By James Slater: Though it’s already been reported how new WBA lightweight ruler Brandon Rios will likely be out of action for a few months due to the broken hand he suffered in his win over Miguel Acosta on Saturday night, there is already speculation as to who he will make his first defence against. Also, there is no shortage of fighters willing to call the exciting warrior out.
One man who was supposed to fight the Texan know as “Bam Bam” a while ago when the two would have met for the WBC Youth title at 135-pounds, is Manchester’s John Murray. The 26-year-old, unbeaten at 30-0, spoke on promoter Frank Warren’s official web site.
“Rios is a real quality operator, and his unbeaten record shows that he’s the kind of fighter I would love to face,” Murray said. “He’s strong, comes forward, throwing plenty of bombs as he looks to walk you down, and matched against my all-action style it would be one explosive fight. I’m glad that he’s won the world title because it lines up a cracking fight between me and him down the line.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to be a world champion, and if I’m going to do that, then Rios is the kind of guy I need to beat.”
And a definite war it would be. Murray loves a good battle, and Rios, as we again saw on Saturday in Las Vegas, has the same mentality. Maybe Warren can work with Bob Arum and get the fight on once Rios’ busted right hand has had time to heal. Either in England or in America, this one would be a big hit.
For now, though, Murray needs an opponent for his next fight. Set to fight on the under-card of the Juergen Braehamer-Nathan Cleverly WBO light-heavyweight title fight (now looking like going ahead at the later date of May 21st), Murray was to have met London’s once-beaten Kevin Mitchell. That fight would have likely been a barnburner, but, as fans know, the two were unable to agree terms and the fight fell apart.
Murray will keep busy in May, against a TBA, and then hopefully, he will land that huge opportunity against Rios. The holder of both the European title and the longest unbeaten run in current British boxing has patiently been waiting for his big chance for quite a while. Willing, he says, to fight “anyone out there,” Murray would likely push Rios hard all night. But would he beat him?