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Brandon Rios vs. Omri Lowther on Pacquiao-Margarito undercard

By Chris Williams: Unbeaten lightweight contender Brandon Rios (25-0-1, 18 KO’s) will be stepping in to replace the injured middleweight Kelly Pavlik as the co-main event on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito card on November 13th at the Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Rios, 24, will be facing 2nd tier light welterweight Omri Lowther (14-2, 10 KO’s) in a 10 round bout. The significance of this fight is about the same as if Pavlik were facing the 2nd tier Bryan Vera, which was the fighter Pavlik was supposed to be fighting.

However, you have to take this as a loss to the card because Pavlik is a much more recognizable name than Rios at this early point in Rios’ career. Rios may or may not end up as good or better than Pavlik in the future, but right now he’s only known by hardcore boxing fans of the sport and virtually an unknown to the casual boxing fans. This looks to be a mismatch, because Lowther, 26, is coming off a one-sided 10 round decision loss to Henry Lundy in August.

Given that the Pacquiao-Margarito card is already loaded with less than stellar fights, you would think they would pick an exciting fight for the co-main event. The card will be going for a steep $55 on pay-per-view and that’s a ton of money for a card that appears to be loaded with mismatches, starting with the main event between Pacquiao and Margarito.

The undercard fights are as follows:

Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Ricardo Cordoba
Mike Jones vs. Jesus Soto Karass
Robert Marroquin vs. Francisco Dominguez
Richie Mepranum vs. Anthony Villarreal
Dennis Laurente vs. Rashad Holloway
Jose Benavidez vs. Winston Mathis
Mike Lee vs. Keith Debow

I like this card as a Friday night Fights type card, but not one where I would want to pay $55 to see the fights. The problem is none of these are particularly interesting bouts in my view, and the co-main event between Rios and Lowther doesn’t make up for the mismatch in the main event between Pacquiao and Margarito. I think Arum needs to discount this fight by say $50 and make it a nice $5 fight or better yet, a complimentary one. He can see it as a future investment because if some of these fights do turn out to be appealing, which I seriously doubt, he could end up hooking some fans to at least one of these fighters in the future.

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