Brandon Rios to face Mauricio Herrera on Donaire-Mathebula card

By Rob Smith: Former WBA World lightweight champion Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOís) has emerged unscathed from his controversial 12 round split decision victory over Cuban Richard Abril last month in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rios, 26, will be fighting #8 IBF 140 pound contender Maurico Herrera (18-2, 7 KOís) on July 7th on the same card as WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire in his unification bout against IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Although Rios initially took a ton of criticism for being given a win that many boxing fans felt he didnít deserve, Riosís boxing career is still steaming ahead towards a future shot against fellow Top Rank fighter Manny Pacquio. Rios has got it made just as long as he can continue winning in whatever way possible.

Rios is moving up in weight to 140 after having failed to make 135 in his second consecutive fight. Rios was supposedly working with a nutritionist to keep his weight down so that he could continue to make 135, but he still failed despite the help. This isnít good news for Rios, because he stood out in the 135 pound division because of his power and his ability to bulk after weighing in. However, at 140, Rios is just another fighter with decent power but not much in the way of boxing skills or the ability to get around the ring. Rios is basically a weaker version of Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, but without Matthysseís boxing ability. This doesnít mean that Rios wonít get his big payday bout against Pacquiao, because heís not likely going to be matched tough until that fight happens. Already, Pacquiaoís trainer Freddie Roach is making noises about wanting to match Pacquiao against Rios rather than a fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Herrera was just involved with an exciting fight against Mike Alvarado last month, losing by a 10 round decision. Herrera didnít have the power to beat Alvarado but he did a good job of landing a lot of shots and marking him up badly. If Herrera can do the same thing against Rios, the judges may not bail Rios out this time with a second controversial decision. Alvarado is stronger than Rios, so this could be a lot easier fight for Herrera than last time. I still think Rios will win because heís still a stronger puncher than Herrera but this is going to be a really hard fight for him.

Donaire is being built up to be a potential superstar. Unfortunately, he hasnít looked like a super star in ages, and perhaps this is why his promoter Bob Arum isnít matching him against WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux instead of the arguably much easier Jeffrey Mathebula, who is made to order for Donaire.

There canít be any more excuses for Donaire if he fails to look good yet again. He blamed opponent Omar Narvaez for him not shining against him, and in his last fight Donaire struggled to beat Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. After the bout Donaire blamed his poor performance on an injured right hand. It just goes on and on. Donaire can say what he wants, but if itís going to be like this every time the boxing fans will soon tune him out, and look for more exciting fighters to watch even if Arum crams Donaire down the fans throat by having him shown on television over and over for each fight.

Article posted on 24.05.2012

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