Former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios still is awaiting the word from manager Cameron Dunkin on the decision by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who has confirmed reports that a rematch of October’s bloody, Fight-of-The-Year-caliber clash between Rios and junior welterweight rival Mike Alvarado is in discussion for March on HBO.
A 26-year-old Oxnard, Calif., resident,, Rios (31-0-1, 23 knockouts) became the first man to beat (and stop) Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), doing so by seventh-round knockout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
“We’re not for sure who we’re fighting yet. We think that the date is March 30, but I haven’t signed a contract and I’ll leave that up to my manager, Cameron Dunkin,” said Rios, who made his 140-pound debut against Alvarado after having narrowly won by controversial split-decision over Richard Abril in April following an 11th-round knockout of John Murray last December.
“So far, all that I’ve heard is Alvarado again. He wants the rematch, so that’s what we know right now. But like I said, I’m not 100 percent sure because I haven’t seen a contract yet. But they’re working on the deal. If my manager can get what I want, then we’ll do that fight again. If not, we’ll look for something else.”
Rios failed to make the 135-pound lightweight limit for both fights against Murray and Abril. Rios lost his WBA crown at the scales against Murray, and could not regain it as a result of his weight issues against Abril.
A deal was struck with the Murray camp in which Rios could weigh no greater than 10 pounds (147) more when he was checked at 9 a.m. on Saturday at his hotel. After Rios weighed 146.4 pounds on the morning of the fight, his bout with Murray was allowed to happen.
Rios had been a consideration for the winner of the fourth Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight on Dec. 8, which Marquez won by scoring a sixth-round stoppage of his welterweight rival. Rios was ringside for the fight.
“It does suck for me, because I was in line to fight Pacquiao, or the winner of that fight. So we thought Pacquiao was going to win. That just sucks, because, now, it seems like he wants to go and fight Marquez again for the fifth time, so that kind of blows, but there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Rios.
“So that’s part of boxing. I know that Marquez won’t give me a shot because there’s no money in it between me and him. I think that at the age of 39, that he’s looking at retirement money for himself. So maybe that’s why that’s giving Pacquiao the fifth fight. Pacquiao gave him the fourth, so maybe that’s why he’s giving him the fifth. So I have to see what is out there for me next.”
If Rios gets beyond Alvarado, Rios said another goal would be the winner of a Feb. 9 clash between former champ Zab Judah and RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) that is slated for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Man, trust me, if it’s Alvarado, and they give me what I want, then it could be him. But I would fight for another belt. I would love to fight the winner out of Danny Garcia and Zab Judah,” said Rios.
“That’s a fight that people would want to see, and I’ve been wanting that belt for the longest time, but I think that would be hard because Garcia is with Golden Boy, and I’m with Top Rank.”
Rios also mentioned THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs), an Argentine who is promoted by Golden Boy and will face Mike Dallas Jr. (19-2-1), of Bakersfield, Calif., on Jan. 26.
“There are other fights out there that I would like fight. Like I would fight a Lucas Matthysse or somebody like that, but he’s with Golden Boy. There are a lot of 140-pounders I would like to fight, but they’re with Golden Boy and not with Top Rank, so that does kind of wreak a little bit,” said Rios.
“It’s not just Danny Garcia. When I get past Alvarado, again, I am looking to fight for the 140-pound WBC title. Maybe two or three more fights at 140, it depends. If something comes up at 147, then why not, we’ll move up to 147. I can manage there. I can take the shots from the bigger guys and knock out some of those guys too.”
JOHAN PEREZ-STEVE FORBES CARD TAKES SHAPE
When once-beaten Venezuelan junior welterweight Johan Perez will meet ex-world titleholder Steve Forbes on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla., there will be a guest appearance by former undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield scheduled as part of the first BB&T Center Boxing Series event sponsored by Golden Boy and Sports and Entertainment.
Perez (15-1-1, 12 KO’s), 29, once held the interim WBA 140-pound belt, a title he won with a fourth-round technical knockout over Puerto Rico’s Kenny Galarza in December of 2011.
Perez was dethroned as titleholder following July’s disputed seventh round technical decision loss to Pablo Cesar Cano, a bout that ended due to cuts that were the result of an accidental clash of heads.
Forbes has been stopped only once, falling by 10th-round technical knockout to Karim Mayfield in June of last year, and is trying to end a his current three-fight losing streak.
Also on the card is light heavyweight Thomas Williams (11-0, 8 KOs), a 25-year-old from Fort Washington, Md., who will pursue his fifth straight stoppage win against Jason Smith (8-1, 6 KOs), of Williamson, Kentucky.
Gausha, 25, will try to follow up November’s second-round knockout over Dustin Caplinger with a victory over Kenneth Schmitz (2-4, 1 KO), of St. Joseph, Mo.
Jhonson will try to rebound from May’s unanimous decision loss to Willie Nelson against an opponent to be determined. Also on the card against opponents to be determined are Florida super middleweight Tracy Rollins (2-0, 1 KO).
Golden Boy struck a deal with the BB&T Center in November in Sunrise, Fla., to bring professional boxing to the Southern part of the state, and the initial event will be televised live on FOX Sports Networks and FOX Deportes.
FRANKIE GOMEZ RETURNS ON FEB. 2
Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez informed RingTV.com that 20-year-old welterweight Frankie Gomez (14-0, 11 KOs) will return to the ring against Lanard Lane (13-2, 8 KOs) in the main event of a Feb. 2 show on Fox Sports Net’s Fox Deportes card from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Also on the card will be junior featherweight Joseph Diaz (1-0), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, as well as junior lightweight Micky Bey (18-0, 9 KOs) against opponents to be determined.
ALANTEZ FOX MAINTAINS CALM DESPITE BEING A FIRST-TIME MAIN-EVENTER
A 6-foot-5 20-year-old junior middleweight prospect Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (8-0-1, 4 KOs), of Forestville, Md., will be the main event fighter for the first time on Saturday night at The Rosecroft Raceway in Forestville against Julius Kennedy (7-2-1, 3 KOs), of Windsor Mill, Md.
Promoted by Mario Yagobi, of Boxing 360, Fox is coming off December’s first-round stoppage victory over Jimmy LeBlanc that helped him to rebound from a September’s draw with New York’s Frank Glarza (8-0-1, 4 KOs) in a clash of unbeatens.
“I’m feeling real good. I’m the main event on Saturday, and this is my first time. Of course I’m excited for my fans, but it’s the same thing. This is something that I’ve been doing for a while, so I can’t get too nervous,” said Fox.
“The only difference is that I’ve got to fight later on in the night. That’s how I look at it. This is not really a major thing. I felt like I was the main event when I fought Frank Glarza, so I’m going to go in there and do me, no matter what.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Juan Marshall
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]