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Brandon Rios likely fighting on Cotto-Margarito undercard on December 3rd

Antonio Margarito Brandon Rios Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 21 KO’s) could wind up on the December 3rd Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito undercard instead of fighting on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III undercard on November 12th.

It’s unclear why the 25-year-old Rios could be moved from the much more prestigious Pacquiao-Marquez undercard to the Cotto-Margarito PPV undercard. However, it may be that that Top Rank feels that that Cotto vs. Margarito undercard needs more beefing up with top Mexican fighters to ensure that card is a success on pay per view.

The Cotto-Margarito II fight card is going for $54.95 on PPV, and that’s a lot of money for a rematch between two guys that have suffered losses in recent years. Margarito looks completely shot, while Cotto has been spoon fed since he was trounced by Pacquiao in 2009. It’s hard to imagine under those circumstances that the Cotto vs. Margarito II card will bring in big numbers in terms of PPV buys.

But by adding Rios, a young and exciting fighter, it will clearly help this card. Unbeaten welterweight contender Mike Jones could also be fighting on the undercard against Sebastian Lujan, but Jones doesn’t have a large following yet, so there won’t be much of a bump up in viewers wanting to purchase the card on PPV with the addition of his fight against Lujan.

The Cotto-Margarito card really needs some popular fighters for the undercard, not just the typical Top Rank prospects that litter most of their big PPV undercards. Rios is a start, but I’m not even sure if he’s enough to make the Cotto-Margarito 2 fight a huge success. The fight doesn’t mean much now that Margarito is no longer winning – he’s lost two out of his last three fights and looked horrible in all three bouts.

Cotto has been matched softly since the Pacquiao loss. He captured the WBA title against Yuri Foreman, one of Arum’s fighters in his Top Rank stable. And in Cotto’s last fight, he was forced to box 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga after having problems with his power early on. Cotto eventually scored a knockout in the 12th, but looked hardly impressive in beating the nearly 40-year-old Mayorga. Cotto isn’t taking the fights that he needs to anymore, such as bouts against young lions like Alfredo Angulo and Vanes Martirosyan. It’s easy to see why. Cotto would likely lose both of those fights. I think he might be good enough to beat Martirosyan, but I’m not even sure about that. Angulo would clearly beat Cotto at this point. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that fight ever to happen, because it won’t.

Rios’ opponent for the card is unknown. Kevin Mitchell’s name has been mentioned in the past, but it’s doubtful he’ll take the fight.

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