By Chris Robinson
Sinaloa, Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco scored the biggest victory of his career last night with his come-from-behind TKO over brave Jorge Linares at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. DeMarco was down in the fight early as Linares applied his brilliant boxing skills but he dug down deep and stormed back for a dramatic stoppage in the eleventh round that had the crowd on its feet and in near disbelief.
With the win, DeMarco captured the vacant WBC lightweight crown, a belt he unsuccessfully challenged the late Edwin Valero for in February of last year, and will surely be eyeing all the big names around his weight class. If seeking a serious challenge, he has no further to look than WBA champion Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios, the hottest name in the division at the moment.
Rios didn’t catch the DeMarco-Linares scrap last night but he admits that his phone was ringing off the hook upon the fight’s conclusion. Upon hearing the news, straight from his trainer Robert Garcia, Rios began eyeing a unification bout with the 25-year old DeMarco.
“Oh, I would love to do that, right away,” Rios said with enthusiasm. “Honestly, I wanted to fight the winner and Robert told me that DeMarco won, and that’s who I would love to fight. Hopefully, if he gives me a chance, we can unify, let’s fight. Honestly, I really want that fight and I really want to unify my title with the WBC.”
Rios is presently eyeing a December 3rd meeting with Manchester’s John Murray, set to take place on the televised undercard portion of the rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden in New York. Rios trained alongside Margarito last year in Oxnard, Calif. at Garcia’s personal gym and while their camaraderie is as strong as ever, he revealed that the team is changing things up for this camp.
“Training is going great. I’m training my ass off and everything is going very well,” Rios added. “This week, I think the 23rd, I will be going to Mexico to join Margarito’s camp out there. Training camp, I have no complaints with right now. It’s going very well and I’m pleased on how everything is going.”
Margarito apparently preferred training near his native Tijuana for his second go-round with Cotto and a change of locale seems to be something that energizes Rios at this point.
“Robert asked me what I thought about it and I wanted to try something new, so we’re going to go out there to Margarito’s camp and I’m going to try to see if it makes any difference in my performance. We’ll go out there and see if it works out.”
[Reader's note: For an inside look at DeMarco's thrilling comeback and the rest of the Hopkins-Dawson event, please visit the following slideshows... Behind the scenes at the bizarre Hopkins-Dawson event / Manny Pacquiao spotted ringside ]