By Steve Kim
This Saturday night from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Ronnie Rios (28-1, 13 KO's) gets his first crack at a major world title when he faces WBC super bantamweight titlist, Rey Vargas, as the opening bout on HBO (which features Miguel Cotto's bout against Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title).
Rios is hoping that the defending champion brings the fight to him, as promised.
"Rey Vargas made a comment that he's going to knock me out because he doesn't want any bad decisions - so I expect a fight," said Rios, who hails from nearby Santa Ana. "I expect a fight, I tell everyone, 'Hey, I don't talk, I don't say I'm going to do this.' I just want to give everyone a good fight so I hope he comes to fight because he already said he wants to knock me out."
Vargas, who won his belt on February 25th in UK by out-pointing Gavin McDonell over twelve rounds, has a record 29-0 (24 KO's).
"I'm going to be there, hopefully he tries to deliver what he said.
Vargas is trained by the highly regarded Nacho Beristain, best known for training Mexican legend, Juan Manuel Marquez. But this doesn't faze Rios, who says,"a lot of coaches make mistakes, too. If you really look at this fight, (Julio Cesar)Chavez Jr against 'Canelo' (Saul Alvarez), the game plan he put together was not the best game plan. Everybody makes mistakes, I just think with age he may be on the way out."
And while Vargas is more like the traditional Beristain fighter, like a Marquez, but Rios states - "I wouldn't say Marquez because Marquez is a defensive wiz. I've seen a lot of tapes of Rey Vargas, he's been dropped three times so I don't want to say he's on the defensive level as Marquez."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.