Diego Chaves arrived at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas on Thursday morning from his native Argentina for Saturday’s welterweight appearance against Brandon Rios at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, this after issues with his visa were resolved.
Rios (31-2-1, 23 knockouts), 28, is 1-2 in his past three fights and is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in his welterweight debut in November.
Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs), 28, will be fighting on American soil for only the third time against Rios but has scored knockouts in his past six victories.
Chaves debuted in Las Vegas with a six-round unanimous decision over Edvan Dos Santos Barros at the Hard Rock Hotel in March 2010 but was floored once each in the ninth and final rounds of a 10th-round knockout loss to Keith Thurman in San Antonio in July 2013.
Chaves rebounded from the Thurman loss in February when he stopped Juan Alberto Godoy in the third round.
“Brandon Rios has lost two fights in a row and knows his back is against the wall,” said RingTV.com’s Franciso Salazar, who believes Rios will be “fighting with a reckless abandon and being a bad-ass…”
“The ebb and flow of the fight will be tremendous as both will throw and land ridiculous amounts of punches and combinations. Expect a flash knockdown between the two during the fight. Chaves flew in late Wednesday, which will make some wonder about jet lag.”
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 20 boxing insiders as to what will transpire in in Rios-Chaves.
Brandon Rios W 10 Diego Chaves: In a fair fight, I’d say this would be akin to Joshua Clottey-Diego Corrales, where size truly matters, and Brandon Rios, weight-wise, is a man without a country.
Given Diego Chaves’ lingering visa issues and if he even makes it to fight night, you have to factor in how that would potentially weigh against him. If the fight is relatively close over the course of the night, I expect Rios to escape with – and perhaps “steal” – a decision.
Record: 15-5 [Last pick: Gennady Golovkin TKO 11 Daniel Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 8 Diego Chaves: There’s sympathy in this corner for Diego Chaves, whose chances were undercut by the mess caused by a computer glitch that delayed the paperwork he needed to fight in the U.S.
Who’s running U.S. immigration these days? The WBC? Chaves has his visa but the 15-hour trip from Argentina to Las Vegas complicates the challenge he faces against Brandon Rios.
After two straight losses, Rios desperately needs a victory. A desperate Rios is a dangerous Rios. He figures to take advantage of a Chaves weary from travel and perhaps distracted by the uncertainty of whether he’d be able to fight at all.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 11 Geale]
Brandon Rios W 10 Diego Chaves: Both of these fighters can absorb one hell of a beating but who can take the bigger lickin’ and keep on tickin? I’d say it’s “human punching bag” Brandon Rios. Top Rank’s “Bam Bam” has never been stopped and he’s been in the ring with quality punchers like Manny Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado.
Diego Chaves took the best of “knockout artist” Keith Thurman and he crumbled in defeat. As for the possibility of Chaves “outboxing” Rios, I just don’t see it happening or being rewarded by the judges if it does. At the Vegas Cosmopolitan, these welterweight warriors should have it out like rock ’em-sock ’em-robots for 10 rounds with Chaves getting the worst of it, particularly to the body.
Rios punches a little harder and he actually likes to get hit in the face more than Chaves does. That’s what makes Rios special, if not a little sick in the head.
Even if it’s close on the scorecards or looks like it could go to Chaves, Rios will win by decision. Promoter Bob Arum is on a roll and he’s not done with Rios just yet. If the fight happens to end in a stoppage, it will be Rios with his hand raised and Chaves protesting in vain.
Record: 16-7 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 8 Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 10 Diego Chaves: It’s on. It’s off. It’s on. Finally, the visa issues have been put to bed and we have a fight. Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios should be a level or two above Diego Chaves in this one.
Rios is coming off two punishing losses but those were against super tough warhorse Mike Alvarado and the legendary Manny Pacquiao. Rios’ management is looking to see what their man has left against a fighter that he should be able to handle.
I think he passes the test. Barely. Chaves gets a bit wide when he attacks and I think he’ll make a mistake and allow Rios to capitalize late. It’ll be a very tough bout until that happens.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 5 Geale]
Diego Chaves UD 10 Brandon Rios: The styles virtually guarantee an action fight but while Brandon Rios has the far more dependable chin – Diego Chaves was nearly knocked senseless by Omar Weis and was KO’ed by Keith Thurman – Chaves has far less miles on the odometer.
Welterweight also isn’t Rios’ best weight class and by the time he steps into the ring, he’ll likely be a middleweight, which will cost him in terms of speed and snap. Rios at his best would win this fight but I don’t believe we’ll see a prime Rios here.
Record: 12-4 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 9 Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 9 Diego Chaves: Make no bones about it, Diego Chaves is about as live as a dog as it gets. Considering Brandon Rios’ last two losses and the difficulties that Chaves presented Keith Thurman, there is a distinct possibility that Chaves scores the upset. However, after the Thurman fight, I don’t see Rios and Robert Garcia taking Chaves lightly at all.
With that being said, expect this fight to be a close and exciting affair early on as both fighters test the chin of their opponent with high frequency. It’s clear that Rios has fought the better opposition and has survived hellacious punches from some of boxing’s most fearsome punchers.
On the other hand, Chaves’ only real test was Thurman and he was knocked out in the late rounds. Although Rios is a pretty one-dimensional brawler, his gas tank and aggressiveness should eventually wear down Chaves in the later rounds and see him pound out a TKO stoppage. It almost goes without saying that this could be a “Fight of the Year” contender but don’t we think that of all Rios’ fights?
Record: 17-4 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 7 Geale]
Brandon Rios SD 10 Diego Chaves: Waiting anxiously in a Buenos Aires hotel room for a visa until Wednesday cannot have been good for Diego Chaves, mentally or physically. He’ll still make what should emerge as an action-packed slugfest highly competitive on Saturday night.
Considering the defensive deficiencies and the will of both Rios and Chaves, HBO subscribers should get plenty of entertainment value out of this one. Expect Rios to be a little busier, though, enough to edge Chaves on the scorecards.
Record: 10-1 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 9 Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 9 Diego Chaves: This will certainly be an action fight. Brandon Rios has gotten a bad rap since losing to Manny Pacquiao and he should have plenty left for this one.
Working against Diego Chaves in this one will be all the problems he had gaining entry into the country. While an intangible, that kind of distraction and worry doesn’t help anyone. Chaves is a spirited fighter, has some skills and is a good body puncher.
Rios will try to walk him down and Chaves, who will probably try to move, will have some very good moments. However, Rios, after he works out his own rust, will begin breaking Chaves down, slow him down and finally stop him with a volume of heavy punches in the final third of the fight.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 5 Geale]
Diego Chaves W 10 Brandon Rios: I doubt that someone could ever accuse me of the unforgivable sin of cheering from press row but I really have to go with my paisano in this one.
Slight advantages in speed and power, more noticeable advantages in boxing skills and variety of angles and a very clear advantage in mobility are the virtues that favor Diego Chaves in this fight.
I guess I could give Brandon Rios the advantage in the chin department – only because it’s been tested more thoroughly than Chaves’ – but “The Jewel” compensates this shortcoming with the fact that he has not been in as many wars as Rios. Therefore, he hasn’t been exposed to the same degree of wear and tear. Slight edge for Chaves to win on points.
Record: 5-3 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 5 Geale]
Brandon Rios SD 10 Diego Chaves: Brandon Rios is coming off back-to-back-losses to Mike Alvarado and Manny Pacquiao. The Alvarado fight was a war while the Pacquiao fight was a shutout. Diego Chaves gave highly-regarded Keith Thurman a good fight until he ran out of gas.
Chaves was stopped in round 10. This bout could come down to desire. Rios desperately wants to end his losing streak. I see the former lightweight champion coming on late to win a razor-thin split decision.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 11 Geale]
Brandon Rios KO 9 Diego Chaves: I think Brandon Rios is smart enough to know that this is a do-or-die fight and I expect him to fight that way. Frankly, he can’t do very well against an opponent with any real boxing skills.
But that’s not who Diego Chaves is. Chaves will try to replicate what Manny Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado did before him and it may work for a few rounds.
But sooner or later he’ll get hit and brawl and that should play right into Rios’ hands. This should be the type of fight that Rios loves to have and a winnable one at that. Rios in nine.
Record: 17-4 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 7 Geale]
Brandon Rios KO Diego Chaves: Diego Chaves is a tough character but Brandon Rios is too and he’s far more proven. Rios needs a win after a lackluster showing against Pacquiao last year and he’ll get it.
Record: 12-10 [Last pick: Golovkin KO Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 11 Diego Chaves: Brandon Rios has lost two fights in a row and knows his back is against the wall. He’s ditched strength-and-conditioning coaches in favor of doing what he knows best: Fighting with a reckless abandon and being a badass.
While it may not always work, it should work against the likes of Diego Chaves, who put up a valiant effort before being stopped by Keith Thurman. The ebb and flow of the fight will be tremendous as both will throw and land ridiculous amounts of punches and combinations.
Expect a flash knockdown between the two during the fight. Chaves flew in late Wednesday, which will make some wonder about jet lag. Regardless, Rios does enough to stop Chaves by the 11th round.
Record: 5-0 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 9 Geale]
Diego Chaves W 10 Brandon Rios: When the fight was first talked about, I thought Diego Chaves would outbox and maybe even stop Brandon Rios. But now that he just came in to the United States, I see a much more difficult fight for both.
Although jet lag and up and down emotions for Chaves will make this a more competitive fight, I still see Chaves squeaking by and winning a close decision.
Record: 5-3 [Last pick: Alvarez W 12 Lara]
Brandon Rios KO 8 Diego Chaves: Diego Chaves was stopped by Keith Thurman and he seems tailor-made for Brandon Rios, who needs a little pick up after a pair of losses. Chaves can slug but he’s not Manny Pacquiao and not Mike Alvarado.
Record: 11-0 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 7 Geale]
Diego Chaves W 10 Brandon Rios: It’s hard to say how much, if at all, Diego Chaves’ delayed arrival will affect him mentally. This is boxing and people react in different ways.
But going from what we know, I like Chaves by a decision. I think Chaves is fresher, has been fighting at that weight longer and has subtle skill, which he showed by landing counters against Keith Thurman.
Rios is obviously the more experienced at the world level. I want to see how Chaves reacts to the power of Rios but I like Chaves at this point.
Record: 5-0 [Last pick: Terence Crawford W 12 Yuriorkis Gamboa]
Bradley Starks, guest/fan, Novato, Calif.
Brandon Rios TKO 10 Diego Chaves: This is a do-or-die fight for Brandon Rios. Rios can’t afford to lose three in a row and I think that is enough motivation for him to give it his all and get back in the win column. While Diego Chaves has the advantage of having more experience at welterweight, much of it is against nondescript opposition.
I think Rios has something to prove and will grind the Argentinian down to a late-round stoppage in a very entertaining scrap with lots of back and forth action.
Record: 4-0 [Last pick: Golovkin UD 12 Geale]
Brandon Rios W 10 Diego Chaves: If there was ever a fighter presently in the sport of boxing who needed a win desperately, it’s Brandon Rios, who has lost two fights in a row.
However, prizefighting today is unforgiving with consecutive losses and a third straight could very well be the end for the man known as “Bam Bam.”
Diego Chaves is no walk in the park. Chaves has heavy hands, an awkward style at times,and is a true welterweight. Rios had a penchant for slugging it out while absorbing heavy haymakers.
I could very well see Chaves outworking and out-slugging the former lightweight champ but in the end, I say Rios takes a controversial decision over Chaves.
Record: 16-5 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 11 Geale]
Brandon Rios TKO 10 Diego Chaves: Brandon Rios doesn’t have the type of one-hit KO power like a Gennady Golovkin but he does manage to bring the fight to overwhelm his opponents.
Seemingly too determined to know when to go down, Rios keeps coming throwing with an emphasis on bruising volume. You can say what you like about Rios but there is no quit coming from “Bam Bam.”
Diego Chaves showed fast hands, variety in his punches and what appeared to be respectable power, as he dissuaded Keith Thurman from remaining in toe-to-toe exchanges. However, it does appear that Chaves will fight the fight that’s placed in front of him.
The scrap that “Bam Bam” promises to bring could prove problematic for a fighter whose chin can be checked. Chaves certainly possesses pop but eventually slamming punches into a smiling brick wall will wear you down. Look for an entertaining scrap and Rios to walk away with a TKO in the 10th after wearing down Chaves with his usual punch output.
Record: 9-7 [Last pick: Erislandy Lara MD 12 Saul Alvarez]
Brandon Rios W 10 Diego Chaves: It’s an interesting fight that was thrown into some doubt when it looked as though Diego Chaves wouldn’t be allowed into America due to visa issues.
That won’t have helped his focus on the bout. I expect Brandon Rios to look to engage the Argentinean, who I think will happily oblige. It could well be a battle of wills.
We saw Keith Thurman finally break Chaves when they fought last summer. All told, I see Rios pushing Chaves back in the late stages to win a close, spirited fight on the cards.
Record: 15-5 [Last pick: Golovkin TKO 10 Geale]
By an overwhelming, 16-to-4, the insiders have chosen Brandon Rios to rebound with a welterweight victory over Diego Chaves.
Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotions