Former Top Rank Boxing star Mike Alvarado marks seven years sober

Mikey Williams

Former Brandon Rios rival and Top Rank Boxing star Mike Alvarado has marked seven years sober after turning his life around.

Back in 2015, Alvarado’s life was spiraling out of control as he battled with alcohol problems resulting in brushes with the law.

Losing four out of five bouts after amassing a brilliant 33-0 record, super lightweight and welterweight competitor Alvarado struggled to deal with his career downturn.

The first defeat came to career nemesis Brandon Rios in 2012 via seventh-round stoppage. Five months later, Alvarado gained revenge on points.

Despite winning the rematch, Alvarado lost out to Rios in the race to fight Manny Pacquiao in Macau. Many with knowledge of the situation believe Alvarado was bypassed due to his outside the ring activity.

Instead, Alvarado fought Russian warrior Ruslan Provodniko and lost again. Dropped twice in the eighth, Alvarado was halted for the second time in three fights two rounds later.


He lost again in the match-up with Marquez before agreeing a rubber match with Rios eight months after suffering his fourth defeat.

At the time, Alvarado knew something needed to be done.

Taking a year out of the ring to address his issues, Alvarado has been sober since just after the third Rios fight. During that spell, he finished his tenure in boxing winning six out of his last seven bouts.

Mike Alvarado Brandon Rios
Chris Farina

Before a 2016 event opposite Josh Torres, Alvarado reflected on his life-changing situation to Dan Rafael when at ESPN.

He said: “I am a different person now. I am not the person you knew before. I surrendered myself to God to turn my life around.

“My life has been saved. And we had a son, Michael Jr., born on Father’s Day. I have a new passion for boxing. I want to win, as does all of my team around me.

“People know I can fight. I’ve always been a warrior. On Saturday night against Josh Torres, I want to stay on my game, be disciplined, use what I have that works for me and show my skill set.”

Alvarado won the fight via majority decision.


The final curtain call came when Alvaredo faced Arnold Barboza Jr in 2019. ‘Mile High’ lost in three sessions and walked away.

Since enjoying life away from boxing, Alvarado posted a poignant message to signify his ongoing commitment to sobreity.

“2,555 days sober today [seven years]† Purely amazing. Thank you God for still blessing me with a precious life,” said the former interim WBO ruler.

Even during the bad times, promoter Bob Arum stuck by Alvarado through to his better days. Also speaking to ESPN in 2016, Arum dismissed any notion of Top Rank releasing him as he struggled with demons.

“We didn’t drop him. We believed he was a real talent who was his own worst enemy and he wanted another chance,” Arum said.

“I thought it was worthwhile giving him another chance. Do I know if [his sobriety] is going to last? Who knows?

“I hope it is going to take, but he may never get back to that [world title level]†

Mike Alvarado did last. Congratulations on the achievement, Mike, from WBN.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.

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