Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: McEwan-Qullin, Dunkin touts Rios, Belmontes eyes Russell



WBA lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios hasn’t minced words when it has come to his desires for glory in the business of boxing.

Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs), THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight, basically wants to roll through the magazine’s No. 7-rated British contender Johnny Murray (31-1, 18 KOs) on Dec. 3, vanquish unbeaten featherweight standout Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) sometime in 2012, and then battle an opponent such as junior welterweight contender Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) beyond that.

“Brandon’s got some big plans for himself for next year, you know?,” manager Cameron Dunkin said of the 25-year-old slugger, who is trained by Robert Garcia and will pursue his 11th win in a row against Murray on the undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito.

“People are talking about Gamboa. People are talking about him maybe purusing a 140-pound title later next year. There are a lot of things being talked about for Brandon Rios, and he’s got a great future. But he’s got to keep on winning, and he’s got to look good.”

The 26-year-old Murray suffered the sole loss of his 32-fight career in July, an eighth-round knockout loss to Kevin Mitchell (32-1, 24 KOs) during which he was floored in the final round.

Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum has said that Rios against Gamboa could be a possibility, particularly since Gamboa and Rios are each promoted by Top Rank Inc.

“After Murray, we should shoot for Gamboa maybe in January or February or as soon as possible,” said Rios. “After we fight Gamboa, I want to go to 140 and I want to fight Marcos Maidana.”

Rios told Garcia that he longed to be involved in a fight that invokes memories of Arturo Gatti’s trilogy with Micky Ward and the Diego Luis Castillo-Jose Luis Castillo 2005 Fight of The Year.

“This is a great chance for Brandon to showcase himself in New York City and on the East Coast,” said Dunkin. “Most importantly, it is on HBO Pay Per View, which is a great deal of exposure, so it’s really exciting.”



Last week, it was announced that unbeaten southpaw featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. (18-0, 10 KOs) would face Vietnam native Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6 KOs), of Vero Beach, Fla., in an HBO-televised tripleheader headlined by WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs)  and Kermit Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KOs), and also featuring unbeaten junior lightweight contender Adrien Broner (21-0, 17 KOs) oppposite hard-hitting Vicente Martin Rodrigues (34-2, 19 KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 26.

Before that, a fighter being considered for Russell Jr. was Texas-based super featherweight Jerry Belmontes (15-0, 5 KOs), who is nicknamed “The Corpus Christi Kid.”

Belmontes is trained by his father, who is deaf, “but they communicate beautifully,” said Belmontes’ publicist and manager, Adrian Clark.

An accomplished amateur, Belmontes won a gold medal in the National Silver Gloves in 2002, won a bronze medal in the 2005 World Cadet championships, and a gold medal in the 2006 U.S. Under-19 championships.

Belmontes will now move on to a clash with Alicio Castaned (13-1, 5 KOs) on Nov. 18 in Robstown, Tex.  

Russell Jr., meanwhile, was last in the ring pitching a virtual shutout over an eight-round, unanimous decision against Leonilo Miranda (32-4, 30 KOs) last month.

Russell’s victory was on the under card of a main event featuring Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) dethroning Jan Zaveck (31-2, 18 KOs) by fifth round knockout for the IBF welteweight belt.

Nguyen is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Luis Orlando Del Valle in June that ended his six-fight winning streak since his previous setback, a six-round split-decision loss to Gregorio Torres in August of 2007.

Rodrigues is 13-0-1 with nine knockouts since losing by unanimous decision to William Kitchett over 10 rounds in August of 2008.

Cintron has battled to a disputed draw with RING middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs), been stopped twice by ex-beltholder Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) and lost a controversial decision to former two-time beltholder Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs).

The hard-hitting Cintron is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision over Antwone Smith (20-3-1, 12 KOs) in August that helped him to rebound from a loss to Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs) in July.

Alvarez is coming off last month’s sixth-round knockout of Alfonso Gomez (23-5-1, 12 KOs).


Unbeaten Canadian junior welterweight Pier-Olivier Cote will puruse his 18th win without a loss and his 12th knockout against Jorge Luis Teron (25-2-1, 17 KOs) in Saturday night’s 12-round co-feature on Showtime.

Cote-Teron will take place on the undercard of a main event featuring RING No. 3-rated, IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute (29-0, 24 KOs) against former titleholder Glen Johnson (51-15-1, 35 KOs) from the at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

The 27-year-old Cote (17-0, 11 KOs), of Quebec City, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Pedro Navarrete in July, and has won four of his last five bouts by knockout.


Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwire Images

Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

Photo courtesy of Adrian Clark


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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