By Keith Idec
Victor Ortiz still wants to fight Brandon Rios.
To make their bout bigger, it would be better if Rios upsets Danny Garcia on February 17, the same night Ortiz will encounter Devon Alexander on another card. Ortiz just can’t envision his rival beating Garcia, a former welterweight champion who has lost just once and is still in his physical prime.
“At this point in time, I don’t see Rios doing much damage to Danny Garcia,” Ortiz told Premier Boxing Champions recently for a video posted to PBC’s website. “I just don’t see it.”
Philadelphia’s Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) is listed by most Internet sports books as a 20-1 favorite over Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs), of Oxnard, California.
The 31-year-old Rios isn’t much older than Garcia (29), but was dominated and stopped by Timothy Bradley in his last welterweight fight against a top opponent. Bradley beat Rios by ninth-round technical knockout in their November 2015 fight in Las Vegas.
Garcia-Rios will headline a Showtime tripleheader February 17 from Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Earlier that night, the 31-year-old Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) will attempt to rejuvenate his career when the southpaw from Ventura, California, goes up against Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs), a former two-division champion from St. Louis. FOX will air their 12-rounder from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
When asked about fighting different opponents on the same night, as opposed to facing each other, Ortiz said he would’ve fought Rios long ago if it were up to him.
“Rios and I should’ve happened a long time ago,” Ortiz said. “I think Rios knows [better] than anyone why the fight did not take place or happen. But at this point in time, apparently I’ve been dodging and I’ve been scared and I guess I’ve been shivering in my pants, you know? So I don’t see him winning [against Garcia].”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.