BOB ARUM: Thank you. Everyone is looking forward to what should be a great, great fight. The previous two fights were classics and this one will probably top them all. I am really looking forward to Saturday night in Denver and now I would like to put the fighters on. These are two gladiators. These are two guys that make the sport of boxing proud the way they perform in the ring.
BRANDON RIOS: How is it going everybody? I hope everyone had a good Christmas and a great New Years. We are ready for Saturday to give the fans a great show.
MIKE ALVARADO: Training is going good and I am ready to put on a great show. I am ready to start the year off right and put a great trilogy on for the fans. I am ready and excited for this fight.
Do you go into this fight thinking you will fight the same way or do you try to add a wrinkle?
MIKE ALVARADO: I will let the fight go how it goes and make adjustments accordingly to how we fight. Our styles clash and we know each other so well that we know what’s going to happen then make adjustments. There are going to be a lot of adjustments that we will make as we compare each others styles and how we react to them. So it is going to be very interesting to see how this fight plays out as it goes along.
BRANDON RIOS: I see it the same way – we are going to both make adjustments. Like Mike said we are both similar and fight the same way. We both have heart and wear our hearts on our sleeves. It all depends on how the first round goes – that’s how I see it. However the first round goes, that’s how the fight is going to be, and we are ready. We are ready for war, we are ready for boxing and ready for everything that we are going to make adjustments for. I know it’s going to be a great fight and the fans are going to love this one.
What type of a relationship do you have with each other?
BRANDON RIOS: There is no animosity between Mike and me, we are cool. We are the same kind of people. We are the same person. We know what it takes to be where we are at. We both have our problems outside the ring and we both have our problems inside the ring. We know that and at the end of the day we are both the same person. We are both from the hood – we both grew up like that. We understand ‘real’ and we recognize ‘real,’ and that’s what we are we are real fighters. We are cool outside the ring but once we get in that ring we hate each other. We want to kill each other and that’s what makes this sport and that’s what makes these fights more exciting because everyone thins that ‘these guys are too close, the have fun together, but once they get in the ring they kill each other.’ It’s like the Army, all of the soldiers are your brothers. Alvarado is like my brother and we fight – we fight until somebody gets hurt.
MIKE ALVARADO: Brandon said it pretty clear. We have nothing against each other and once we get in the ring we know what we gotta do. We know what type of fight we are getting into with each other. That is the warrior that is going to come out of us that night because we know what kind of fighters we are – we both have heart and power and we are both warriors. There is no reason for us to add more to it. Everybody know what kind of fight they are going to get out of us. We didn’t get to this third fight against each other by accident.
Are you guy’s friends?
MIKE ALVARADO: I would say we are. We don’t really communicate on a day-to-day basis but when we see each other we are cool and have that mutual respect and we understand each other.
BRANDON RIOS: I feel the same way too. Like he said, we don’t talk a lot but once we see each other of course we are going to shake each others’ hand and joke around while we see each other. I live in California and he lives in Denver so it is hard to communicate. We do have that mutual respect for everything that we do inside the ring and outside of the ring.
BOB ARUM: The best trilogies are the ones where the fighters respect one another so much that they consider each other friends. After the trilogy is over they continue to be friends. Recently we saw that with Gatti and Ward. Before Gatti’s untimely death they were really close. I’m sure the Mike and ‘Bam Bam’ will be close for the rest of their lives because they have been through hell together.
The opposite would be Barrera and Morales who still can’t stand to be in the same room with each other…
BOB ARUM: They were different people – they came from different social strata in Mexico. Barrera was much more Spanish and Morales had a lot more Indian blood. They taunted each other with that, and you are correct, there was a lot of animosity and unfortunately, there still is. But these guys are like two peas in the pod. They are really alike. They are fun-loving guys, who when they get in the ring are absolutely fearsome.
Brandon, can you talk about your last two fights?
BRANDON RIOS: From the Pacquiao fight, it is what it is. He showed why he is one of the greatest in the world and I am proud to have lost to one of the greatest in the world. I was confident going into that fight and I thought I was going to win that fight, but I lost and there is nothing I can take away from that. And that controversial win (Chaves) – how is that controversial? Because the guy is eye-gouging me? And keeps eye-gouging me and eye-gouging me – that is controversial? Because he was winning? I still had another round to come back – I was down a point on the cards. It wasn’t like I was losing the whole entire fight. I was down one point and still had a round to go. That’s why he was eye-gouging me because he felt the pressure and the power so he had no other choice than to do his dirty tactics, which he did. I read that in Argentina he is doing all kinds of dirty (stuff) – he bit a British kid in the amateurs. This guy is a dirty guy. You might think it is controversial then you can think that, but at the end of the day I don’t really care what anybody says about it. A win is a win and I still got the win.
I meant controversial meaning what happened in the fight – not the win…
BRANDON RIOS: OK then, you didn’t explain your self right.
Do you like knowing that this will be an exciting fight no matter what happens?
BRANDON RIOS: Yes, no matter what happens it will be. People always say ‘Brandon can’t fight fighters that box.’ I can’t get too comfortable with one person with one style and I got so comfortable with a guy attacking and putting pressure on – taking a shot to give a shot. I got too comfortable. Earlier in my career, I was moving my head and I was moving around, I was boxing and trading punches when I had to. But I just got too comfortable. It is what it is and I learned from the Pacquiao fight. And I learned a lot from the Chaves fight. I reached deep down inside me and did a soul-search and I am ready for whomever now. Fortunately it is Alvarado and we know we are going to put on a great show but it is what it is and now I’m ready.
Mike, people may think you have lost a lot being in the Provodnikov and Bradley fights…
MIKE ALVARADO: I know that those fights didn’t have any wear and tear on me, being in wars like that. I learned a lot since I started in this boxing game. It has been a learning experience as far as my technique and generalship in the ring and everything that goes along with it. Everything that happened in the ring makes me learn more about myself – every situation and every moment in that ring has been a learning experience and I have taken it all with me. I have grown over the past few years as a fighter and as a man inside and outside the ring. It is going to make me a better fighter in the ring. It is on me to make those adjustments and utilize them in that ring.
You have had a couple incidences outside of the ring recently…
MIKE ALVARADO: I have grown so much from all of these learning experiences. I put them behind me. I don’t hold on to them. I don’t bring them with me into the ring and it’s not a distraction. I have learned to be positive through it and be strong and it gives me more confidence to be a better person and a better fighter. On Saturday night it is on us to reach deep inside and make the adjustments that we need to make to overcome this kind of fight.
BOB ARUM: They are both terrific fighters and they have demonstrated that many, many times and there is something about this rivalry that makes them even greater when they face each other and that’s what I look forward to.
Brandon, what type of soul-searching were you doing?
BRANDON RIOS: I got too comfortable at a young age, making all of this money. So I had to do some soul-searching and go back to my roots. Go back to what got me here and not to forget. That’s what I meant by soul-searching.
BRANDON RIOS: We are fighters. We are warriors. We will fight each other and day at any time. I am happy about this. We have to have this trilogy because it’s time. We cannot leave it as a tie. We have to see who is better than whom so we have to have this trilogy.
MIKE ALVARADO: I don’t look at is as a rivalry. We are going to get in there and do what we do. It is what we chose to compete in and it’s 1-1. There has to be a winner to this. It is a trilogy and we have to figure out who wins. I am going to get in there and do what I do – that’s what I do.
What did you think about Bradley-Chaves?
BRANDON RIOS: It was a close fight but I thought Bradley won the fight. Chaves was doing some things but he wasn’t eye-gouging and things like that because Bradley wasn’t letting him. He fought two different guys. Chaves fought guys that he knew could punch and he fought guys that he knew he could stay there and not get hurt. That’s why he fought two different guys and he fought two different styles. It wasn’t the best performance I have seen out of Timothy Bradley.
You have fought Pacquiao so how do you think he would do against Mayweather?
BRANDON RIOS: Right now about 0%. From what I have read Mayweather is saying this and saying that so at the end of the day I am not going to get too excited about it until I see the contract signed and they have a press conference and I will fight on the undercard and that will be a hell of a fight.
Mike, how big of a distraction have the recent legal issues been?
MIKE ALVARADO: There have been no distractions. I am use to something always going wrong in camp. When it is going too good and perfect I know something bad is going to happen because that’s the way it has always been. I have been dealing with adversity my whole life. Adversity has been in my life the whole time so there are not distractions for this fight.
Did you miss any time when this incident happened?
MIKE ALVARADO: No I didn’t miss any training time. I went to jail for one day and I just made up for that day on that Sunday.
Do you think about what a win or a loss will do for your future?
MIKE ALVARADO: The thought goes through my head. I think about it. I know I need this win and we are going to go in there and fight our hearts out. That’s just the kind of fighters we are and the kind of fighter I am. I hate losing so at the end of the day, regardless, I love to win.
BRANDON RIOS: Of course I am thinking about that because we both have a lot on the line right now as far as our careers. I am so focused right now and ready for this fight. It is unbelievable. I had a tremendous training camp and I know what could happen if we lose and what could happen if we win. My mind is set on the prize and for the glory. I am still young in the sport and I have a lot to give to it.
Does your training regimen fit the fact that your fights turn into wars?
BRANDON RIOS: It’s not that I am in wars. It’s just the way I fight. I don’t look for the wars, it’s just the way I fight. Like I said, I got too comfortable fighting one style and forgot about the regimen of boxing and how to get to the top again. So I did some soul-searching and I am ready to get back. I have rejuvenated myself and I am ready. Everybody is going to say what they want to say no matter what. Everybody is going to have their opinion…”this guy’s been in too many wars,’ this and that, but I don’t really care. I know what I can bring and I know what I can provide.
BRANDON RIOS: Making the money at a young age, a kid like me. I grew up poor and never had that much money. I had never seen that much money before. I was always on the street and in and out of jail and causing trouble. That’s how Mike and I can relate and that’s why we get along very well. Having that money made me forget the hunger that got me there. I am ready to get back to the top again. I remember all of that stuff now and I am ready to get back.
You are training in Denver compared to the last fight you trained in California – which is best?
MIKE ALVARADO: There are distractions anywhere, regardless. If there was stuff going on at home, it would distract me. If I was out there in LA – I would still hear about it and still stress about it. But I am comfortable at home. I love training at home so why train away from home? I am focused on training where my main support group is – where my family is and where my kids are. I feel more confident training in my hometown. I love being around my kids
Do your kids sit ringside for your fights?
MIKE ALVARADO: Yes definitely. My oldest daughter will be going into the ring with me and my other daughters will be there as well. I have three girls and they are my number one fans.
How do you make sure you stick to your game plan?
MIKE ALVARADO: I just stay with my game plan that I have already developed and making those adjustments quicker this time around. Sticking to my game plan and not giving in like the first fight. The first fight was a test for that technique – a style against a style. The second fight is where the adjustments come in. Now that I know I was able to adapt to a certain style, I can make the adjustments I need to make to overcome that type of style. I am going to go in there and stick with my game plan.
Is there animosity towards Chaves?
BRANDON RIOS: There is no animosity towards Chaves. I had an eight-month layoff before I had gone back into the gym. Everyone else may talk about that fight but I don’t talk about it. It is what it is. Now I am talking about staying shape and staying in the gym. I literally took eight months off and I did nothing. After the Pacquiao fight I was devastated and down on myself – I was mad and depressed. I have no problem fighting Chaves again. I don’t turn down a fight from nobody. I’ll fight anybody. I am a warrior and I will fight. I’ll fight until I die. I don’t care.
BRANDON RIOS: I was depressed after the Pacquiao fight because I was confident when I went in there but there is a point where you get confident and not cocky confident. What happened is I got cocky confident. It was my fault and I had nobody else to blame. It was my big rodeo for the first time and I didn’t come out and do what I thought I was able to do. Then after that I only fought one time last year and it sucked. And from testing positive for something I never tested positive for before, which I had the wrong guy in my camp and I came out dirty. I wasn’t really dirty there was just a lot of stuff going on in my camp.
BOB ARUM: I can’t wait for Saturday night it is going to be a great fight with two great warriors. Also prior to that fight you will get an opportunity to see Gilberto Ramirez – the undefeated No. 2 super middleweight contender from Mexico. He is something special — I believe he can be the next big thing in boxing — a big knockout puncher and he’s in with a very tough Russian opponent, Maxim Vlasov, a Top-10 contender, and that should be a terrific fight as well.
BRANDON RIOS: Everybody don’t sit on and it don’t wait too long there are still tickets and get your tickets because this is going to be an exciting fight and you want to be there or you are going to be squared. Alvarado is ready and I’m ready and we are going to put on a great show.
MIKE ALVARADO: I am promising that it is going to be a great end to this trilogy. Everybody make sure they get their tickets because it’s going to be a fight.