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Rios needs to stay at lightweight; he’ll have problems if he moves up

By Dan Ambrose: World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Brandon Rios fought like a monster on Saturday night in stopping an overmatched Urbano Antillon in a two knockdown 3rd round TKO performance in Carson, California.


After the fight, Rios’s promoter Bob Arum was visibly excited, saying that if Rios can put on weight and get some more experience under his belt, he could be in line for a fight against Manny Pacquiao in a couple of years. I don’t think so.

I like Rios a lot at lightweight, but he’s simply too small to move up in weight to light welterweight and then welterweight. The power that he has at lightweight stays at lightweight. You put Rios in with a big puncher at light welterweight like Marcos Maidana or Lucas Matthysse, and Rios’s advantages disappear.

Against those guys, Rios won’t be the bigger fighter, he won’t be the bigger puncher and he won’t be able to run over them the way he’s doing right now with the smaller, lighter lightweights. When being interviewed after the fight, Rios seemed to know his own limitations by saying he thinks he can beat anyone at 135 lbs. I don’t think so.

Juan Manuel Marquez beats him and beats him bad. But if Arum has Rios move up in weight to the light welterweight and welterweight divisions, he’s going to have to carefully match him if he wants Rios to stay unbeaten long enough to put him in with his cash cow Pacquiao.

You take Rios and put him in with Maidana or Matthysse, and that unbeaten record will disappear quickly because he would be fighting Maidana and Matthysse’s fights, and they’re stronger than him. I see Rios as a light version of Maidana and Matthysse.

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