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.”