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Diego Chaves signing with Top Rank

LatestBy Allan Fox: Top Rank is on the verge of signing #10 IBF welterweight Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs) to a contract. Chaves was beaten by a controversial 9th round disqualification last Saturday against Top Rank promoted fighter Brandon Rios (32-2-1, 23 KOs) at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After the fight, Chaves said via “I have a preliminary contract with Top Rank. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on their cards.”

Of course, Chaves will be on Top Rank’s cards if they ink him. This will be an interesting addition to the Top Rank stable if they do add the hard hitting Chaves to their team, because he’s a fighter in the same mold as Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse in terms of fighting style and punching power. He’d be a potential cog that Bob Arum could plug in for fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov, Mike Alvarado and Tim Bradley.

A rematch with Rios doesn’t appear to be in the cards in the future because their fighting styles clash with one another due to Rios’ new technique of pushing his head into the face of opponents that clinch with him. But Chaves would be a perfect opponent for Arum’s other fighters in his stable to fight.

With Chaves’ huge power and limited 5’7” height, he’d be better off fighting at 140 than at 147, because he’s a little on the small side for him to be fighting against some of the bigger welterweights in the division. At 140, Chaves’ power would be even more pronounced and he’d be a dangerous guy for anyone.

Chaves needs to have a trainer teach him how to stay on the outside more because he doesn’t have a good inside game right now. But on the outside, Chaves is a tremendous puncher and dangerous for anyone at 140-147. He needs to be taught how to use more lateral movement to keep from being crowded by the inside fighters like Rios. If Top Rank can make some minor tweaks in Chaves’ game, they could have another Lucas Matthysse or Marcos Maidana on their hands. Chaves is a diamond in the rough with the potential to be a very good fighter.

Chaves was better than Rios last Saturday. If Chaves had made the adjustments that he needed to by staying on the outside for the full 3 minutes of every round, he would have won a wide decision over Rios. But with him trying to tie Rios up, he kept getting head-butted by him each time.

Chaves’ corner should have recognized early that the referee Vic Drakulich wasn’t going to keep Rios from head-butting, so they should have made adjustments to keep Chaves from clinching at all. It would have been worse for Rios, because that was where he was doing a lot of punishment with his head. But Chaves would have easily won the fight.

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