By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
BATTLING Brits John Murray and Kevin Mitchell have both set their sights on a world title challenge against Brandon Rios.
The unbeaten 25-year-old Texan made a successful first defence of his WBA lightweight belt with a third-round KO of Urbano Antillon on Saturday.
Now John Murray and Kevin Mitchell, who meet for the WBO Intercontinental title in Liverpool on Saturday, are both ready to stake their claims for a meeting with Brandon Rios.
Promoter Frank Warren has already opened talks with Rios’ promoter Bob Arum over a meeting between the world ruler and his two lightweights.
Manchester ace Murray is ranked No.4 in The Ring lightweight rankings, while Rios is No.1 and Antillon was at No.8.
Unbeaten Murray said: “I have seen Rios’ fight at the weekend and he looks like a great champion. I have always said that I want to fight the best and I’d love to take him on next.
“I’m going to make a big statement in this fight to the rest of the champions in the division to sit up and take notice.
“Once I get this fight with Mitchell out of the way I’ve then cleaned up domestically and I want to fight for a world title and Rios would be an ideal opponent.”
However, Mitchell said: “Murray can talk up a fight between himself and Rios all he likes – but he has got to get past me first.
“I’m going to knock him out on Saturday, so he can kiss goodbye to his dream of becoming a world champion.
“Rios looks like an all-action fighter, so a fight between me and him would be an absolute classic.”