By Ryan Burton
Shortly after his unanimous decision victory over Lenny Z on the pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga, IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez told BoxingScene.com that he felt he had the style to beat WBA regular champion Brandon Rios, who is known for his tremendous power and ability to take a punch. Vazquez is known as a good counter-puncher with an awkward style who fights similarly to Miguel Acosta, which is the boxer who Brandon Rios knocked out in February to capture his first world title.
BoxingScene.com spoke to Brandon Rios' trainer Robert Garcia about a potential unification fight with Vazquez who hails from Jalisco, Mexico. Garcia feels that his fighter would be able to break Vazquez down late in the fight.
"Vazquez is just like his nickname (Titere), he is like a puppet. They also call him "The Trick Man" and he has a lot of tricks with his style. He won't be easy but if its something that Top Rank and Cameron (Dunkin) can work out, then we would do it. Brandon is very powerful and strong and I think he could take Vazquez and break him down and finish him off in the late rounds," said Garcia.
Vazquez and Acosta are both good counter-punchers. Vazquez is a better defensively while Acosta is the harder puncher. After a few rounds Garcia feels that his fighter will be able to figure out "Titere" and slow him down the same way he slowed down and eventually stopped Acosta.
"Vazquez is similar to Acosta but Vazquez doesn't hit as hard. When I was watching his fight (versus Lenny Zuppavigna) I felt he would bring us a little bit of trouble in the first few rounds but so did Acosta and Acosta has tremendous power. It doesn't look like Vazquez hits anywhere near as hard as Acosta. I think Brandon would wear him down with body shots and those uppercuts he throws and I think Brandon would handle him the same as Acosta or maybe a little bit easier because I don't think Vazquez is as strong as Acosta."
Rios' manager Cameron Dunkin handles the negotiations for potential fights and makes the final decisions on the selection of opponents. Garcia said that Dunkin had mentioned that Rios' next fight would be against a name a name opponent. Garcia is in agreement that Rios should be in line for the big fights (after his knockout of Acosta on Showtime) but also knows that Humberto Soto and Urbano Antillon are fighting a rematch in May and won't be available for a while. Promoter Bob Arum has mentioned a possible clash between Rios and Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera - but said that he would like to build them up to a September or October clash.
"I know Cameron was looking at bigger things for Brandon and fights that are worth a lot more money like fighting Barrera or the Soto-Antillon winner. If there is time before a big fight like that, then Vazquez makes sense for a title unification fight. We are hearing that Brandon probably will fight in late May or early June but he doesn't have a date yet. I would love for him to fight on the Chavez Jr. (versus Zbik) undercard on June 4th in Los Angeles. If Vazquez wants it and Cameron and Top Rank want it then why not? Let's do it."
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