory over hardened Russian Maxim Vlasov in ten rounds to extend his undefeated streak to 31 contests since entering the paid ranks.
The flashy Mexican managed to keep his cool against a tough customer in Vlasov to see out a 97-93 (twice) and 96-94 triumph on the scorecards and inflict a second loss in 32 bouts on the two-weight WBC Baltic champion.
Vlasov’s compatriot Konstantin Ponomarev fared better in out-scoring Steve Claggett over eight rounds, whilst Abner Lopez shocked previously unbeaten Aik Shakhnazaryan to end the Russian’s perfect record at super-lightweight.