Preview: Timothy Bradley Jr vs. Brandon Rios, WBO Welterweight Championship

Timothy Bradley Jr. v Jessie Vargas

Timothy Bradley Jr (32-1-1) defends his WBO welterweight championship against Brandon Rios (33-2-1) on November 7 in Las Vegas.

Bradley – a five-time world champion at two weight divisions - goes into the fight as the favourite. However, the hard-hitting Rios has more than enough power to trouble the current champion.

Some critics have dismissed Bradley’s style as not being particularly crowd-pleasing, owing to the fact that he’s managed only 12 KOs from his 32 victories.

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He has, though, been in some enthralling contests in his 11-year career; his all-out war against Ruslan Provodnikov back in 2013 was awarded the “fight of the year” accolade by The Ring Magazine.

Bradley has been considered as one of the top 15 or 20 pound-for-pound boxers in the world for quite some time, and 13 of his last 15 fights have been for world titles. His record in world title fights currently stands at 10 wins, one loss, one draw and one no contest.

The challenger, Brandan Rios, goes into the fight off the back of a powerful third round TKO victory against his old foe Mike Alvarado. Rios will be expected to come forward and use his aggression to upset Bradley's rhythm.

Rios – a former WBA lightweight champion - acquired the nickname “Bam Bam” after his trainer and former IBF super featherweight champion, Robert Garcia, watched him dismantle a couple of opponents earlier in his career.

Whilst Bradley has been consistently mentioned amongst those fighters at the elite level, Rios has not quite stepped up to that class where he can be considered amongst the top 15 or so pound for pound boxers in the world.

A win against Bradley, however, and Rios will be looking to force his way into fights against the other top welterweights in the world such as Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and who knows, maybe even Manny Pacquiao.

Although Rios will only be stepping into the ring for the fourth time as a welterweight, he has enough knowhow and power (24 KOs in 32 career victories) to make it an uncomfortable night for Bradley.

A win is absolutely essential for both men. For Bradley, a victory will solidify his name amongst the top welterweights in the world; and for Rios, a victory will lift him to heights he has never before reached in the marquee weight class of world boxing.

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