On The Beak – Admin
Randy Caballero’s manager Cameron Dunkin feels his fighter is at the top of a long list of talented Coachella Valley boxers who are ready to contend for multiple world championships: “He’s a terrific talent and had a fantastic amateur career,” said Dunkin, who also manages Nonito Donaire, Kelly Pavlik and Brandon Rios. “He’s just part of this really good group of fighters from that Indio area that is really hot. Randy sells tickets and the crowd loves him. He’s an exciting, energetic fighter who I think will be a world champion someday.”
Caballero (13-0-0, 7ko) will make his ShoBox debut in what will be the toughest test of his career against Tecate, Mexico’s Jose Luis Araiza (29-5-1, 20ko) in a ten-round bantamweight co-featured bout on March 16. In the main event, undefeated prospect Omar Figueroa Jr. (14-0-1, 11ko), of Weslaco, Texas, will take on Morelos, Mexico’s Ramon “Nino De Oro” Ayala (23-2-1, 11ko) in a ten-round lightweight fight.
The ShoBox doubleheader, which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T, will be televised live at 11 pm. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on Showtime.
Trained by his father Marcos and brother Robert, Caballero has won his last seven consecutive bouts – and eight overall – at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. The 21-year-old prospect answered six questions just days before the fight.
More than half of your pro fights have been in Indio. Are you on a first-name basis with most of the employees at Fantasy Springs?
Caballero: “Oh, yeah. They’re all like family to me. I see them and they say good luck and they wish me well. The boxing fans in Indio are very knowledgeable and have been so great to me and I thank them for that. When I start my ring walk and I hear the crowd I get so pumped because I know they are all rooting for me. It’s a real advantage and something I’m thankful for.”
What does it mean for you get the call from Showtime and to appear on ShoBox?
Caballero: “When I got the call from Showtime I just couldn’t believe it. I know it’s the next step for me and that my career is on the right path. This fight will just get my name out there even more and show that I’m capable of being one of the greatest boxers out there. We do have a good crop of fighters from this area and we want to showcase that. There’s no better place to do that than on Showtime.”
You’ve been boxing for more than half your life. Did you ever have dreams of doing anything else?
Caballero: “No, not really. I just love the feeling that I get when I step into the ring. I’ve been fighting since I was eight-years-old. It’s what I know and what I love.”
Do you follow the sport and consider yourself a fan of the game?
Caballero: “No, I wouldn’t call myself a huge boxing fan. I mean, I watch all the big fights on Showtime and follow the guys I’ve come up with, but that’s about it.”
You have fought some tough fighters in your first 13 pro fights. Do you think you’ve matched up well against each of them?
Caballero: “I’m happy with the opponents I’ve faced and beaten. Regardless of who they put in front of me, everyone is dangerous. You get caught with a left hook and it can end your career so I don’t take anyone lightly. Everybody who steps into that ring is going to get hit and I believe this guy I’m fighting on Friday is a big step up for me. He’s a veteran and he knows all the tricks inside the ring.”
Can you describe your personality?
Caballero: “I’m a real family guy. I like to hang with family, that’s about it. I’m pretty low-key. I like to go out with friends here and there but I’m kind of a reserved guy. I’m a quiet guy but very respectful and very friendly. I don’t like to talk too much smack. I would say I’m a fun guy to be around.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Manny Pacquiao is set to defend his WBO welterweight world championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, against Timothy Bradley on Saturday, June 9. According to The Ring, A deal was agreed today, Monday, after a productive weekend meeting in San Antonio, Texas, between Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, Bradley’s manager Cameron Dunkin and Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum – who represents both fighters.
Following Pacquiao’s last fistic outing, a controversial majority decisioning of Juan Manuel Marquez in November last year, speculation quickly escalated linking the Filipino belt collector with defensive wizard Floyd Mayweather Jr, who trounced Victor Ortiz by way of fourth round technical knockout two months prior to Manny’s competitive contest with Juan Manuel.
Mayweather began calling Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) out on his official Twitter account and even reserved a date and venue. Floyd, who was recently found guilty of a misdemeanour charge, could only box on May 5 as a judge ruling granted the 34-year-old a postponed prison sentence due to his previous pugilistic commitments to defend his WBC title at 147lbs on the aforementioned date.
The timing for Pacquiao, it appeared, was not convenient for multiple reasons… 1; he suffered a 28-stitch cut during the Marquez victory and required time to recover, 2; Arum wanted any bout with Mayweather to occur later than May in order to construct a temporary 40,000 seater arena on the Vegas strip in order to maximise sales at the gate and, finally, 3; Pacquiao’s desire of a 50/50 revenue split was reportedly not well received by Mayweather.
Since the third attempt of putting the pound-for-pound match-up together collapsed, Mayweather booked a Cinco de Mayo bout with Puerto Rican boxing royalty Miguel Cotto and Arum and Pacquiao turned to Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko).
While there may be a sense of disappointment that neither Pac nor Floyd will fight each other this summer, both alternative contests still retain elements of intrigue. Mayweather will compete at his highest weight, 154lbs, in order to challenge for Cotto’s WBA super welterweight world title. He was also taking on a fighter who had just avenged his first professional defeat to Antonio Margarito whilst producing a disciplined box-and-move clinic.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, takes on a young, hungry, confident and motivated fighter who has been hankering for a high-profile contest in order to showcase his improving skill-set. Bradley, 28, is undefeated, a three-time super lightweight world champion, has good victories over Miguel Vazquez, Junior Witter, Kendall Holt, Lamont Peterson and Devon Alexander and, crucially, possesses a style where he will take the fight to Pacquiao unlike Manny’s most recent two opponents: Shane Mosley, who boxed in too timid a manner and Marquez, who effectively counter-punched Pacman.
Bradley formed one component of a four candidate-long shortlist made available to Manny. The other front-runner, Cotto, aligned himself with Mayweather while the remaining two options, a fourth fight with Marquez and a duel with unified 140lb king Lamont Peterson – who unseated Pacquiao’s Wildcard Boxing Club stablemate Amir Khan – have been offered a dust-up at the Cowboys Stadium on July 14.
The winner of Marquez and Peterson could then box the winner of Pacquiao v Bradley in either the latter half of the year, or at the start of 2013 should a Mayweather fight take precedence.
On The Beak – Admin
Friday, November 18, 2011 – With Floyd Mayweather’s date of May 5, 2012 looming, many boxing experts believe Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero has a chance to knock off boxing’s pound-for-pound king. Here’s what they had to say:
Floyd Mayweather – 14
Robert Guerrero – 6
Pick-em - 2
Emanuel Steward – Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee and HBO Commentator
“It’s a tough fight. To me, it’s a pick-em fight in my opinion.”
Roberto Duran - Boxing Hall of Fame Legend
“I think its a great fight. It reminds me a lot of my fight with Sugar Ray Leonard when I moved up from lightweight to welterweight and beat him. You have a fast American fighter against a bruising Latin fighter. Styles make fights and this is a very interesting match-up. I feel that Robert will pull off the upset in Las Vegas and I must be there to see it. Guerrero by unanimous decision.”
Dan Rafael – Boxing Writer; ESPN
“I got Mayweather in a unanimous decision.”
Kevin Iole – Boxing Writer; Yahoo Sports
“I think Mayweather would win that fight because he’s the best fighter in the world.”
Nonito Donaire – Three-Division World Champion
“Floyd is a great fighter as is Robert. Both show great resilience in the ring. Robert has the heart of a warrior and it’s a great fight for boxing. I have to go with Robert Guerrero who’s younger/fresher to win this fight.”
Lem Satterfield – Ring Magazine Online
“It’s going to be a boxing match and more technical than people think. You’re going to have to really appreciate boxing like a chess match in this fight. I think if Robert wants to beat Floyd he’s going to have to gamble at times, but not like Zab Judah, Chop Chop Corley or Ortiz did. because Guerrero’s got great defense. He has incredible energy and I think he’s got a real good foundation of skills that’s underrated. It will be competitive because Guerrero hasn’t really lost too many rounds in his last few fights against very competent competition in Katsids, Casamayor and Escobedo. This will be Floyd’s toughest opponent because of where he’s at in his career. That being said I have to go with the Floyd by a majority decision.”
Luis Decubas Sr. – Boxing Promoter
“Whenever you fight a fighter that doesn’t know how to lose it’s very difficult to go against him. But with a great fighter, who’s getting older, styles make fights and Robert Guerrero is a big, strong, young southpaw with the aggression and foot ability to beat Mayweather. Believe it or not I’m picking Guerrero by UD decision.”
Cameron Dunkin – World Class Boxing Manager
“Guerrero is a quick southpaw but I’m going with Floyd in a real competitive fight. Floyd wins seven rounds to five.”
Eric Gomez – Matchmaker Golden Boy Promotions
“I think it will be a dead heat going into the tenth round with Robert coming out on top because he’s the younger and fresher fighter.”
David Avila – Boxing Writer – Riverside Press-Enterprise
“That’s a very close one. If The Ghost were to fight Mayweather, I’m just wondering if he could fight that style. It’s a confusing style when fighting Mayweather because he makes you think and pause while he hits you. I say Mayweather in a close, split decision.”
Robert Diaz - Matchmaker Golden Boy Promotions
“Guerrero’s always been a big lightweight in my eyes. I don’t see welterweight being a problem if Robert puts on the weight properly. Look at Marquez… he put on the weight nicely and, in my opinion, beat Manny. Robert is a bigger lightweight then Marquez so I don’t see any problems with him moving up. Mayweather has had issues with southpaws… Zab Judah, Chop Chop Corley and even Victor gave him problems. Robert is very strong but he’s a technician as well. He’s young, he’s strong and he’s faced all kinds of adversity which means he can handle anything. He’s starving. Mayweather would be fighting a young, hungry southpaw. I heard Guerrero’s ordered three turkeys for thanksgiving, one from Las Vegas, one from Mexico and one from the Philippines… Mayweather, Marquez and Pacquiao. My pick is Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in a unanimous decision.”
Buddy McGirt – Respected Boxing Trainer and Former World Champion
“Floyd easy fight in a unanimous decision.”
Ryan Maquiñana - Boxing Writer – BoxingScene.com
“With Pacquiao-Marquez IV likely on the horizon, there aren’t too many options left for Mayweather, but Robert Guerrero should be somewhere at the top of the list. He’s a tall, accurate southpaw who presents some issues for Floyd, and I don’t think size would be a problem as I’ve seen “The Ghost” walk around at 152, 153 pounds. If they were to meet, Floyd’s track record would make him the favorite by decision but Robert is a live underdog and it wouldn’t surprise me if he put the first blemish on Floyd’s career.”
Robert Hough – FightNews.com
“If it’s not clear how to beat Mayweather, it’s clear that fighting his fight is hopeless. I’d love to see an active fighter with good footwork; long arms and a serious jab throw about 70 jabs per round at him. Guerrero could do that, but Money Mayweather is schtick and Floyd Mayweather is exceptional so I suspect he’d find ways to win in a fight that has real potential to be a lot closer, more interesting and more exciting than people might suspect. Mayweather by unanimous decision.”
Leon Margueles - President Warriors Boxing & Promotions
“I believe Mayweather wins because he is bigger, stronger and faster. He is also more technically sound and durable and has way more experience. That being said, outside of Manny and Sergio, I cannot think of a fighter who can give him a serious challenge right now. Robert Guerrero is as good as anyone else as far as deserving an opportunity.”
Joel Casamayor – Four-time World Champion
“As of this moment, Floyd Mayweather is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. No doubt. I wanted to fight him years ago at 130lbs because I know his style benefits a southpaw. I’ve known Robert for years. I’ve mentored him then fought him. He’s learned a lot and I feel he has the abilities to become the best fighter pound-for-pound. He’s a young, strong, fast, tall, lanky and tricky southpaw. One night, one shot… I think Robert can shock the world. He beats Mayweather by decision”
Igor Frank – Boxing Writer – Examiner.com
“I don’t think Robert is ready for Mayweather yet. The last fight I saw him in, he fought as a lightweight. He’s going to have to fight Floyd at welterweight. I just don’t think that Robert is on the level of Floyd yet. Mayweather is the stronger guy and I pick him to win a unanimous decision.”
Miguel Diaz – World Boxing Hall of Fame Trainer
“Floyd is a great fighter. If there’s someone who’s going to beat him it’s gonna be a strong young fighter like Robert Guerrero. He is a southpaw with lots of skill. But in the end I feel Floyd will be too intelligent and win a decision in a very competitive fight.”
Orlando Cueller – Respected Boxing Trainer
“Mayweather all the way, a total mismatch! Mayweather is in the unreal league and, though I have a lot of respect for what The Ghost has accomplished, this is just a little bit too much for Guerrero!”
Franco Gonzalez - Respected Boxing Trainer
“Robert Guerrero is a special fighter who has gotten better as he goes up in weight. He’s a good puncher, he’s a southpaw and a dangerous fight for Mayweather. But, Floyd is Floyd. He is the best P4P fighter in the world hands down. He’s too smart and poised; he beats Guerrero by a comfortable decision.”
Rick Pienda – Ringside Photographer
“We all want to see Mayweather vs. Pac-man. But it looks like it won’t happen. I can’t think of a better challenge out there than The Ghost. He’s a young, strong lion. That being said, Floyd is a great fighter, he’s one of a kind and he beats Guerrero by unanimous decision in a chess match. It is a very interesting fight. Floyd’s 43-0 Experience prevails.”
Karim Mayfield – Undefeated NABO Jr. Lightweight Champion
“Guerrero versus Mayweather would be huge for the Bay Area. I’ve been in there with The Ghost and he hits like a middleweight. Mayweather has problems with southpaws and Guerrero is one of the best but I’m leaning toward Floyd Mayweather to squeak out a majority decision.”
All Pictures: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
The great James Smitty Smith of In This Corner, British broadsheet boxing scribe Gareth A Davies, the Tecate girls, Latin America’s most popular sportscaster Ines Sainz, former pound-for-pound superstar Roy Jones Jr and renowned boxing adviser Cameron Dunkin were just some of a plethora of faces backstage at Manny Pacquiao’s competitive and controversial win over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on November 12.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Timothy Bradley is no longer a unified champion at super lightweight as he has been relinquished of his WBC belt, according to his management team and also by Mauricio Sulaiman of the WBC. The reason behind the stripping of the undefeated American’s champion’s status was allegedly down to inactivity, although multiple internet reports suggest favouritism as the Mexican-based WBC have given the go-ahead for Mexican great Erik Morales to compete for the now-vacant title against Jorge Barrios on September 17 in Las Vegas.
“Boxing is no longer a sport,” Bradley’s trainer fumed to MyDesert.com. ”It’s a business. It’s always been a business, but in the past years, boxing was a sport and everything was done right. Every fighter who fought for the championship, you had to step up.”
Bradley, who has a record of 27-0-0, 11ko and has therefore never lost a professional fight, has been stripped of the WBC belt once before when he passed on a mandatory defence and instead fought Nate Campbell in 2009. On the same evening, a bout between Junior Witter and Devon Alexander settled the fate of the green belt and ended up strapped round the waist of the latter, only for Alexander to fail in an attempted unification contest earlier this year when Bradley’s WBO title was also on the line.
Bradley, who had both the WBO and WBC titles in his possession, is left with just the WBO trinket now, as Mauricio Sulaiman of the WBC confirmed to The Ring: “The WBC has placed Timothy Bradley as champion in recess, not to hurt him, but because he has not defended his title in a timely manner. He is involved in some legal matters, and we hear that he is planning on moving up in weight as well, and he has no schedule. We have been in communication, but we have not received his confirmation.
“But now it’s been six months after his fight with Devon Alexander. So we have great regard for Timothy Bradley, and whenever he finishes his legal situation and is ready to go back to the ring, then we can address his matter.”
Diaz, back in MyDesert, countered Sulaiman by stating that a WBC champion has around nine months to defend the honour and also noted that there was no mandatory challenger set up by the WBC anyway. Diaz said a fighter has between nine and 11 months to defend his title. But Diaz also pointed out there was no opponent named for a mandatory title defense: “Where’s the prestige? There’s no more prestige anymore. People who know boxing knows it’s not right. It’s not fair just for Tim but for any champion out there.”
The WBC title, now vacant, will be awarded to the winner of Erik Morales and Jorge Barrios’ scrap on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s title challenge against WBC welterweight world champion Victor Ortiz at the Star Power event in Vegas. Such a decision to award the Morales/Barrios dust-up championship status has attracted mass criticism around the boxing industry, from the Twittersphere to the media circuit as popular Mexican Morales is seen to be given preferential treatment by the central American boxing organisation. Morales would be gunning for a title in a fourth weight class – if successful, it would set a record for a Mexican.
The WBC rankings have also attracted censure. Morales is placed at world number three, behind first-placed Devon Alexander and number two Ajose Olusegun. Morales maintained a lofty position despite losing his most recent bout – a competitive fight – against Marcos Maidana. Barrios, meanwhile, a lightweight campaigner not a super lightweight cannot be found in the top forty for either weight division.
“The WBC has lost it’s value and the prestige it had,” Diaz reiterated. “Before, when you had the WBC title, it meant you were the greatest. Now it’s not.”
There was ambiguity over the legibility of either the number one or number two contender as Olusegun was slated to box Ali Chebah in a title eliminator to set-up a mandatory challenger on September 30, while Alexander is now due to campaign at welterweight, with a grudge fight against Brooklyn boxer Paulie Malignaggi widely speculated.
Bradley, 27, is also embroiled in legal proceedings as he is being sued by promoter Gary Shaw for U-turning on a lucrative showdown with Britain’s Amir Khan.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
The team behind lightweight sensation Brandon Rios, the current champion of the WBA strap at 135lbs, have discussed the fighter’s options for his immediate opponents: veteran fighter Marco Antonio Barrera, gatekeeper Michael Katsidis and IBF champion Miguel Vazquez, as well as his opponents when he inevitably makes the move to super lightweight: hard-hitting interim titlist Marcos Maidana, boxer-mover Amir Khan and welterweight ruler Manny Pacquiao.
Rios (28-0-1, 21ko) is enjoying an incredible year atop the lightweight division. In February he broke former titlist Miguel Acosta down, beat the spirit out of the Venezuelan before stopping him in the tenth round (for On The Beak’s scorecard and report, click here) and, last weekend, he out-slugged Urbano Antillon; twice dropping the Mexican-American en route to a third round technical knockout.
At the weigh-in for his contest with Antillon, Rios had to strip completely – with just a towel hung in front of him to cover up his modesty – in order to make the 135lb weight limit and so the post-fight talk naturally focused on whether the 25-year-old would be moving a division north, to the super lightweights.
The progression seems an inevitable one but there will be question-marks over whether Rios’ power will be enhanced with the added mass, and whether he will be able to bulldoze through the 140lb opposition as easily as he has at lightweight.
“Brandon is just too powerful for anybody at lightweight right now,” Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, informed Boxing Scene, who added that he foresees no reason why Brandon won’t be even stronger when taking on Marcos Maidana at 140lbs: “I know that Brandon is a big lightweight. He’s going to be a lot stronger at 140lb. He cuts down to make 135 and it’s not easy for him. So I know that being at 140; he’ll be much stronger. Morales hurt Maidana and I thought Morales won. He hurt Maidana and Brandon wouldn’t let him get away.”
There is an adage that circulates around the media that a boxer beats a brawler, so… according to that logic, someone like Amir Khan would pose difficulties against Rios, but it is a notion that Garcia refuses to accept. Garcia uses past contests against boxers like Anthony Peterson and Acosta as evidence as to why Rios wouldn’t suffer. He said: “It took Brandon two or three rounds before picking it up with Peterson and it took Brandon four rounds against Acosta.
“It’s a twelve round fight, not a four round fight. So I think it will take four or five rounds before catching Khan so we got a good six or seven rounds to finish it off.”
Rios’ promoter Bob Arum was so impressed with his fighter’s victory over Antillon that he said he would eventually align the Oxnard brawler with Top Rank stablemate Manny Pacquiao. Garcia, too, believes that Rios is not yet ready for the Filipino swarmer but that in two to three fights time they may have played themselves into contention for a shot at the pound-for-pound king.
“Right now we still got two, three fights before that could happen. We still got to fight at 135 maybe one or two more fights and then maybe do something else. It’s something that we could think about; a Manny Pacquiao fight. We’re two, three fights from even being mentioned at that level so of course we would love it.”
Cameron Dunkin, Rios’ manager and adviser, allegedly told The Playback that there is more pressing business at lightweight to take care of. He reportedly said: “Right now, they’ve been talking about [Michael] Katsidis, [Marco Antonio] Barrera, and [Miguel] Vazquez, but nothing is set. We’ll talk it over and see what the best move is.
“We develop fighters into champions, and Brandon’s on his way to bigger things if he can stay focused, which I believe he’s done since winning the title.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Before taking on a mainstream super middleweight contender, Kelly Pavlik may be matched with former British titlist James DeGale, according to manager Cameron Dunkin, who has engaged in talks with DeGale’s promoter Frank Warren. DeGale recently lost his British belt to Commonwealth champion George Groves via split decision.
Pavlik’s last major fight was a unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez, competed in the middleweight division. The American, from Youngstown, Ohio then embarked on an enforced hiatus from the ring as he spent a period in a rehabilitation centre for alcohol abuse.
The 29-year-old returned to the ring earlier this year, defeating Alfonso Lopez via majority decision. Dunkin will match Pavlik (37-2-0, 32ko) with one further tune-up fight before pitting him against one of the elite campaigners at 168lbs.
Dunkin said, as reported by World Boxing News: “With Kelly, we want to get him back into the ring again to knock some more of that ring rust off. I want to get him into the ring in August. But he has to be paid, and you don’t pay a Kelly Pavlik $20,000.
“Do you jump right into a major, major fight so that he can get paid, or do you go after another warmup fight before that. That second situation is what I would like, it’s what [Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce Trampler would like, and that’s what the Pavlik camp would like.”
Regarding possible opponents for Pavlik, Dunkin confirmed: “Everybody’s contacted us. Kessler’s people, Bute’s people, James DeGale with Frank Warren. We’ve talked about DeGale with Frank Warren. So there is a lot of stuff going on out there with Kelly.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
A court judge recently ruled against Golden Boy Promotions over the erstwhile ambiguity surrounding Nonito Donaire‘s contractual obligations with former promoter Top Rank, and now Bob Arum has claimed that – despite the legal dispute – he will still give Donaire 100 percent focus providing he returns to his stable.
Donaire’s contract with Top Rank was believed to have expired earlier in the year, however, there was a clause for an additional year that the promotional company had allegedly activated.
Despite courting Golden Boy, Arum has stated that all parties should act professionally and continue with their respective duties.
Donaire (26-1-0, 18ko) recently defeated Fernando Montiel in emphatic fashion by knocking the three-weight world champion out in just two rounds. In so doing, he won Montiel’s WBC and WBO World Bantamweight belts. If he is to make a swift return to the ring, though, he needs to return to Arum and Top Rank as a May 28 date is already “officially dead”.
Arum is quoted by Fight News to have said: “We are professionals and I can assure him I will give my 100 percent in promoting him again.”
He continued: “He has to come back. He has a lot of big fights coming under Top Rank.”
Arum is now due to meet with Donaire’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, regarding possible match-ups for Donaire. The pound-for-pound star had previously stated that, if possible, he intended to unify his two titles with either the IBF or WBA crowns at the 118lb weight limit, however, Arum was keen for Donaire to rise through the divisions as there were higher profile fights in the heavier weight classes.
There are indeed big-money fights for Donaire whilst he is still represented by Top Rank and viable opponents could include Cuba’s undefeated talent Guillermo Rigondeaux, as well as kayo hungry pair Yuriorkis Gamboa (also of Cuba) and Juan Manuel Lopez (of Puerto Rico).
“The longer this thing plays out, the further away his next fight will be,” concluded Arum.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
It is with a twist of irony that WBA World Lightweight champion Brandon Rios, who – prior to winning his title – was known to call out the division’s elite, yet is now on the receiving end of fighters wanting to box him. However, Humberto Soto, who Rios is desperate to fight, is “making excuses” to not share a ring, according to ‘Bam Bam’.
|ON THE BEAK’s TOP TEN LIGHTWEIGHTS
|1 – Juan Manuel Marquez
|2 – Brandon Rios
|3 – Humberto Soto
|4 – Robert Guerrero
|5 – Miguel Acosta
|6 – Michael Katsidis
|7 – Urbano Antillon
|8 – John Murray
|9 – Miguel Vazquez
|10 – Paulus Moses||NAMIBIA|
A tentative date of July 9 has been scheduled for Rios’ next fight. Whomever he is matched with, there is little doubt that the come-forward brawler will be ready.
Since defeating Miguel Acosta in February, at the Palms Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, USA, and being awarded his first world title, Rios has continued to train at Robert Garcia’s Oxnard boxing gym, pounding the heavy bag, working the pads and maintaining his sterling physique.
The victory against boxer-mover Acosta surprised multiple boxing publications – including On The Beak – who believed the Venezuelan’s technical skills would outweigh Rios’ perceived one-dimensional style. ‘Bam Bam’ was indeed troubled at the beginning of the fight, yet by the mid-to-late rounds his brute strength overpowered Acosta (for round by round summary click here).
Rios is eager to get back into the ring and there are a plethora of viable fights for the Mexican-American, including: undefeated Briton John Murray, IBF titlist Miguel Vazquez and ring legend Marco Antonio Barrera.
“Marco Antonio Barrera has experience; he has a big name,” Rios said on Seconds Out regarding a potential tear-up. “My job is to train and to fight. If that is who they want to pick, if they think that is a good move for my career to get to the next level, then I go with it. I don’t go against what Robert [Garcia] and my manager, Cameron Dunkin, say.”
Juan Manuel Marquez remains the marquee name in the 135lb weight class, yet his pursuit of Manny Pacquiao for a third and conclusive fight means he may be off-limits for the time being. Rios’ stock has risen considerably since picking up the WBA crown and he himself has been the recipient of being called out.
“I have been calling out Marquez. I have been calling out [Humberto] Soto,” said Rios. “To me, it is getting the best fights and fighting the best. I would love to unify the titles.
“There are a lot of guys at 135 that are calling me out. Hank Lundy, John Murray from England, Miguel Vasquez wants a piece of me; Barrera wants a piece of me. The only guy who doesn’t want a piece of me is Soto. I want a piece of him but he keeps making excuses. Now I hear he is going to 140 after this fight. It’s like, ‘C’mon, I want unify my title with his title.’ I want the best.
“My manager and Robert know what I can do. They know what I want and know what I can do. I am ready for anybody. Our plan is to get maybe three more fights at 135 and then move to 140. That’s the plan. I can do 140. I am a big 135. I can make 135 but I can go to 140 and still be strong. Maybe you will see me at 140 this year and we will see what happens.”