RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez could face RING No 1-rated lightweight Brandon Rios on July 14 at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium if each gets beyond his opponent on April 14, in a split-site, pay per view card, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com on Saturday.
The card will be produced by Top Rank and distributed by HBO Pay Per View.
Rios (29-0-1, 22 knockouts) will first face Richard Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs) for the vacant WBA lightweight belt that once belonged to Rios from the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, this, in the wake of THE RING’s No. 1-rated featherweight, Yuriorkis Gamboa, pulling out of a scheduled bout with Rios last week.
In the main event, Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) will then meet Ukrainian Sergei Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KOs) for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt from New Mexico City Arena in Mexico City.
“Marquez against Rios, yes, that’s a possibility for July 14 at Cowboys Stadium if they both win their fights,” said Arum. “Marquez is in a good fight against the Russian guy, and we’ll bring that to Mexico, where it will be a sold out house I think. From Vegas, we’ll have Rios in a fight that will be a helluva war.”
Abril is coming off October’s unanimous decision victory over Acosta, whom he dropped once in the fourth and twice in the 10th. The victory was the fifth straight for Abril, including two knockouts, since losing by split-decision to Henry Lundy in January of 2010.
Rios floored Acosta once each in rounds six, eight, and 10 on the way to his 10th-round knockout victory for the WBA belt in Febuary of 2011. Rios lost the WBA belt on the scales before his last fight, which was December’s 11th-round knockout of John Murray.
“You know, that’s a very competitive fight,” said Arum of Rios-Abril. “costa was beating Rios until Rios got on top and finally knocked him out. And, Abril just fought Acosta and he knocked him down three times when he fought him.”
Arum said that San Diego resident and lightweight Mercito Gesta (24-0-1, 12 KOs), who hails from the Philippines, will face an opponent to be determined from the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Also from Las Vegas, junior welterweight Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs), of Denver, will battle Mauricio Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs) of Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Alvarado is coming off November’s 10th-round knockout of Breidis Prescott, one of the two men to beat both Abril and ex-IBF/WBA beltholder, Amir Khan. Herrera has won five straight fights.
“We have four great fights that will make for a very exciting event, including a legend from México in Juan Mánuel Márquez and undefeated knockout artist Brandon Rios who is trying to recapture his world title,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
“The dual-site pay-per-view event will open at Mandalay Bay with Gesta, followed by Alvarado vs. Herrera and the Rios-Abril world title fight. The grand finale will send boxing fans to México City where they will get their first look at the brand new Arena México, and a projected full house, on hand to witness Márquez’s attempt at history. Top Rank owes a great deal to its sponsors, Mandalay Bay and HBO for its continued support of our event.”
Rios and Abril once had a confrontation during a press conference during which Abril slapped Rios.
“He may not have thought I was a real champion when he slapped me but he’s going to know I’m a real champion on April 14 when I knock him on his South Beach,” said Rios. “I do give Abril credit for one thing. I know he’s going to show up for this fight. That will be his second mistake with me.”
Abril says that he won’t back down.
“Rios won’t need a GPS to find me on April 14,” said Abril. “All he’ll have do to is look up and see the referee holding my hand up in victory.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com