Rios stops Antillon in 3rd round of thrilling bout
Brandon Rios stopped Urbano Antillon with 11 seconds left in the
third round to retain his WBA lightweight title in dramatic fashion
on Saturday night.
After two rounds of toe-to-toe slugging, Rios (28-0-1, 20 KOs)
knocked down Antillon twice in the third round. Rios landed a left
hook for the first knockdown, and an overhand right hand moments
later sent Antillon face-first into the canvas.
Antillon got back up, but referee David Mendoza stopped the bout
when Antillon (28-3) staggered toward his corner moments later.
Rios jumped onto the ropes to celebrate the biggest victory yet
for a relentless brawler who could be a future opponent for Manny
”I said this fight would come down to the guy who could take
the punch best,” Rios said. ”I was that guy. I’m tough, and I’m
younger. I’ve got power in both hands. I knew I was going to win
because I’m younger and stronger.”
In a stadium full of fans supporting both southern California
fighters, Rios made a thrilling first defense of the title he won
in February with a 10th-round stoppage of Miguel Acosta.
Although Antillon has established himself as one of the sport’s
most crowd-pleasing fighters in three title shots against Acosta,
Humberto Soto and Rios, Antillon has lost all three bouts.
”I got caught,” Antillon said. ”Soto is a great champion who
has good defensive skills. Rios is very strong. He’s much stronger
than Soto. I just got caught.”
Rios and Antillon have traded verbal jabs for the past several
months since their fight initially was announced and postponed,
with the usual pre-fight antics growing into anger.
Antillon infuriated Rios with playful comments about Rios’ wife,
whose calming influence has contributed to Rios’ rise from a
troublemaking, jail-frequenting prospect into a lightweight
”I took my anger toward him into the ring,” Rios said. ”I
thought he might make it into the later rounds, but he
The fight was action-packed from the opening minute, with both
fighters landing huge shots in the first round. The quick start
surprised nobody, since both boxers have little interest in defense
to go with their mutual dislike.
Antillon landed a majority of the big shots in the first round,
but Rios did increasing damage in the second round before taking
control in the third with that left hook to the top of Antillon’s
Promoter Bob Arum said Rios could fight veteran Mexican champion
Marco Antonio Barrera in his next bout. Rios named his son after
Barrera, who attended the fight as an announcer.
On the undercard at Home Depot Center, former welterweight
champion Kermit Cintron returned from a 14-month absence with a
lopsided decision loss to Carlos Molina. Cintron (32-4-1) hadn’t
fought since he inexplicably tumbled through the ropes and out of
this ring in a loss to Paul Williams last year.