Top Rank’s goal is to make a return bout between former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios and junior welterweight Mike Alvarado, whose rematch is being targeted for March 30 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
In light of that, Rios (30-0-1, 23 knockouts) said that he would be willing to consider any number of other opponents if a second bout does not materialize against the previously unbeaten Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), whom he stopped in the seventh round of a bloody Fight-of-The-Year-caliber clash in October.
“I’ll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. The hard-hitters, the no-hitters, the movers, the guys that run. I’ll fight anybody, and it doesn’t matter who or what their name is,” said Rios, who made his 140-pound debut against Alvarado after having narrowly won by controversial split-decision over Richard Abril in April following an 11th-round knockout of John Murray last December.
“Bring ‘em on. I don’t care what they’re about. I’m just a warrior and I love to fight. This is why I’m in the sport and this business, because I love what I do. It don’t make a difference. Matthysse, Danny, Amir Khan, that moves. Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, it doesn’t really make a difference who is out there. I’ll fight anybody to get my name out there and be the best.”
Garcia has a scheduled Feb. 9 defense against former champ Zab Judah that is slated for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. On Saturday night, Matthysse will face twice-beaten Mike Dallas Jr., of Bakersfield, Calif.
Unlike Bradley, who is set to return on March 16 after having dethroned Manny Pacquiao by split-decision in June, Garcia and Matthysse are promoted by Top Rank’s rival Golden Boy.
“My goal has always been to fight for that WBC title. That’s what I’ve always wanted since I’ve been in boxing. But that fight’s kind of hard to make, because of the guy that holds it, Danny Swift, he’s with Golden Boy,” said Rios.
“Nothing against Danny, but I’m the sport, and that’s the belt that I want. But he’s with Golden Boy and I’m with Top Rank, so that’s kind of hard to make. But hopefully, one day, they can make an agreement.”
As far as Alvarado, Rios corroborated Dunkin’s assertion that money has been an issue, but expressed faith that a deal would soon be worked out.
“Anything is possible. They’ve given me a date, March 30, at the Mandalay Bay. So I’m just training, just in case. Like I have said, I’ll leave everything up to my manager, Cameron Dunkin, and that’s why he’s one of the best in the business. He knows what he’s talking about. Anything that he says, I’m like, ‘Okay, cool.’” said Rios.
“If he says ‘We’re going to fight this guy,’ then I’m going to fight this guy. Whatever it is. He looks out for me and my interests. That’s why I like Cameron. So we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen. Hopefully, they can reach an agreement and the fight goes on, and we’ll give the fans a great show. Anything is possible.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com