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Rios can’t afford a loss to Bradley

Brandon Rios Timothy Bradley(Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Top Rank) By Tim Fletcher: Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs) needs a win this Saturday night against WBO 147lb champion Tim Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) to get some of the bigger fights that his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is interested in making for him if he wins. A loss for the 29-year-old Rios would be a brutal disaster that he cannot afford right now.

In Rios’ last fight against Mike Alvarado, Rios came into the fight with his career on the line and with him not in the position to lose. Fortunately for Rios, Alvarado was not the same fighter he’d been in their first two fights. There are a lot of boxing fans who think that Rios has taken too many head shots in his recent fights, and they feel that he needs to get out of the sport before he gets really hurt.

The Bradley-Rios fight will be televised on HBO Boxing this Saturday night on November 7th @ 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

After three consecutive poor efforts against Diego Chaves, Manny Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado, Rios finally put together a good performance in winning his last fight against Alvarado by a 3rd round knockout in their rubber match in January of this year. Rios looked good in that fight in dispatching the out of shape and ill-prepared Alvarado quickly.

Rios lucked out in his fight before that in being saved by the referee Vic Drakulitch, who disqualified Diego Chaves in the 9th round when he was on the verge of beating Rios. You can’t really count that as a win for Rios because he was behind in the fight and he would have lost had Drakulitch not disqualified Chaves.

“I do well with boxers,” Rios said to “It’s just I got so fixated on just walking forward (give a punch and take a punch) . . . I can cut the ring off, I can move around, I can do different angles but like I said I just forgot about all that [expletive]. Now I’m back to where I need to be, I’m rejuvenated and I’m ready to get back to the top again.”

Rios thinks he’s rejuvenated because of his win over a shot looking Alvarado last January, but a lot of people don’t believe that for a second. They still think that Rios is the same fighter that Manny Pacquiao turned into a punching bag in 2013, and the same fighter that Alvarado hammered in their second fight in 2013, and the same fighter that Chaves was able to nail at will with big power shots last year.

We could see on Saturday that Bradley is going to turn Rios into the same punching bag that Pacquiao turned him to. If that happens, then Arum is going to need to make a big decision what he can do with Rios. Arum could either keep Rios in his stable to manage him carefully against some of his other young lions like Terence Crawford and Jessie Vargas, or he can cut his losses and let Rios walk. Arum will need to make a decision about him soon if Rios loses this fight, because the options won’t be so good for Rios if he gets beaten.

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