Brandon Rios waiting to fight Pacquiao-Marquez winner next April
By Chris Williams: Ruslan Provodnikov is out of luck in terms of fighting former WBA World lightweight champion Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KO’s) next for the vacant World Boxing Organization 140 lb title as ordered by the WBO. Instead of getting that fight, Provodnikov will have to face someone else such as the recently knocked out Mike Alvarado next year for the vacant strap.
As for Rios, according to Steve Kim, he has decided to wait and fight the winner of the December 8th bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao. It’s a no-brainer for the 26-year-old Rios, as it’s a much bigger money fight facing Pacquaio or even Marquez instead of Provodnikov. Besides that, Rios never get this opportunity given to him again because Pacquiao is getting older and may not have much time left in the sport. The same goes for the 39-year-old Marquez.
Rios has to take the fight while he can still get it. It’s also incredibly important that Rios’ promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank put Rios in with Pacquiao or Marquez as quickly as possible before Rios takes a loss that actually counts as a loss. He’s already been technically beaten by Richard Abril earlier this year, but the judges simply didn’t count as a loss despite virtually the entire boxing world seeing Rios lose badly.
Arum did a good job of having Rios redeem himself against one of his Top Rank stable fighters 33-year-old Mike Alvarado last month in Rios’s 7th round TKO win. However, beating the likes of Alvarado is one thing but the chances of Rios beating guys like Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse are quite another matter altogether.
If Rios is going to fight at 140, there will be pressure put on him to fight Garcia and Matthysse and those are guys that are simply too good for him and his limited brawling style of fighting. Arum is making the right decision by looking to put Rios in with Pacquiao or Marquez now because Rios gets exposed – again – because once the loses actually start counting on his resume, casual boxing fans will lose interest in seeing Rios fight Pacquiao or Marquez.
It’s too bad Arum won’t put Rios back in with Abril because that’s a fight that screams for a rematch. Rios needs to prove to boxing fans that he can beat Abril without controversy and I’m not sure that he can. Abril boxed circles around Rios all night long, looking like Floyd Mayweather Jr. beating up on a limited Ricky Hatton. That’s how the fight looked. It was identical to Mayweather’s domination of Hatton, only that the wrong fighter had their hand raised at the end of the fight.