Narrowing down the choices for Fight of the Year wasn’t overly complicated. Almost everyone agreed on two fights. However, narrowing it down to just one proved much more difficult. Ultimately, when you strip away all the hype and hoopla away from one, a winner can be crowned by the narrowest of margins.
It may come as not much of a consolation prize, as he lost an all out war to Brandon Rios in October, but perhaps Mike Alvarado can take a little solace in knowing that his scrap has been named as the 2012 Fight of the Year. Both Alvarado and Rios traded non-stop blows for over six rounds in one of the most entertaining fights in recent memory
The bout, which took place near Los Angeles in the Home Depot Center, has been alternating victories in this category with the more highly publicized Manny Pacquio loss to Juan Manuel Marquez earlier in December. Among the more notable publications also bestowing the award on Alvarado and Rios was Sports Illustrated.
“Most pundits argued there was no way that the fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado would live up to the hype. By the end of the seven round battle, most agreed that the fight somehow topped the hype,” the magazine wrote.
That summed up the fight pretty well. Both guys stood toe-to-toe for the entire contest, exchanging hooks, uppercuts and everything in between. There was never any clinching to slow down the pace, with punches landing with astonishing frequency. When it was over, Alvarado actually held a slight advantage of 175-161 in the punches landed category.
Through the first six rounds, the score was very close. The fifth round in particular was explosive, offering multiple flurries from both fighters. However, in the seventh, Rios finally gained the upper hand, and with a series of punches that drove Alvarado into the ropes, forced the referee to intervene on his behalf.
It is highly probable these two will meet again, sooner rather than later. Bob Arum has already gone on record saying he wants to put them back together, perhaps as early as March. If that happens, they will once again have lofty heights to reach if they hope to put on a fight as entertaining as this was.
Many other publications have given the award to Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao for their historical bout taking place in Las Vegas in early December. That is certainly understandable as that fight offered incredible fireworks as well, with both Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez hitting the canvas at various points. It is hard to argue that choice, especially considering the stage it was on and the shocking result. However, by the slightest of margins, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado deserve the honor this year.