Home Boxing News John Murray on Rios vs Abril

John Murray on Rios vs Abril

Frank Warren Promotions


By Glyn Evans


Box Nation’s commitment to delivering fans live coverage of the very best fighters and fights from all around the globe continues this weekend when they showcase Brandon


‘Bam Bam’ Rios, arguably the best lightweight on the planet, attempt to regain the WBA title he surrendered to the scales last December.


On Saturday night, Rios fronts up to Cuba’s Richard Abril at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas on Saturday live on BoxNation (Sky Ch.456/Virgin Ch. 546). If the contest is anywhere near as feisty as the physical exchanges at the pre-fight presser have been, this one is going to be unmissable.


Rios, the 25 year old former juvenile delinquent from Garden City, Kansas has latterly emerged as one of boxing’s most colourful and controversial characters, both in and away from the ring.


Between the ropes, the one time national amateur champion and 2004 US Olympic alternate at featherweight has racked up a 29-0-1 pro card (22 stoppages, several spectacular) and a reputation for ‘coming to war’ each and every fight, regardless of who is advancing from the opposing corner. For those yet to witness him, he is extremely fan friendly; a bull strong, aggressive, undervalued combination puncher with dangerously heavy hands.


Debuting in July 2004, ‘Bam Bam’ first generated attention in September 2010 when he dropped 30-0 Anthony Peterson (brother of Lamont) and threatened to run him clean out of the ring. Shamelessly, Peterson ‘copped out’, delivering a string of low blows which earned him a red card and safe exit.


Now based in Oxnard, California where he is trained by ex IBF superfeather king Roberto Garcia, Rios claimed the WBA title in February 2011 with a three knockdown, ten round annihilation of dangerous Venezuelan banger Miguel Acosta. After a savage three round rub out of Urbano Antillon last July, he forfeited his title by flunking the weight ahead of his


December 2011 defence against Manchester’s John Murray. That said, he didn’t appear short of gas or condition when halting the industrial tough Mancunian in 11 hectic rounds. Rios has since enrolled a nutritionist to his team and is adamant that strimming to 135lbs again won’t be problematic.


His adolescence was spent in and out of correctional institutions or on probation as he warred on the streets and became involved in drugs. He has a longstanding public feud with ex world welter champion Victor Ortiz who also originates from Garden City. Lately, he claims to have been tamed by his new wife Vicky, a social worker. We’ll see!


In Abril, he faces one sinister looking hombre who certainly appears primed for the job. Having bagged the WBA ‘interim’ belt with a triple knockdown 12 round decision over the aforementioned Acosta in Panama last October, the 29 year old Miami based Cuban gatecrashed his way to the Rios gig by bitch slapping ‘Bam Bam’ at a presser for the aborted Rios- Yurikios Gamboa spat!


Born in La Isla De La Juvented, Abril won Cuban juvenile titles and boxed on the national junior squad during a stellar 213-5 amateur career. He turned pro in Florida under Dream Team Boxing Promotions, with state blessing, in December 2005 and the two reverses on his 17-2-1 CV were both contestable 10 round split decisions to useful Breidis Prescott and Henry Lundy.


Despite his aggressive recent antics and ‘El Tigre’ ring moniker, the 5ft 11in Abril is a gangly, unorthodox and elusive operator. With just eight stoppage wins to his name, one senses he’ll be best served cutting the machismo and attempting to outfox Rios.


Following that tact, he could enjoy early success but, provided Rios can indeed make 9st 9lb healthily, I doubt Abril can sustain it for the full championship trip. Rios carries the bombs to flatten him at any stage but will most likely be staved until the fight’s final third before formally reclaiming his belt.




Ex British, Commonwealth and European champion John Murray shared 11 brutally hard rounds in bad boy Brandon Rios’s company last December, before being stopped, still vertical, with the vacant WBA crown up for grabs.


Murray says: ‘Beforehand Brandon had his ‘game face’ on but we had a good chat after and, speak as you find, he was a really nice fella.


Brandon’s very good. Stylewise, he’s pretty similar to me but was just better on the night. The way to beat him is simple. Hit him harder and more often than he hits you!


In the ring, he was absolutely huge and towards the end I found him very heavy handed. He probably didn’t hit me as hard as Kevin Mitchell did but I’d say he was physically stronger than Kevin. That’d be a great fight between them two.


I was in great shape and tried to drag Rios into a tear up but he’s nice and compact and remained very composed. He’s not the fastest – you could see his shots coming – but he throws real good combinations and he’s very accurate. His uppercuts through the middle done me. He just broke me down.’

Live coverage of Rios v Abril on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) nwill start at 2am on Sunday morning.

BoxNation is the first dedicated subscription boxing TV channel in the UK to bring together the biggest names in amateur, domestic and international boxing with an unbeatable schedule of matches from across the globe.

For just £10 per month BoxNation offers unbeatable value for money for all fight fans. To subscribe to BoxNation simply go to www.boxnation.com and hit the “Subscribe Now” button and choose your subscription package. Simple!


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