Mike Alvarado (L) had three punishing fights with Brandon Rios (R). Most fans thought their third bout would be his last but Alvarado is in the midst of a successful comeback. Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank
Welterweight veteran Mike Alvarado has fought some of the best fighters in boxing, but his most difficult fights seemed to be outside of a ring.
Alvarado made his name facing the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez, but it was personal battles that took a toll on him just a few years ago.
After taking some time away from boxing to address these issues, Alvarado feels like a new fighter, eager to make one more run at winning a world title belt.
Alvarado will be in action Saturday night when he fights Josh Torres at The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas. The bout will headline a Top Rank card and will air on UniMas at 11 p.m. ET/ PT.
Just three years ago, Alvarado seemed to be on top of the junior welterweight division, having defeated Brandon Rios and avenging a previous loss to the Oxnard fighter.
Then came the knockout loss to Provodnikov in October of 2013, a loss that took place near his hometown of Denver. Then there was the loss to Marquez seven months later.
By this time, Alvarado was making headlines of what he was doing outside of the ring, which included him reportedly driving an SUV into a lake in the Denver area to cover an alleged hit-and-run.
There was also the well-publicized incident where Alvarado was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over and had a concealed firearm in the glove compartment.
The lowest point in Alvarado’s career likely came in the rubber match against Rios in January of last year. While Alvarado made weight, he looked lethargic and distracted in losing by knockout after the third round.
Alvarado may continue to have that stigma where trouble seems to find him or he cannot stay away from trouble, which included issues with alcohol.
But the recent loss to Rios and having to disassociate himself from those that attracted trouble seemed to open his eyes. Alvarado, who turns 36 next month, says he is clean and his only focus is on boxing and his family. His son, Michael, Jr., was born on Father’s Day.
Alvarado returned to the ring on Mar. 19, knocking out Saul Corral in the third round in Houston.
He faces Josh Torres (15-4-2, 7 KOs), who is best known for being a protege of the late Johnny Tapia and resides in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I have a new passion for boxing,” said the fighter who is known as ‘Mile High Mike.’
Alvarado understands that there are people in his life and fans who have given up on him. But he gains strength from knowing Top Rank, which promotes him, and Henry Delgado, his trainer, have never left his side.
Alvarado is grateful for this opportunity, along with the many others Top Rank and his team have given him.
He believes he can still thrill fight fans with his aggressive style.
“People know I can fight. I’ve always been a warrior.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing