By Rick Reeno
Junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23KOs) told BoxingScene.com that he's not even entertaining a recent challenge by WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12KOs).
Bradley had a proposed offer, worth over $2 million dollars, to face Lamont Peterson in a rematch on December 15th. Bradley rejected the proposal, opting to wait for something bigger. Top Rank is looking to bring him back on an HBO televised date of February 9th.
Bradley was offered Mike Alvarado, who Rios stopped in a "fight of the year" showcase back in October. Having no interest in facing the loser of the fight, Bradley called for a fight with Rios.
“No disrespect to Alvarado. He’s a great fighter, but he’s coming off a loss to Rios. Rios is a Top Rank fighter; so am I. I think that fight makes sense. Rios is one hell of a fighter; you can't take nothing away from him. He’s a tough guy, he comes to fight. A fight between me and him, it would give the fans something to talk about,” Bradley told BoxingScene.com's Chris Robinson.
“Top Rank’s plans are to put [Rios] in there with Pacquiao, but nobody really knows what this kid can do if he fights a fighter like myself,” Bradley would state. “Beating Alvarado, I don’t think that proves he’s ready. But like I said, he’s a good fighter, but I think he needs to fight somebody like myself before he even steps in the ring to fight Pacquiao.”
Both Rios and Bradley are managed by Cameron Dunkin and promoted by Top Rank.
At the moment, Rios has no interest in Bradley. He is mentally focused on facing the winner of Saturday's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, which takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Rios will be sitting ringside at the MGM. An HBO pay-per-view date of April 20th has been mentioned for a potential Rios vs. Pacquiao/Marquez match.
"Timothy Bradley had a fight and he turned it down because he thinks he's worth more money. He can't even sell his hometown out. Right now Cameron Dunkin is looking for a great opportunity for my career and myself. [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum said I get the winner out of Pacquiao-Marquez, so I'm not worried about Timothy Bradley [and] I'm not looking at Timothy Bradley. I'm looking at [this fight] right here, Pacquiao-Marquez, and that's why I'm here [at the final press conference] today," Rios told BoxingScene.com.