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Rios expects to give Bradley a tough fight on November 7th

rios99By Dan Ambrose: 29-year-old #3 WBO 147lb contender Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs) plans on turning his November 7th title shot against WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) into a huge and grueling war whether Bradley wants it to be one or not when the two fighters meet up on HBO Championship Boxing at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Bradley vs. Rios fight hasn’t been officially announced yet, but it’s expected to in the coming weeks. The deal is reportedly essentially completed for HBO. One of the things that needs to be worked out is the step aside deal for No.1 WBO mandatory challenger Sadam Ali.

Ali was supposed to be getting a title shot against Bradley next, but both Top Rank and HBO are interested in putting on the Bradley-Rios fight instead.

Rios and Bradley have both been beaten by Top Rank fighter Manny Pacquiao in the past in one-sided fights. Bradley has a controversial 12 round decision win over Pacquiao in 2012, but many boxing fans saw that as a gift decision given to Bradley and not a legitimate win.

“I’m not worried about it because Robert’s going to come up with a good game plan,” Rios said for the Bradley fight to Fighthype. “Everyone knows when they see a Brandon Rios fight, they’re going to get a great show. I’m going to do what I do best and bring the fight out of him. I know Bradley’s a warrior. He’s going to fight like I fight.”

Rios had better plan on training to cut off the ring on November 7th, because it’s quite possible that Bradley will elect to use movement in the fight like he did in his first fight against Pacquiao and in his 2014 win over Juan Manuel Marquez.

When Bradley uses movement, he’s hard to hit, and he’s able to pot shot his way to a win. However, Bradley is reluctant to pull that tool out of the toolbox at times, because it’s not a fighting style that the boxing fans like to see. When he uses a lot of movement the fans don’t seem to like kind of style from him.

The blueprint is already out there in how to beat Rios though by staying on the move, hitting him with pot shots, and staying out of exchanges with him. If Bradley is smart, he’ll follow the blue print to win an easy decision. Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado both used an in an out style to beat Rios in the past. It worked for Alvarado in his 2nd fight with Rios in 2013, but it failed to work in January of this year, when Rios cut off the ring and battered him to a 3rd round stoppage.

“He’s [Bradley] going to find out on November 7th if I’m an easy fight,” Rios said. “A lot of mother [expletive] say I’m an easy fight. Pacquiao thought I was an easy fight. He did [expletive] me up. He thought he was going to knock me out. What happened? I went 12 rounds. Bradley doesn’t punch like Pacquiao. He can’t move like Pacquiao. He can say I beat Pacquiao, but you won a controversial win over Pacquiao. We’re ready. I let them think that. I let them say what they got to say,” Rios said.

This is definitely going to be a tougher fight for Bradley than his last one against Jessie Vargas last June. Vargas didn’t throw enough punches in the fight, and when he did throw them, he wasn’t loading up with them. When Vargas did load up with right hands in the 12th round, he had Bradley hurt.

Rios has better punching power than Vargas, and he’ll be putting everything he has on each shot throughout the fight. If Bradley does choose to fight him in a war, then it’s going to be a difficult one for him like Rios is saying. But I think Rios will still need to chase Bradley around the ring much of the time, because I think Bradley will opt to use the same plan that Pacquiao used in beating Rios in their fight in 2013.

Rios showed little ability to cut off the ring on Pacquiao in that fight, but since them, he’s looked a lot better in his fights against Diego Chaves and Mike Alvarado. If Rios comes into the fight with Bradley in shape like he was in his last bout against Alvarado, then it’s going to be a very tough fight for Bradley no matter how he elects to fight him.

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