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Brandon Rios to replace Pavlik on Pacquiao-Margarito undercard

Brandon Rios Kelly PavlikBy Jim Dower: Unbeaten lightweight contender Brandon Rios (25-0-1, 18 KO’s) has been selected by Top Rank to replace former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik as the co-main event on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito on November 13th at the Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Rios, 24, still doesn’t have an opponent but let’s hope that it’s someone really good.

Pavlik, 28, was set to fight struggling middleweight Bryan Vera on the Pacquiao-Margarito undercard in what would have likely been a huge mismatch. Pavlik, however, injured one of his ribs in training and couldn’t make the fight because of that. Choosing a still relatively unknown Rios might not be the smartest thing for Top Rank to do, especially when the card has a number of less than exciting matches already.

Rios won’t have the same name value as Pavlik, and that could be a turn off for fans looking to find a reason to not to purchase the fight, which goes for $55 on pay-per-view.

Rios was supposed to be fighting on December 4th. However, Vanes Martirosyan will replace Rios at the Honda Center, in Anaheim, California. Rios is ranked #1 by the WBA and #4 WBC. He’s looking to get a title shot against the winner of the November 27th bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Michael Katsidis. In Rios’ last fight, he looked excellent in defeating Anthony Peterson by a 7th round disqualification win.

Rios had dropped Peterson and had him hurt in the 6th and 7th round. Peterson then was disqualified after repeatedly nailing Rios with low blows. It looked like Peterson was trying to find a way out of the fight because he was getting beaten up by Rios.

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