One of boxing’s elite welterweights, Timothy Bradley, puts his WBO world title on the line this Saturday when he takes on the ever-tough brawler Brandon Rios at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Read on for the favorite to win the bout, a preview, and a quick prediction.
Odds to Win and Favorite
Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) enters Saturday’s encounter a decisive favorite in Vegas and on online sportsbooks (see below). But the two-division world champion from Palm Springs, California has been through many battles in his illustrious career and has looked less than spectacular in his most recent outings.
Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 23 KOs), on the other hand, is coming off the heels of a masterful win over Mike Alvarado and has nothing to lose by going for broke.
“We are ready for the best Tim Bradley, the one who beat Juan Manuel Marquez,” said Rios at a recent open workout. “I want to get back on top in boxing. Bradley is in my way. Bradley is going to be my ticket back to the top.”
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
bet365: Timothy Bradley -500 Brandon Rios +350
SportingBet: Timothy Bradley -600 Brandon Rios +400
StanJames: Timothy Bradley -400 Brandon Rios +300
888Sport: : Timothy Bradley -550 Brandon Rios +350
One of the main story lines going into Saturday is Bradley’s new cornerman, Teddy Atlas, who Bradley brought on board after surprisingly parting ways with long-time trainer Joel Diaz.
“I am not the same fighter I was before,” said Bradley. “When Teddy came to camp he challenged me, not what I could do physically but my mental aspect of fighting. He took a book of images of certain rounds I had fought previously. There were notes about what I did right and what I did wrong. No trainer of mine has ever prepared for a fight like Teddy has for me against Rios.”
Bradley returns to the ring on Saturday having outpointed an undefeated Jessie Vargas in June. Prior to the Vargas melee, 32-year-old Bradley had fought to a controversial draw decision against Argentine Diego Chaves last December, after losing in his rematch with Manny Pacquiao in April of 2014. Bradley holds wins over grade-A warriors Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, and Manny Pacquiao.
“The way to beat Tim Bradley is to put on pressure in the fight and try to knock him out,” said Rios’s trainer Robert Garcia. “We plan to cut off the ring and turn this into a real fight. We are not concerned with his change in a chief trainer because Bradley always comes in top condition and is ready to fight. Joel Diaz did a good job with Bradley.”
Former world champion Brandon Rios, of Oxnard, California, was last in action with a win in his rubber match against Mike Alvarado and a victory via disqualification over Diego Chaves. Going into those fights, 29-year-old “Bam Bam” Rios had suffered back to back losses to Manny Pacquiao and Mike Alvarado.
“Tim did his job to prepare for Rios,” said Teddy Atlas. “He knows what it takes and what we have to do to win on November 7. Tim is ready to fight. We both know what needs to be done — total focus for 12 complete rounds — to win this fight.”
Bradley is such a smart and experienced boxer, yet he seems to get drawn into gunfights that minimize his strengths (boxing, foot and hand speed), and accentuate his lack of stopping power. But expect Timmy to keep his cool and intelligently box his way to a convincing decision against a very game Rios.
Guy’s pick: Bradley by UD
Co-featured on Saturday’s card: Ukrainian featherweight phenom Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) defends his WBO world title against Mexican contender Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 15 KOs).