Although they were kept apart and at opposite sides of the building, the bad blood and war of words between unbeaten WBA lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (27-0-1, 19 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and two-time world title challenger Urbano Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs), of Maywood, Calif., continued during a Media Workout Tuesday at Fortune Gym.
This Saturday, July 9, in the main event on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Rios will make his eagerly awaited first defense against Antillon in a 12-round fight that has become personal and has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it. Rios is extremely upset at comments Antillon made about the defending champion’s wife.
In the Top Rank-promoted co-feature, former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KOs), of Carolina, Puerto Rico, will be opposed by Mexico’s Carlos Molina (18-4-2, 6 KOs), of Chicago, in a 10-round junior middleweight scrap.
The telecast also will include highlights from overseas as IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs) defends his title for an eighth time – but first in his home country of Romania – against mandatory challenger Jean-Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) of France.
In a top undercard, non-televised fight this Saturday at the Home Depot Center, undefeated, No, 2-ranked WBO lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (21-0-1, 11 KOs), of Cebu, Philippines, faces had-hitting Jorge “El Tigre” Pimental (23-11, 17 KOs) of Sonora, Mex.
Tickets, priced at $125, $75, $50 and $25, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.Ticketmaster.com as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Suites are available by calling (877) 604-8777.
What they said Tuesday:
"It’s not like I hate him, but I don’t think we like each other. I don’t like him. He says he is going to test me and that I’m not ready for what he is going to bring to the table. I hope he tests me, but he had better be bringing a really big table. If it’s a small table, he is definitely getting knocked out.
“I feel very good, I’m ready to fight and I’m totally relaxed and focused. This is a great fight for television and the fans. We are both going to be getting after each other.
“I worked very hard to win the belt. No way I’m giving it up in my first defense. Not against this guy.’’
"I am totally confident and ready and deep down know I am going to win this fight. Rios is a strong guy but he leaves himself wide open a lot.
“He’s an idiot for continuing to still talk about what he says I said about his wife, and I’m surprised he’s still talking about it. He’s an immature kid who is going to get taken to school.
“People know what they are going to get in our fight. Fans want action, and that’s what they are going to get from the opening bell -- non-stop action.
“I’ve put in the time, I’ve put in the work and I am ready to become world champion. I hope Rios is prepared to bring his best because that’s what he’s going to get from me. It will just be a matter of time before I stop him.’’