Former lightweight champion Brandon Rios has a make or break career change to make in the coming weeks.
After scoring a controversial split decision over relatively unknown champion Richard Abril, the second consecutive fight in which Rios was unable to make the 135-lb weight limit, it has become apparent that Top Rank’s next young Mexican boxing star needs to move up in weight class or continue fighting for glory and no titles.
Before the Abril bout Rios dominated the lightweight division, knocking out eleven straight fighters on his way to a 30-0 record. Rios’ aggressive style has become popular with boxing fans, but the 25-year old has lost a little of his appeal by looking less than spectacular while struggling at a lighter weight that clearly his frame is having a problem sustaining.
If Top Rank was smart (and they are) the next bout for Rios would be a match up with fellow Mexican favorite Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1 39 KOs) at 140 lbs. Marquez is coming off a victory April 15th where he made light work of Serhiy Fedchenko in a tune up for a reserved July 14th bout against an opponent TBA.
What better scenario than to have the young, up-and-coming and undefeated Rios face the older, wiser Marquez while he is still at the top of his game at Texas Stadium, not too far from the Mexico border.
Top Rank has created the perfect storm to capitalize of Rios’ rising popularity and JMM’s steady appeal to boxing fans. Rios’ relentless approach would make an excellent contrast to Marquez’s counter punching ability and would lead to what could possibly be the most exciting fight of the summer.
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