By Lem Satterfield
Newly-crowned WBA lightweight king Brandon Rios, of Oxnard, Calif., could be on a collision course with five-time champion, Marco Antonio Barrera, of Mexico, perhaps in the fall, according to a source close to their promoter, Top Rank Promotions.
The 24-year-old Rios (27-0-1, 20 knockouts) is coming off of last weekend's 10th-round knockout which dethroned WBA king Miguel Acosta (28-4, 22 KOs), ending the latter's 19-fight winning streak that had included 12 knockouts and stoppages in his previous three bouts.
The 37-year-old Barrera (67-7, 44 KOs) is coming off of last month's second-round stoppage of 43-year-old journeyman Jorge Arias (15-2, nine KOs), against whom Barrera scored knockdowns in each round.
Barrera ended a nine-fight winning streak by Arias that had included seven consecutive knockout wins for a man who was stopped for the first time in his career.
In accordance with the plan, Rios and Barrera would compete in seperate bouts on the proposed, July 16 rematch featuring WBA junior middleweight king Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) and ex-titlist Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs), this assuming that Cotto gets beyond a March 12 clash against former world champion Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 22 KOs).
Barrera had ended a 15-month layoff with June's lightweight, unanimous decision over Brazil's Adailton De Jesus, his first opponent since losing a March, 2009, five-round, technical decision to current WBA junior welterweight king Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs).
Barrera is among five Mexican fighters who have won world titles over the course of three divisions, along with former WBO and WBC bantamweight titlist Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KOs), WBA and WBO lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (107-6-2, 86 KOs) and Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs).
Barrera is most known for winning two fights in his trilogy with Morales, one whose legendary status, for Mexicans, rivals the one between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
In addition, Barrera remains the only man to have defeated former WBO and IBF featherweight (126 pounds) King Prince Naseem Hamed of England, who was 35-0, with 31 knockouts before losing a unanimous decision to Barrera in April of
Always a warrior, Barrera has twice defeated Rocky Juarez, fallen by unanimous decision to Marquez, and lost, respectively, by 11th-round knockout and decision to eight-division king and WBO welterweight (147 pounds) champion, Manny Pacquiao (53-2-1, 38 KOs).