By Lem Satterfield
This clash features WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios and volatile contender Urbano Antillon in what many are considering a shoo-in Fight of The Year candidate.
The 25-year-old Rios is 27-0, with 20 knockouts, and the 28-year-old Antillon, 28-2, with 20 KOs.
They have one common opponent in the 33-year-old Miguel Acosta (28-4-2, 22 KOs), whom Rios stopped in the 10th round of his last fight in February, and who stopped Antillon in the ninth round of their clash in July of 2009.
BoxingScene.com sought the opinions of 11 boxing insiders regarding their thoughts on whom they believe will be triumphant.
Mike Coppinger, USA Today, Ring Magazine, BoxingScene.com -- Brandon Rios KO 8 Urbano Antillon: Brandon Rios is a pressure-fighter in the mold of Antonio Margarito, one which won't be denied.
Urbano Antillon is tough-as-nails, but I see Rios breaking him down, leading to an eventual stoppage. Rios' punches are simply too compact for Antillon, whom will be ill-prepared for the onslaught. Although Antillon will be game, Rios will stop him in round 8 or 9.
Jake Donovan, BoxingScene.com -- Brandon Rios TKO 8 Urbano Antillon: If this one isn't a Fight of the Year candidate, it will only be due to Brandon Rios being that dominant.
Urbano Antillon was once THAT rising talent, but fell apart for a spell before redeeming himself - albeit in defeat - against Humberto Soto.
Sorry to say, Rios isnt Soto. In fact, Rios is the guy Soto wanted no part of as he was guided towards Antillon. Bam Bam is flawed enough to where this could be competitive early.
But Antillon doesn't have the whiskers or the defense to prevent the fight from eventually getting away from him. Rios struggles early but takes over and stops Antillon before the rounds hit double digits.
Doug Fischer, RingTV.com -- Brandon Rios KO Urbano Antillon: I like Brandon Rios by late stoppage, sometime after the ninth round, in -- what else? -- a brutal barnburner of a fight. Urbano Antillon will hurt Rios with body shots and back the unbeaten titleholder to the ropes with hard right hands over the first half of the brawl.
Rios will suck it up and return fire in combination, scoring with flush uppercuts that will eventually take their toll on the courageous challenger.
Norm Frauenheim, 15rounds.com: Brandon Rios KO 6 Urbano Antillon: The biggest, perhaps only, upset would be if this brawl went to the scorecards. Don’t expect a decision.
Instead, expect Rios to win a mid-round stoppage. Neither Rios nor Urbano Antillon knows how to do anything but move forward and straight into harm’s way In a brawl, take the bigger, stronger and tougher brawler every time.
That’s Rios, who likes to get hit and is hard to hurt. Antillon would have a chance if he became a tactician, but that’s not in his DNA.
Thomas Gerbasi, BoxingScene.com -- Brandon Rios W 12 Urbano Antillon: This should be a great scrap. But I see Urbano Antillon as a guy who will always be in the mix, but who just won't be able to get over the hump to win the big one. Brandon Rios wins a decision.
Lee Harris, In The Corner Boxing Radio -- Brandon Rios UD 12 Urbano Antillon: We’re looking at a can’t miss fight here. Both fighters are willing to mix it up and both come to fight. Add in the very real hostility between the two, the fact that both are young, and that it’s for a world title, and I think we are going to see fireworks.
The styles match up well also. Brandon Rios will be in his chest all night applying pressure and throwing tons of shots, while Urbano Antillon will be right there to match him.
Neither guy is hard to find, so expect plenty of shots to be thrown and landed. Early on, I think Antillon may have the slight edge, as Rios has shown in the past that he needs a few rounds to get his motor up to full speed.
But once Rios gets it going, I think his steady pressure is going to win him most of the remaining rounds. In a brutal war of attrition that I see going the distance, I think Rios narrowly edges it out by two or three points.
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports -- Brandon Rios TKO 10 Urbano Antillon: This will be an unbelievable battle as both men go back and forth. Brandon Rios gets hit far too much for my liking, but I think he's the stronger guy and in an all-action fight. Against Urbano Antillon, I think that tips the scales ever so slightly in his favor.
Steve Kim, MaxBoxing.com-- Brandon Rios KO 6 Urbano Antillon: I like Brandon Rios to stop Urbano Antillon between rounds 6-8. I think he's the fresher, stronger fighter and a guy about to make a strong run in the lightweight division.
Michael Rosenthal, RingTV.com -- Brandon Rios KO Urbano Antillon: First and foremonst, Brandon Rios-Urbano Antillon is a can't-miss fun-to-watch brawl. I think they bring the same things to the table -- solid boxing skills, tremendous aggression, toughness and courage.
I also think that Rios has a slight edge in all the above-mentioned departments, plus a clear advantage in physical strength. Rios will break down Antillon and win by a late-rounds KO.
Joseph Santoliquito, Managing Editor Ring Magazine -- Brandon Rios KO 7 Urbano Antillion: A Fight of the Year candidate between two guys that like to slug.
Brandon Rios may have a little more speed, which makes the difference against Urbano Antillon.
Robert Velin, USA Today -- Brandon Rios KO 10 Urbano Antillon: As Brandon Rios Rios himself said, neither fighter has much in the way of boxing skills. But Rios has a hell of a chin and plenty of grit.
And Rios stopped Miguel Acosta while Urbano Antillon was stopped by Acosta. In a real slugfest, Rios with a 10th-round TKO victory.
By a vote of 11-0, the experts believe that Brandon Rios will defeat Urbano Antillon.