By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Now that Brandon Rios is finished fighting at 135 pounds, promoter Bob Arum is thinking about potential opponents for Rios at junior welterweight.
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, the first fight Arum thought of making for him in the wake of Rios’ 11th-round stoppage of England’s John Murray is a seemingly can’t-miss, all-action battle against another unbeaten brawler Arum’s Top Rank Inc. promotes.
“Well, [Rios] can pretty well fight everybody,” Arum said. “But I think the fight that would probably be the most exciting fight that could be made would be Brandon Rios against Mike Alvarado. Boy, would that be a [fight]. I’d pay to see that fight.”
Rios rapidly has become a television attraction due to his fan-friendly style. Denver’s Alvarado also enhanced his reputation by rallying to knock out heavy-handed Colombian Breidis Prescott (24-4, 19 KOs) in the 10th and final round of a bout the 31-year-old Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs) clearly was losing on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard Nov. 12 in Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old Rios (29-0-1, 21 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., thought he would move up to 140 pounds for his next fight even before losing his WBA title at the scales Friday, when he failed three times to meet the lightweight limit of 135 for his fight against England’s Murray. Rios said before beating Murray (31-2, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that the only fight that could keep him at lightweight at least for the early portion of 2012 was a showdown with unbeaten Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs).
Gamboa hasn’t even fought at junior lightweight, though, so a fight against Rios would’ve had to take place no higher than 135, if it was going to be Gamboa’s next fight. Rios also expressed interest in facing Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) at 140 pounds, assuming Marquez cannot secure an immediate fourth fight against Pacquiao.
“Hopefully we could get him,” Rios said of Marquez. “If we fight with him, that’d be great. If not, there’s [Marcos] Maidana or someone like that there. I want a war.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.