Alves wins Rookie of the Year, back-to-back world championships

Silvano Alves could become the first rider to win three straight world titles. Photo by Matt Breneman / BullStockMedia.com.

Highlights

  • This year marks the PBR’s 20th year of competition.
  • In conjunction with the season-long celebration, the PBR announced the official list of the Top 20 Moments in PBR history. “Alves wins Rookie of the Year, back-to-back World Championships” is the latest in ongoing series of moments.
  • Alves was the first rider in PBR history to follow up his Rookie of the Year season with a world title.
  • In his first three seasons competing in the U.S., he averaged $116,000 per month and is already fourth on the list of all-time money earners. He reached $1 million, $2 million and $3 million faster than any bull rider in history.
  • Alves became the first rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles in 2012 and at 25 years old has claimed the title in two of his first three seasons.

In This Article

FORT WORTH, Texas ― He's been described as stoic and classy. Others call him boring and mundane.

Whatever you think of him, the record books indicate Silvano Alves is the first rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles and only the fourth rider - following Adriano Moraes (3), Chris Shivers (2) and Justin McBride (2) - to win the world title more than once.

"When you have a strong heart, God with you and a dream-everything comes true."

Alves also set the mark for surpassing $3 million in career earnings quicker than anyone else. He did so in 28 months.

"I'm still getting a hold of that," said a humbled Alves, last October, who spoke with the help of his translator Tab Barker. "No one's ever done this before and I didn't think I could ever do it. From when I was little I never would have dreamed I could do this."

In a matter of only 39 months he's accomplished enough in the early part of his career that it ranks as one of the 20 greatest moments in the 20-year history of the PBR.

Throughout its anniversary season, the PBR will profile the Top 20 Moments in PBR History.

A profile of Alves, the two-time defending world champion, is the latest in an ongoing series of moments.

Alves was the first rider in PBR history to follow up his Rookie of the Year season with a world title. In his first three seasons competing in the U.S., he averaged $116,000 per month and is already fourth on the list of all-time money earners. He reached $1 million, $2 million and $3 million faster than any bull rider in history. In 2012, Alves became the first rider in PBR history to win back-to-back world titles and at 25 years old has claimed the title in two of his first three seasons.

At his current rate he will shatter the all-time earnings mark of $5.2 million held by McBride.

"I'm happy for everything," said Alves, in a recent interview with the help of fellow Brazilian native Guilherme Marchi, "and I wish one day the kids come and break my records.

"That's important."

Marchi added, "He said he never imagined all this would happen. He said when he was young he just wanted to be a good bull rider, ride good and win events, but he never imagined what he would do in the United States."

For all intents and purposes, Alves arrived in the U.S. in April of 2010.

He had previously been recruited three years earlier by Moraes.

But it wasn't until the three-time champion was putting together a 2010 Brazilian team for the World Cup that he was able to lure Alves to the States and as quickly as he arrived his numbers and stats were as impressive as they were gaudy.

Alves covered 15 of 16 bulls at various Touring Pro Division events leading up to his Built Ford Tough Series debut in Nampa, Idaho, where he went 4-for-4 and captured the event win.

"I always felt Silvano could ride in this country," Moraes said. "He felt it wasn't his time…That's why I asked him to come to one or two events before the World Cup, so he could get adapted to the bulls."

Marchi, who won the title in 2008, Renato Nunes, who went on to win the title that year, and Robson Palermo, who has won the World Finals event average three times, were all teammates on the World Cup team along with Valdiron de Oliveira.

Moraes said it helped with Alves transition that he was "surrounded by winners."

The past three-plus seasons have been a dream come true.

He won the 2011 title in dominating fashion by covering 13 more bulls than any other rider.

RELATED: Alves: 'I'm still the same person' 

Alves won the title again in 2012 in what is believed to be the deepest race in PBR history with the Top 5 riders all having a legitimate shot at winning the gold buckle. He wound up beating Marchi by 659.25 points.

"I knew I needed to ride (in Round 5) because everything was at play and I might lose if I didn't," said Alves on the evening he won his second consecutive title. "It was emotional to stay on that bull."

He later explained that the 2012 World Finals were different than 2011 because of how close the top riders were in the standings.

"500 points is nothing," Alves said. "It's one bull, so I knew I needed to ride well."

Alves isn't without his detractors.

In 2012, he still rode nine more bulls than anyone else, but ranked last in average scores among all riders with at least 15 qualified rides. He was less than 1 percent lower than Valdiron de Oliveira from having the highest riding percentage, but was nearly 10 percent lower than his average from a year ago.

His total of 12,201.25 points was 3,500 points less than 2011 in spite of making three more attempts.

However, his $1.4 million in earnings in 2012 was right on-par with what he made in 2011.

As for those who doubted his ability to win back-to-back titles, Alves simply said, "Everybody has their detractors and their fans. Every fan can root for whoever they want."

In his most recent interview with www.pbr.com, Marchi spoke on his behalf.

"He said he's never going to forget this in his life, in his career, what he made," Marchi said. "His first year he came to the United States his dream was to be a champion. The first year he was the Rookie of the Year, the second year he win the title and the third year he win the title back-to-back - the first guy to win back-to-back - he will never forget that."

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View more photos of Silvano Alves, here.

Marchi said Alves has everything a great rider needs to be a World Champion.

Alves rides as well as anyone, perhaps ever. The5-foot-7 rider has an unparalleled mental approach to competition, the luck of drawing bulls that fit him in the long round and, as Marchi put it, "After he wins he never cools down. He still wants to win again and again and he tries hard."

Marchi and others have admitted it's hard to maintain the focus it takes to win a world title for more than a single season. In fact, it's hard enough to do so for 10 months that riders like Clint Branger, Oliveira and J.B. Mauney haven't won a single title.

McBride acknowledged losing his desire after winning in 2007 and wound up retiring in the prime of his career at the conclusion of the 2008 season. Marchi won in 2008 and said he didn't have nearly the same desire in 2009.

"I want to do this," Alves emphatically stated in English. "I want to be a champion."

Marchi added, "When you have a strong heart, God with you and a dream-everything comes true."

It's no surprise that Alves is in position to win an unfathomable third consecutive title.

He's currently the No. 1 ranked rider in the world standings and holds a 1,350.99 point advantage over Cody Nance and Marco Eguchi, who have battled for the second and third spot in the standings all summer, while Shane Proctor has slipped to fourth.

Prior to the summer break from the BFTS, he won the Last Cowboy Standing for the second year in a row.

A few hours before that event, nine-time World Champion Ty Murray asked Alves if he was going to win the $100,000 event.  Alves smiled and shook his head yes.

He did more than win.

In the minds of many, he solidified himself as not only the best professional bull rider in the world today, but among the elite names of all time-not bad for those who call him boring and mundane.

"What it boils down to is staying on your bulls," McBride said, "and he's proven for the last three years in a row that he's the best guy at that."

Alves still has years ahead of him barring injury.

In just a few short years he's already done what the likes of Moraes, McBride and Shivers were unable to accomplish.

"I thank God for the opportunity to be a good champion," Alves said.

Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.

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