Former two-division world champion Danny Garcia is returning to the ring Saturday night against Brandon Rios in a WBC welterweight world title elimination bout.
Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) and Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) are looking to get back on top of one of boxing’s deepest weight classes, the 147-pound welterweight division. The winner at Mandalay Bay Events Center will be in world-title contention with unified champion Keith Thurman, the holder of the WBC and WBA belts.
The Philadelphia fighter Garcia faces a tough former lightweight champion in Rios, who is training for the fight with longtome trainer Robert Garcia in Southern California. Like Garcia, Rios has fought many of the top welterweights of this era, including world champions Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.
Rios is one of boxing’s most aggressive, come-forward fighters - and disputes the notion that he's just another cherry being picked by Garcia.
"I'm ready 100 percent. I'm ready to give the fans an exciting show and that's what I've prepared for. That's my style. I always come forward and I come to fight. We ain't dancing, we're going to be fighting," Rios said.
"I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity. This can make or break me. I'm doing everything right in training and dieting. I usually say I can't wait until weigh-ins but this time I can't wait until Saturday.
"I just want to say that I ain't no f***ing cherry. I ain't no cherry. I'm a wild berry."
In the co-feature, boxing’s youngest world champion David Benavidez will defend his WBC super middleweight title for the first time against Ronald Gavril in a rematch of their September bout in which Benavidez won the vacant title via narrow split decision.
The 21-year-old Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) became the youngest reigning world champion in boxing and the youngest 168-pound champion in history at 20 years, 9 months when he scored a victory against Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs) to win the super middleweight title Sept. 8. The bout featured multiple swings of momentum, thrilling exchanges and a wild 12th round in which Gavril knocked Benavidez to the canvas.