Arum: Fans want to see Rios-Alvarado 2, not Rios vs. Matthysse
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes that there is a high demand from boxing fans to see two of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters former WBA World lightweight champion (31-0-1, 23 KO’s) go back and fight Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KO’s) again rather than seeing Rios move forward with his career and fight WBC interim light welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KO’s).
Arum said to the Boxingsocialist.com “It would be really stupid if I did that fight [Matthysse vs. Rios]. The fight everyone wants to see is Rios and Alvarado. Why would I want to put Rios in with a guy that lost to Zab Judah? He’s [Matthysse] not a draw. The fight is not a draw. Matthysse doesn’t sell 10 tickets.”
I have no interest at all in seeing Rios face Alvarado again, so I’m not sure where Arum is getting this believe that boxing fans want to see Alvarado and Rios fight again. They don’t. Boxing fans are tired of seeing the same fighters facing each other over and over again like we’re seeing a tiny club where three or four fighter fight each other all the time.
I guess when you have a promotional company the tendency is to match your own fighters against each other repeatedly, but it makes the sport smaller because you get too many rematches there’s no new faces seen to widen the interest. Like I said, it just makes it look like a small boxing club of a few fighters going at each other until the boxing public get sick of seeing it in terms of the ratings dropping.
We’ve already see Manny Pacquiao fight Juan Manuel Marquez four times and now it looks like they’re going to fight a fifth time.
The last time I checked, Rios and Alvarado aren’t big draws either unless they’re put with other fighters. Alvarado isn’t well known among casual boxing fans neither is Rios. Alvarado is from Denver, Colorado and he’s hardly a pay per view attraction. Rios is from Oxnard, California and he’s not big draw.
Matthysse should have been given the decision in the Judah fight, which is more than I can say for Rios in his fight with the Cuban Richard Abril. Matthysse got robbed against Judah, whereas Rios was given a gift decision. Matthysse should arguably be still unbeaten right now because both of his losses involved him going to another fighter’s hometown, out-boxing them, and then getting the shaft from the judges.
Rios got boxed silly by Richard Abril earlier this year in a fight that Rios should have been given no more than 2, possibly 3 rounds at best. Rios looked completely confused with Abril’s Mayweather-esque fighting style and he never did figure him out in that fight. It was a mismatch. Rios was lost the entire fight, and the disappointing part is he never gave Abril a rematch and that’s fight where it was needed.
Boxing fans want to see Rios fight Abril again, not Alvarado. There was no controversy in the Alvarado-Rios fight, because Alvarado got stopped, but there was plenty of controversy in the Abril-Rios fight. So why doesn’t Arum put Rios back in with Abril? That’s an easy one to answer. Arum doesn’t take that risk that Abril schools Rios again, and this time the judges get it right by giving Abril a lopsided decision win.
I think Arum just doesn’t want to see Rios get beat by Matthysse because that’s what I think would happen. Rios is so slow and hittable. He doesn’t have the same kind of talent that Matthysse has. Of course, I’m not surprised that Arum doesn’t want to risk Rios’ unbeaten record against Matthysse because it would ruin a Rios-Pacquiao fight that Arum wants to make in the future.
That fight will increase Rios’ star power, such as it is, and Arum obviously wants to see Rios become a star. I don’t see how he can because he was losing to an average fighter like Alvarado. Can you imagine what Danny Garcia would do to a wide open fighter like Rios? I think Garcia, Matthysse and Lamont Peterson would all beat Rios, and of course Abril as well.