Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion “Bam Bam” BRANDON RIOS will make the first defense of his world title when he takes on two-time world title challenger and current Top-Five-rated contender URBANO ANTILLO, Saturday, July 9, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The co-main event will feature former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion KERMIT CINTRON and CARLOS MOLINA in a 10-round super welterweight fight. Both bouts will be televised live on SHOWTIME®, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.)
The four warriors have a combined record of 105-9-4 (73 KOs) – a winning percentage of 89% and a victory by knockout ratio of 70%.
The SHOWTIME Championship Boxing telecast will also include highlights from overseas as IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs), defends his title for the eighth time – but first in his home country of Romania – against mandatory challenger Jean-Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs), from France.
Rios (27-0-1, 19 KOs), a native of Lubbock, Tex., now fights out of Oxnard, Calif. Arguably the division’s most exciting fighter, he returns to the ring on the heels of his biggest professional victory, a 10th round TKO of defending champion Miguel Acosta, on February 26, to capture the WBA lightweight title. An all-action fan-friendly fighter, Rios, who is trained by former IBF junior lightweight champion Robert Garcia, possesses a self-described “throwback” style and a warrior’s mentality that screams excitement as proven by the fact that eight of his previous nine victories have been by knockout. Highlights of that streak include victories, all inside the distance, over Acosta (28-3-2), Anthony Peterson (30-0), Jorge Teron (23-1-1) and Omri Lowther (14-2), who had a combined record of 95-6-3 when they were defeated by Rios.
Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs), of Maywood, Calif., has given sensational performances in recent fights, most notably his last one, against World Boxing Council lightweight champion Humberto Soto last December, the consensus “Fight of the Year.” Though he lost to Soto by one point on two of the judges’ cards due to a controversial point deduction by the referee, Antillon emerged from that fight a certified world-class contender. Trained by Abel Sanchez, 10 of Antillon’s last 11 victories have been by knockout. Notable scalps hanging from Antillon’s belt include Rene Gonzalez (27-1-1), Tyrone Harris (23-4), former world title challenger Daniel Attah (24-4-1), and Bobby Pacquiao (28-13-3), the younger brother of Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KOs), of Carolina, Puerto Rico, captured the IBF welterweight title in 2006 by knocking out Mark Suarez in the fifth round. He held the title for close to two years, successfully defending it against Walter Matthysse and Jesse Feliciano, both by knockout, before losing it to Antonio Margarito in 2008. Since moving up in weight in 2009 Cintron has become a force in the superr welterweight division where he is still the only man to defeat top-rated contender Alfredo Angulo. He also boasts a Draw against 2010 Fighter of the Year and World Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez.
Molina (18-4-2, 6 KOs), a native of Michoacán, México, who fights out of Chicago, enters this fight riding a three-year, 11-bout unbeaten streak. In 2011 he knocked out Allen Conyers (12-4) in the seventh round and had a 10-round Draw against undefeated contender Erislandy Lara (15-0). Other highlights of Molina’s unbeaten streak include an NABO junior middleweight title victory over Danny Perez (34-5), and 10-round decision victories over Ed Paredes (21-2), and Alexis Camacho (17-1).
For Rios vs. Antillon fight week updates, log on to sports.SHO.com or www.toprank.com. Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for The Home Depot Center’s Rios vs. Antillon World Lightweight Championship fight card, priced at $125, $75, $50 and $25, go on sale Next Tuesday! May 31 at 10 a.m. PT. They can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.Ticketmaster.com as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Suites are available by calling 1-877-604-8777.