Rios: I’m going to force Bradley to fight me
By Dan Ambrose: 29-year-old Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 24 KO) says he doesn’t care if WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) elects to box this Saturday night because he plans on cutting off the ring and forcing the 32-year-old champion to fight whether he wants to or not.
Bradley has a new trainer in Teddy Atlas, but about the only thing that he’ll be able to add to Bradley’s game that he doesn’t already have it to make him more mobile and less focused on punching it out with his opponents.
Rios says he’s been working on going after his sparring partners so that they can’t run from him the way he expects Bradley to do this Saturday, and he feels that he’s gotten really good at cutting off the ring to force his opponents to mix it up.
Bradley and Rios will be fighting this Saturday on November 7th on HBO Championship Boxing from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“If he’s going to try to box [then] I got to make him fight me, which I think I can do that,” Rios said to Fighthype.com. “And if he wants to box, then [expletive] yeah! I’ve been cutting off the ring very well and I’ve been doing it excellent in sparring.”
The only thing that Atlas can add to Bradley’s game is to make him more mobile and less inclined to slug it out. Atlas isn’t going to develop Bradley’s power because that’s as good as it’s ever going to get.
Bradley has said before recent fights that he’s learned how to put his body behind his shots so that he can generate more punching power, but the results have been the same as they’ve been in the past with Bradley’s power not being good enough for him to hurt his opponents. Instead of Bradley hurting his opponents, he’s been the one that has been hurt.
If I hadn’t seen how good Rios cut off the ring against Mike Alvarado in his last fight earlier this year, I would be skeptical about him being capable of cutting off the ring against a quality fighter like Bradley. But I think Rios has improved leaps and bounds in his ability to cut off the ring on his opponents, and fight while on the move.
In the past, Rios needed to set his feet in order to throw his power shots. But now his trainer Robert Garcia has taught him to throw his big power shots even while moving around without his feet set.
Rios can throw from any angle now matter whether he’s got his feet set or not. That’s something that will help him against Bradley because he doesn’t have the same hand speed as him, so it’s going to be a lot tougher on him to match his speed.
Rios can put him in position for some big fights if he wins this fight against Bradley. He may not get a fight against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, but he does have a chance to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez if he beats Miguel Cotto on November 21st.
Rios also has the chance to fight Terence Crawford when he’s ready to move up to 147. Their promoter Bob Arum is going to make that fight in the near future, and it wouldn’t be that surprising if we see it take place as early as 2017.
I think Arum will wait until Crawford has exhausted the opportunities he has to fight Pacquiao, Viktor Postol and Ruslan Provodnikov before he looks to match him against Rios.
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