By Randy De La O
To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain - sort of - "Rumors of boxing's death are greatly exaggerated". If you don't believe me, just take a look at the talent laden lightweight division. The current Ring ratings have Juan Manuel Marquez as their champion, and rightly so, following in the number one position is Brandon Rios, who also happens to be the WBA Lightweight Champion, and one of boxing's newest and most exciting young fighter. Number two and three in the rankings Humberto Soto (WBC Champion) and Robert Guerrero, followed by John Murray, Michael Katsidis, Miguel Acosta, Paulus Moses, Urbano Antillon, Miguel Vazquez and Antonio De Marco. If that isn't enough, the next division above are the the Super Lightweights/Junior Welterweights (take your pick) with guys like Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana, Amir Khan and Eric Morales ready to face any of the lightweights should they decide to move up.
After Eric Morales' outstanding performance against Marcos Maidana, earning a draw that many felt should have been a win for Morales, a fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Morales suddenly seems like a great match up. Of the great Mexican trio of champions, Marquez, Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, only Marquez and Morales have yet to face each other. Maybe it'll happen yet.
Saturday's fight has the potential to be a fight of the year, if it lives up to the expectations. These two guys honestly don't like each other. I like both of these guys but my gut says Brandon keeps his title, maybe by knockout. However, as always, may the best man win! The fight will be shown on Showtime. Their weight for Saturday night: Brandon Rios 135 - Urbano Antillon 134.75