Brandon Rios overcame a draining process of making the 135-pound weight limit to win a brutal fight against John Murray on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito rematch at Madison Square Garden. A flurry by Rios in the 11th round forced referee Earl Brown to step in and stop the carnage. With the win, Rios stayed unbeaten at 29-0-1, 22 KO, while Murray dropped to 31-2, 18 KO.
In yesterday’s weigh-in, Rios failed to make the 135-pound weight limit, despite draining himself to very unhealthy amounts. It threw an interesting caveat into the fight, since Rios was such a big favorite coming in. And Murray did have moments, especially in rounds three through five. Rios looked as though the rigor of trying to cut weight would catch up with him and he may not make it all the way to the end. But Rios was able to recover and kept catching Murray with thunderous uppercuts, which Murray seemed to have no defense for.
Next up, of course, is the main event. It’s been a wild ride all the way up to the fight, even on the night of the fight. Cotto’s camp brought in Naazim Richardson, the trainer of Shane Mosley, to watch Margarito get his hands wrapped (Richardson of course is the one who caught Margarito with the illegal handwraps prior to the fight with Mosley). But Richardson was not allowed by the New York State Athletic Commission to go into Margarito’s dressing room, because he is not licensed to do so in the state.
It remains to be seen what Richardson’s role with Cotto’s team will be going forward, if there is any role for him at all other than playing mind games.