Ronny Rios had a stellar 2013, one that saw him go from prospect to contender.
Will that translate to a possible world title fight in 2014?
A victory over Andrew Cancio could continue Rios on that path.
Rios will fight Cancio in a 10-round junior lightweight bout at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill., tonight. The bout will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card and be televised live on a Golden Boy Live telecast, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Deportes.
Rios (22-0, 10 knockouts) opened his 2013 campaign with an impressive and one-sided victory over former world title holder Rico Ramos in January. He followed that up with a sixth round technical knockout over hard-hitting Leonilo Miranda on June 8.
In his last bout on Sept. 7 in Indio, Calif., Rios won an eight round unanimous decision over Jose Angel Beranza in a stay-busy fight.
Rios, who turned 24 in January, has passed every test thus far in his career. A victory over Cancio could lead into a more significant fight, with a possible title fight later this year.
“Ronny has done very well for himself and we’re going to start looking to get Ronny a shot at a world title later this year,” said Frank Espinoza, who manages Rios.
Cancio (15-2-2, 11 KOs) has accumulated wins early in his career, but a loss seems to put him two steps back. He went unbeaten in his first 10 fights before suffering his first defeat at the hands of unheralded Carlos Vinan in July of 2008.
Cancio would win his next six fights in a row before losing a close 10 round majority decision to Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez in September of 2012. In his last bout on July 27, Cancio won a 10-round unanimous decision over Jerry Belmontes.
Originally from Blythe, Calif., Cancio trains in Ventura with Danny Garcia.
In the televised co-feature, unbeaten featherweight Julian Ramirez will fight Carlos Rodriguez in an eight round bout.
Ramirez (10-0, 6 KOs) passed his first significant test as a pro, winning a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over Derrick Wilson on Jan. 24 in Indio, Calif. It was Ramirez’s first eight-round bout.
“I showed I can box and maintain my composure (in that fight),” said Ramirez, who is managed by Joel De La Hoya.
Rodriguez (18-13-4, 10 KOs) was stopped in the seventh round of his last fight at the hands of Joseph Diaz on Dec. 13.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing