Undefeated featherweight contender Ronny Rios won a close 10-round unanimous decision over game and competitive Andrew Cancio in a Golden Boy Live! main event from the UIC Center in Chicago on Monday. Rios won by scores of 97-93 (twice) and 96-94.
The junior lightweight bout was hard fought from beginning to end and often contested from close quarters where both young prize fighters blasted away at each other's bodies. Rios (23-0, 10 knockouts), THE RING's No. 9-rated featherweight, was the more accurate puncher and often the more elusive boxer thanks to his head-and-upper body movement. However, Cancio (15-3-2, 11 KOs), a 25-year-old fighter from Blythe, Calif., was the busier of the two and often the aggressor.
Cancio was coming off a 10-round decision over spoiler Jerry Belmontes. Rios, a 24-year-old boxer from Santa Ana, Calif., fought three times in 2013, including a decision over former 122-pound beltholder Rico Ramos and a TKO of fringe contender Leonilo Miranda.
In the co-featured bout of the Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes telecast, 21-year-old junior featherweight prospect Julian Ramirez outboxed and outworked serviceable Mexican journeyman Carlos Rodriguez en route to an eight-round unanimous decision.
Ramirez (11-0, 6 KOs) won by scores of 80-72, 79-73, 78-74. The L.A. native applied smart pressure throughout the bout and worked his tough 30-year-old opponent over against the ropes. Rodriguez (22-14-3, 10 KOs) covered up a lot when under attack but gamely fired back whenever Ramirez gave him the room to do so.