Brandon Rios Loses Title On Scale Due To Failure To Make Weight, Will “Bam Bam” Lose Vs. Murray Also?

Brandon RiosBy James Slater: As fans have probably read by now, unbeaten lightweight sensations Brandon Rios is no longer the WBA 135-pound champ. Unable to make the 135-pound limit at the second time of asking (Rios scaled 136.4 at the first attempt, and then 135.6 after stripping down - then gave up and agreed to forfeit his belt), the warrior who had said previously that tonight’s fight with Britain’s John Murray would be his last at lightweight now faces a non-title affair with Murray.

How much has Rios, 28-0-1(21) taken out of himself in getting down as low as he was able to manage? Does the possibility that Rios may be weight-drained give Murray more of a chance of scoring the big upset tonight in New York? Team-Murray certainly feel as though Rios - who has massive fights with the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa and Marcos Maidana in his sights - has/is underestimating the former European champ; as trainer Joe Gallagher wrote via Twitter:

“Rios and team had no idea who John was after John had walked up to Rios to acknowledge him and his team. How much homework has been done?”

If Rios has looked past Murray, and if he did take things relatively easy in the gym whilst prepping for tonight’s expected thriller, the would-be superstar could be in big, big trouble. Murray, a huge betting underdog, has put everything into training; knowing as he does that tonight’s fight is the chance of a lifetime.

“Maybe he is taking me lightly,” Murray, 31-1(18) said to Manchester Evening News. “I’ve prepared to face the world champion - to be at my best. When I beat him I don’t want any excuses.”

I’m still not convinced Murray will beat Rios tonight, but I gave him a good chance before the weight issue, and I give him an even better shot now. If he does win the now vacant WBA title, Murray will go down in history as a Brit who scored one of the biggest and best “away” wins of the 21st century.

Should tonight’s fight last long enough to enter the middle and late rounds, a time when fitness and stamina come into play big time, the better-prepared fighter could come on to dominate. That fighter is John Murray; who made the weight comfortably at the first time of asking.

At the very least Rios has been extremely unprofessional in failing to make lightweight.

Article posted on 03.12.2011

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