By Ryan Burton
A few weeks ago Banner Promotions CEO Artie Pellulo told BoxingScene.com that former WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, undefeated junior welterweight contender Chris Aligieri and other unnamed fighters were in the mix to face WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14th in a fight that will be televised by HBO. Brandon Rios had previously been mentioned as a possible candidate but was ruled out when Pellulo and Arum both expressed doubts that the Oxnard, Calif. based fighter can get down to 140 pounds.
Rios last fought at 147 pounds, his first fight at the weight, in November when he lost a decision to Manny Pacquiao in Macau. In a recent conversation with BoxingScene.com, Rios said that has absolutely no problems making 140 and that irregardless of his next opponent, his next ring appearance will be as a junior welterweight.
He also gave his thoughts on the situation of Provodnikov passing him over for someone else due to weight.
"That is stupid man. That is stupid because that fool (Provodnikov) goes on my Twitter and says it would be a great fight and I would love to fight you. It is true, that would be a great fight and I told him that. He said well you and me agree to it so now lets go to the promoters and make it happen. I said I am ready if you are ready. Then he is like well I heard you can't make weight. Mother****er if I say I can make 140 then I can make 140. The only reason I went to 147 was for the Pacquiao fight. That is the only reason why. I am still going to fight at 140 with or without him. I don't give a f**. It is stupid, man. At the end of the day, don't call someone out on the internet if you aren't going to follow through with it," Rios stated.
Provodnikov's team has stated that the Russian wants to defend his belt in his next fight but I asked Rios if he would be willing to fight Provodnikov at 147 (the weight he fought at against Tim Bradly last March) to make the fight come to fruition. Rios again insisted that his next fight will be at 140.
"They wanted the fight at 147 but I want it at 140. I want a title at 140. I still feel small at 147. I felt small against Manny Pacquiao. I made weight perfect. I felt great. I was eating good even the day of the weigh in," Rios explained.
Rios said that he has a lot of respect for Provodnikov and feels that the two match up well. He feels that he would come out with the victory because of his inside fighting.
"He's a warrior. He is a beast. He fights like I fight. He is a monster like I am a monster. He doesn't take a step back. I think I have the best inside fight game in the business, I modeled it after Julio Cesar Chavez (Sr.)," Rios told BoxingScene.com.
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