On November 7, UNLV’s remodeled Thomas and Mack Center will play host to the WBO Welterweight Title fight between Timothy Bradley (31-1-1, 12 knockouts) and Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 knockouts), two fighters who have gone the distance with Manny Pacquiao in recent years.
Let’s take a closer look at the fighters’ resumes and prospects.
Bradley won the title in June, earning a unanimous decision over Jesse Vargas. He lost his perfect record to Pacquiao (via unanimous decision) back in April 2014, but also owns a split decision over Pac-Man.
After the loss, Bradley took nearly eight months off, returning in December with noticeable ring rust as he fought Diego Gabriel Chaves to a draw. But he looked back in top form in June when he claimed the title from Vargas.
More of a tactician than a power-puncher, each of Bradley’s last six matches have gone to the scorecards. He only has 12 career knockouts and none since 2011. Bradley has held six world championships and his win over Ruslan Provodnikov was the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year in 2013.
Like Bradley, Rios had over 30 professional fights on his resume before he took his first loss. He moved to 31-0-1 by beating Mike Alvarado by TKO in October 2012, but then lost (via unanimous decision) in a rematch for the WBO Light Welterweight title. He lost a second straight fight when Pacquiao beat him (again via unanimous decision) in November 2013.
Rios rebounded against Chaves in August 2014, getting credited with a victory when Chaves was disqualified in the ninth round. (Rios was ahead on two of three scorecards, anyway, though and likely would have won the fight regardless.) In his most recent tilt, Rios beat Alvarado via third round TKO back in January.
Bradley is a 2/11 favorite and the over/under is at 10.5 rounds (with the over at -240 and the under at +220).
There is little doubt that Bradley is more accomplished, but 2/11 is a steep price. And unless you think Alvarado is special, it is hard to love Rios. That would seem to put bettors in a bit of a bind. While you aren’t going to get great odds, the best play looks like the over. Bradley tends to go the distance and Rios isn’t easy to knock out. Bradley via scorecards is the most likely result.
(Photo credit: Bryan Horowitz [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)