After scoring Saturday night’s seventh-round stoppage of junior welterweight rival Mike Alvarado, former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios told HBO’s Max Kellerman that he could do the same to either Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez.
Rios (31-0-1, 23 knockouts) became the first man to stop Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), doing so at the Home Depot Center on the undercard of a main event matching Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) against Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs), THE RING’s No. 3 and No. 1 junior featherweights, respectively.
After the fight, Kellerman mentioned to Rios during their post-fight interview that his name had “been floated in connection to the winner of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight” which is slated for Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View.
“Tell me how you feel about fighting a fighter of that caliber,” Kellerman asked.
“You see what happened to Mike Alvarado? I think I could do the same thing to them, too. Mike Alvarado, I think, he hits harder than them and he’s more tougher,” said Rios.
“Pacquiao’s an in and out guy. But you know what? Like I always do, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. taught me very well. Break the body down and the head will fall down.”
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) will face Marquez (54-6-2, 39 KOs) a fourth time. Marquez lost by a highly disputed majority decision in November to Pacquiao, with whom he has also battled to a draw and lost by split-decision previously.
Rios failed to make the 135-pound lightweight limit for both fights against Murray and Abril. Rios lost his WBA crown at the scales against Murray, and could not regain it as a result of his weight issues against Abril.
A deal was struck with the Murray camp in which Rios could weigh no greater than 10 pounds (147) when he was checked at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at his hotel. After Rios weighed 146.4 pounds on the morning of the fight, his bout with Murray was allowed to happen.
In the wake of his inability to make 135 any longer, Rios said he was confident that he could carry his power to 140.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org