Alvarado was born in Denver, Colorado. Mike is the cousin of Featherweight prospect Ricky López and his father was 18-0 boxing prospect Ron Cisneros "The Rocky Mountain Assassin" who separated with his mother when Mike was young.
Alvarado was a two time Colorado Class 4A state high school wrestling champion at Skyview High School. Alvarado decided not to wrestle in college and instead selected a boxing career. In a span of about three years, Alvarado compiled a record of 26-5. Among his defeated opponents were Chad Aquino and eventual 2004 Olympian Andre Dirrell, both of whom he defeated to take the Ringside National Championship in 2001.
Alvarado was going to fight Paulie Malignaggi but he suffered an elbow injury and withdrew from the fight set for June 27, 2009.
He served a 5 month prison sentence and made a return to boxing with a 2nd round KO of Lenin Arroyo. Alvarado was to fight on Latin fury 15 but was back in jail for parole violations, he had been on probation for traffic and driving offenses and another charge." Mike would then make a successful return to the ring by knocking out the veteran Joshua Burns. Up to this point in his career, Alvarado had beaten fighters such as Carlos Molina, Michael Clark, Michel Rosales, César Bazán, Emmanuel Clottey, and Juaquin Gallardo.
Alvarado beat Ghana's Raymond Narh (25-1), to win the WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight Championship, which he would later vacate just before his fight with Gabriel Martinez. This bout was on Showtime's televised portion of the Pacquiao vs. Mosley undercard. Alvarado's next victory was against Gabriel Martínez, to win IBF Latino Light Welterweight Championship. The bout took place on July 30, 2011 in Denver.
Alvarado vs. Prescott
Alvarado fought Breidis Prescott on November 12, 2011, in Las Vegas, USA, on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III. Prescott started out the fight fast, and was able to out-box Alvarado for the first 5 rounds successfully, building a lead on the scorecards. In the middle and late rounds, Alvarado became the main aggressor, and cut the distance, effectively trading shots with Prescott on the inside, and winning the middle and late rounds. By the 10th round, Prescott seemed out of gas, and Alvarado took advantage launching a large offensive attack in the opening minute of the round. Then, with 1:43 left in the fight, Alvarado knocked Prescott down with left and right uppercuts. Prescott was able to get up, but Alvarado came back with two hard rights sending Prescott to the ropes, and then landed 3 straight right uppercuts. Prescott was leaning forward, hanging onto Alvarado and not returning fire, prompting the referee to stop the fight with 1:07 left in the bout. Alvarado was down 87-84, 87-84, and 86-85 at the time of stoppage, in what was a close fight.
Alvarado vs. Herrera
Alvarado's next fight was against a Top Light Welterweight contender in Mauricio Herrera, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Herrera was coming off solid wins over Mike Dallas Jr. and Ruslan Provodnikov prior to his bout with Alvarado. Herrera started off the fight well, successfully beating Alvarado to the punch, and slipping most of Alvarado's attack in the first round. In the 2nd round, Herrera decided to stand and trade with the bigger Alvarado, in a round where Alvarado controlled the pace and landed the harder punches. The pace would continue in the early and middle rounds, with Alvarado taking Herrera to the ropes and landing the harder punches, but with Herrera landing combinations of his own in Alvarado. By the later rounds, Alvarado had seized control, and began to tee off on Herrera, who's eye was completely close by rounds 9 and 10. The fighters ended the fight in the 12th round, trading blows in the middle of the ring. Alvarado was awarded the clear Unanimous Decision win, with scores of 99-91, 97-93, and 96-94. After the fight, Alvarado said he wanted a big fight with Mexican Champion Juan Manuel Marquez, saying he's paid his dues and deserves a big fight at this point.
He was named to "The Gatti List" on The Fight Game with Jim Lampley on HBO in May 2012. The list consists of the Top 10 most entertaining fighters.
Alvarado vs. Rios I & II
Coming in as two undefeated fighters, Alvarado faced Brandon Rios at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on October 13. Alvarado was ahead on the scorecards until the 6th round where in Rios hurt him with a crushing right. Rios was able to stop him in the 7th as referee Pat Russell stopped the bout at 1:57 of the round. The fight was voted the 2012 Fight of the Year by the Sports Illustrated.
A much anticipated rematch was held on March 30, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like the first fight, both came in with a lot of fireworks as they continued to go toe to toe, until Alvarado changed strategy and became a lot more evasive and hard to hit with fancy footwork. Alvarado defeated Rios by unanimous decision with scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-113 to even up the victory score with Rios, each at this point giving each other their first losses. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum dismissed another rematch and suggested to let the two boxers face other fighters first.
Alvarado vs. Provodnikov
Mike Alvarado lost his WBO light welterweight title to Ruslan Provodnikov on October 19, 2013 at the FirstBank Center in Alvarado's hometown of Denver, Colorado. Provodnikov was ahead on all three scorecards and had knocked Alvarado down twice in the eighth round, when Alvarado elected to not come out for the eleventh round. Before the fight, Alvarado was elevated by the WBO to full title holder (as opposed to interim title holder), this the fight against Provodnikov was his first defense of the full title.
Alvarado vs. Marquez
On May 17, 2014, at The Forum, in Inglewood, California, Alvarado was back in action in a welterweight bout against four-division champion and #6 ranked Ring Magazine pound for pound fighter: Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez. The bout was contested for the WBO International Welterweight Championship. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.
|36 Wins (24 knockouts), 4 Losses (3 knockouts), 0 Draw|
|Win||36–4||Josh Torres||MD||8||June 25, 2016||The Bomb Factory Dallas, Texas,|
|Win||35–4||Saul Corral||KO||3 (8)||March 18, 2016||Arena Theater, Houston, Texas|
|Loss||34–4||Brandon Rios||RTD||3 (12)||January 24, 2015||1stBank Center, Broomfield, Colorado||For WBO International Welterweight title.|
|Loss||34–3||Juan Manuel Marquez||UD||12||May 17, 2014||The Forum, Inglewood, California||For WBO International Welterweight title.|
|Loss||34–2||Ruslan Provodnikov||RTD||10 (12)||October 19, 2013||1stBank Center, Broomfield, Colorado||Lost WBO Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||34–1||Brandon Ríos||UD||12||March 30, 2013||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won the WBO Interim Light Welterweight title.|
|Loss||33–1||Brandon Ríos||TKO||7 (10)||October 13, 2012||The Home Depot Center, Carson, California|
|Win||33–0||Mauricio Herrera||UD||10||April 14, 2012||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||32–0||Breidis Prescott||TKO||10 (10)||November 12, 2011||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||31–0||Gabriel Martínez||UD||10||July 30, 2011||Softball Country Arena, Denver, Colorado||Won the IBF Latino Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||30–0||Raymond Narh||TKO||3||May 7, 2011||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won the WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||29–0||Dean Harrison||RTD||4||February 19, 2011||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||28–0||Joshua Burns||TKO||3||November 20, 2010||WinStar World Casino, Thackersville, Oklahoma|
|Win||27–0||Lenin Arroyo||TKO||2||April 3, 2010||American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Win||26–0||Juaquin Gallardo||UD||8 (8)||May 2, 2009||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||25–0||Emmanuel Clottey||KO||10||March 7, 2009||Mile High Events Center, Commerce City, Colorado|
|Win||24–0||Miguel Huerta||TKO||4||December 19, 2008||National Western Complex Arena, Denver, Colorado|
|Win||23–0||Manuel Garnica||TKO||4||October 3, 2008||National Western Complex Arena, Denver, Colorado|
|Win||22–0||César Bazán||KO||4||July 26, 2008||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||21–0||Michel Rosales||TKO||7||May 9, 2008||Isleta Casino & Resort, Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Win||20–0||Jesús Rodríguez||UD||10 (10)||February 15, 2008||Cicero Stadium, Cicero, Illinois|
|Win||19–0||Michael Clark||TKO||1||December 1, 2007||Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Win||18–0||Alberto Padilla||TKO||8||August 24, 2007||Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois|
|Win||17–0||Francisco Campos||KO||2||June 8, 2007||Hudson & Campbell Fitness Cent, Gary, Indiana|
|Win||16–0||Carlos Molina||MD||8 (8)||February 16, 2007||Cicero Stadium, Cicero, Illinois|
|Win||15–0||Edvan Dos Santos||UD||8 (8)||August 18, 2006||Convention Center, Pasadena, Texas|
|Win||14–0||Maximino Cuevas||RTD||5||June 2, 2006||Envy Night Club, Tucson, Arizona|
|Win||13–0||Joel De La Torre||UD||8 (8)||March 31, 2006||Edgewater Hotel & Casino, Laughlin, Nevada|
|Win||12–0||Angel Roman||UD||6 (6)||October 7, 2005||The Aladdin, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||11–0||Arthur Brambila||UD||6 (6)||September 17, 2005||America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona|
|Win||10–0||Chad Lawshe||TKO||3||August 26, 2005||Colonial Ballroom, Houston, Texas|
|Win||9–0||Solomon Tellez||TKO||3||May 6, 2005||Fort McDowell Casino, Fountain Hills, Arizona|
|Win||8–0||Hilario Lopez||UD||6 (6)||March 19, 2005||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||7–0||Ayaz Qadir||TKO||2||February 18, 2005||Fort McDowell Casino, Fountain Hills, Arizona|
|Win||6–0||Fernando Chacon||TKO||3||December 17, 2004||Dodge Arena, Hidalgo, Texas|
|Win||5–0||Andrew Keon||KO||1||October 16, 2004||Radisson Graystone Castle, Thornton, Colorado|
|Win||4–0||Candelario Garcia||TKO||1||September 18, 2004||Wings over the Rockies, Denver, Colorado|
|Win||3–0||Robert Howard||KO||1||July 3, 2004||Douglas County Events Center, Castle Rock, Colorado|
|Win||2–0||Rudy Cruz||TKO||1||April 17, 2004||Pechanga Center, Temecula, California|
|Win||1–0||Istafa Jihad||KO||1||February 28, 2004||Radisson Graystone Castle, Thornton, Colorado||Professional debut.|