Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KO) avenged his TKO loss to Brandon Ríos (31-1-1, 23 KO) last October, winning their rematch Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas by unanimous decision to recapture the interim WBO light welterweight championship.
Judges scored the fight 115-113, 115-113 and 114-113.
Ríos, 26, staggered Alvarado, 32, with a left jab in the second round, and Alvarado returned the favor with a looping right in round three.
Alvarado, who had swelling around both of his eyes for much of the fight, got the better of Ríos in a brutal exchange to end the eighth round. He then opened a narrow lead using elusive footwork after landing flurries of punches over the last four rounds.
The strategy enabled Alvarado to avoid taking the level of damage that made Ríos the victor in their first fight.
Ríos, to his credit, never appeared disappointed after suffering his first professional defeat—and with good reason. A very-much-in-demand third Ríos-Alvarado bout will lead to a bigger paycheck for both fighters.