Arum moving Brandon Rios up to 140 against Mike Alvarado; no Gamboa
By Allen Fox: After former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) failed to make weight last Friday and was stripped of his World Boxing Association title, he had to struggle last night to defeat British fringe contender John Murray 31-1, 18 KO’s) by an 11th round TKO at Madison Square Garden, New York.
This was the same Murray that Kevin Mitchell easily took care of five months earlier in an 8th round TKO victory. It’s clear that Rios was weight drained last night from trying to get down to the 135 pound limit, which he missed after failing on two tries to make the weight.
Although Rios was able to stop Murray after wearing him down and bludgeoning him with shots, the writing is on the wall that Rios can no longer make the lightweight limit without great struggle. Instead of trying to keep him at this weight and risk Rios failing to make weight in future weigh-ins, Bob Arum, Rios’s promoter, is moving him up to light welterweight (140 lbs) and will be matching him against unbeaten contender Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KO’s).
The bad news is that the dream fight between Rios and Yurirokis Gamboa is now finished and will never likely happen. Rios is too heavy now and he can’t make 135 any longer, and it’s doubtful that Gamboa will ever be able to bridge the gap to make the fight happen. However, Rios has more to worry about than just the Gamboa fight being off the table.
Rios isn’t the quickest fighter and he’s not exactly huge at only 5’8”. Putting him in with Alvarado, ranked #4 WBO, #9 WBA, #9 IBF, is a dangerous move for Rios, because Alvarado, 5’9”, is slightly taller and is a bigger puncher than Rios. The only difference between them is the size.
You can see why Arum would like this fight, as he promotes both Alvarado and Rios, so this would be yet another in house Top Rank fight for him. I think Alvarado might be too good for Rios, because he can really punch and it would be the first time that Rios had faced someone stronger than him. Alvarado recently stopped knockout artist Breidis Prescott in the 10th round last month in a fight that Alvarado was training in the last round.