By: Michael Kane
Brandon Rios travels to Tijuana to take on local favourite Humberto Soto on Saturday live on DAZN in the U.S and SKY Sports in the UK.
Both are former world champions, Soto a former multi weight champion will be looking to role back the years. The fight is taking place in the junior middleweight division which is some way out from where both fighters had there best days.
Soto (68-9-2, 37 KOs) won an interim featherweight title as well as world super featherweight and lightweight titles, while Rios is a former lightweight champion too.
Soto is on a three fight win streak after losing unanimous decision to Antonio Orozco in 2015. He last fought in August last year beating Edgar Puerta by unanimous decision.
Rios (35-4-1, 26 KOs) has won 4 and lost 4 from his last eight fights. Most recently he defeated Ramon Alvarez by TKO in the 9th in November last year.
The event at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez will be the first show Matchroom have put on on Mexico.
“It feels nice to fight back in Mexico,” said Rios to Matchroom Boxing website. “Especially right now with everything that’s going on, all the politics. Not only that, but it’s good to give the Mexican fans a great show, they get to see me live which is awesome.
“I’m fighting a guy that lives in Tijuana. He’s from Mexico, so I’m pretty sure the crowd’s going to be on his side, 100 per cent, but it feels good to be back out in front of Mexican fans. I’m ready to go and show the world that I’m ready to get back to the top again.
“The main decision for me to come back was when I was watching a fight on TV and j told my wife ‘baby, that can still be me. I can still do that shit. I know I can still do that shit.’ I just had bad camp, bad habits. She told me, ‘I’m going to let you do what you want to do, you’re a grown man but if you come back, you’ve got to promise me to do it right.’ None of the half assed shit with dieting, and all that. So I thought about it for about a day or two, and I had the urge for it.”
Rios has signed a three fight deal with Matchroom, this being the second of that deal and he is looking ahead to being in the mix for a title shot after promising his daughter.
“Nobody was really paying attention to me anymore, and Eddie gave me an opportunity, and I really appreciate that. I’m fighting my second fight with him, and I can’t wait to go again.
“My main target is to get a title shot. I promised my little girl. She does karate. I told her, if you become a black belt you give me that title. When I become a champion again, I give you my belt.
“We made that promise, and I don’t want to break her heart, so that’s why I want to be a champion again before I retire. I keep my word. Every day, I kid you not, she says ‘dad, remember you promised me?’ Every day. I come to the gym today, she’s asking me if I’m bringing back a title. That’s 100 per cent my drive.”
Rios feels with a win over Soto he will be back in title contention soon.
“You know what, it could be soon. It could be my next fight, who knows with Eddie Hearn. For now I’m just concentrating on this guy. I’m ready for whatever falls next.
“Soto is a veteran he’s 38 years old, he knows some tricks, he’s a former three time world champion, so we’ve got to be ready for whatever he brings. That’s why I’m working so hard to correct the mistakes.
“Working with Matchroom Boxing and being on DAZN, they’ve given me fights back to back which is great. I haven’t got that wasted time, rested time, there giving me fights right away. I’m grateful and happy to be a part of the team. I’m ready to get back to the top.
“Its going to be a great fight. You’ve got a three division former champion, Soto comes to fight, very talented and very skillful, he’s a big counter punched. Then you’ve got myself, Bam Bam, who comes to brawl and always gives the fans a good show, but what always makes a perfect fight is a counter and brawler. There’s always going to be punches thrown, always something going to happen.”
Soto said in the press conference “I’m excited to get into the ring once again. I’m really thankful to all my fans, and I’m really happy for the chance to be the main event once again.”
The card, as to be expected is stacked with Mexican fighters. Highlight of which will be the rematch between Jose ‘Gallito’ Quiniro (20-2-3, 9KOs) and Joel Cordoba (7-4-2, 1KO). Both fighters fought in December in an entertaining fight at the same venue that ended in a draw.
Decorated amateur Alexis Espino from Las Vegas makes his professional debut against Diego Pacheco (1-0, 1KO)
2016 former Olympian Joselito Velasquez (7-0, 6KOs), Omar Aguillar (11-0, 10KOs) and Sulem Urbina (8-0, 1KO) will all be looking to continue their unbeaten runs.