Brandon Rios isn't facing Yuriorkis Gamboa on April 14, which was the originally, highly-anticipated plan, and it's pretty damn tough to not be let down by the fact he'll be taking on Richard Abril on Top Rank pay-per-view, paired with Juan Manuel Marquez's fight with Serhiy Fedchenko.
But Rios is promising that it's going to be the usual fun Brandon Rios fight, and that the change in opponent won't mean less entertainment value for fight fans. From The RING:
"I love my job. It doesn’t matter who I fight. I’m always going to be the same Brandon, that same guy who puts on exciting fights."
Rios (29-0-1, 22 KO) put on very entertaining scraps last year against Miguel Acosta, Urbano Antillon, and John Murray, and has become one of the go-to fighters when you want action.
While some may be writing off Abril (17-2-1, 8 KO) as a pushover opponent for Rios, trainer Robert Garcia isn't overlooking the tall Cuban:
"He’s a difficult fighter. Abril is a very tall and rangy boxer. He’ll try to stick and move and hit Brandon with long punches, but Brandon's a beast and he’s got 12 rounds to work with."
Garcia goes on to say he expects Rios may have trouble early in the fight, but will be able to break down Abril, who will have about a three-inch height advantage. Abril's biggest win to date is also over Miguel Acosta, beating the Venezuelan last October by decision in Panama. He's won five straight overall since a loss to Hank Lundy in 2010, which came a couple of fights after a close loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008.
Who's excited for this card? I know it stinks to pay $50 or so for a fight card without a marquee fight (and often stinks to pay $50-70 for one with a marquee fight), but I think there's real potential for an exciting night here, and I'm not saying that to shill. With this fight, Marquez-Fedchenko (which has Marquez, at least), Alvarado-Herrera, and Gesta-guy he's fighting (Oscar Cuero, for now), there should be bang for your buck. Or at least that's my hope, since I have to watch it.