By Joseph Rodriguez
There are certain fights in boxing that when made have the potential to become future highlight reels or a potential fight of the year.. Many of theses fights are not the most heavily promoted, so the casual boxing fan, or any potential new fan misses the opportunity. Saturdays nights fight between Oxnard’s Brandon Rios and Argentinas Diego Chaves is a fight a harcore boxing fan invites a non-boxing friend to see, to turn them into new fans.
This fight is epecially significant to Rios is coming off of back to back losses, and he badly needs a win to secure future lucrative fight purses. Rios addressed this is an ESPN blog this week stating “When you are on top of the world, there are people who always want to be with you. I didn’t really know some of them, but they wanted to be close to me. But when you are at the lowest point in [your] career, no one comes around. No one seems to care. This is why my fight against Diego Chaves is do-or-die for me. And I want to make it a ‘do’ and not the ‘die’ part.” Rios is a self-described warrior, who goes into each fight giving a fan-friendly fight where he applies pressure, comes forward, looks to engage. Rios has stated in the past that he would like to be remembered not as one of the greatest who laced up a pair of gloves but as one of the greatest action fighters, in the same breath of the likes of Arturo Gatti.
Diego Chaves is not one to shy away from stating and engaging. In his fight against Keith Thurman he proved that he is no one to be taken lightly. Chaves and Thurman fought a highly competitive fight in which both men were hurt but Chaves eventually fell via a 10th rd. TKO. Chaves is known for his punching power and being a fighter with a brawler like style. Chaves stated to ESPN Dan Rafael this week “I know Rios very well. I watched his last two fights, against [Mike] Alvarado and [Manny] Pacquiao,” Chaves said. “He’s big and strong. I need to get into a rhythm to get this win. He’s a warrior — a great one — but warriors can be beat. This will be war in the center of the ring.” With similar styles and a similar mentality the fans should be in for an entertaining night.
From Atlantic City on the split telecast Sergey Kovalev takes on Blake Caparillo in what should be nothing more than a show case fight for Kovalev. Over the past few years Kovalev has been tearing through the light heavyweight division knocking out his last 8 opponents. A deal has been made for Kovalev to face Bernard Hopkins in November provided he wins.
Prediction: Rios by 8th rd. TKO. Jesse Vargas by 12th rd. unanimous decision. Kovalev by 5th rd. TKO
Rios vs Chaves Fight Card
Saturday night (HBO, 6:45 PST) at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV
• Main Event: Welterweights: Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) vs. Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs), 12 rounds
• Junior Welterweights: Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) vs. Anton Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs), 12 rounds
On the Same Card televised from Spilt Site from the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, NJ
• Light Heavyweights: Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) vs. Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs), 12 rounds