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Written by Jake Wallwork

Brandon Rios vs John Murray in WBA title fight
Bam Bam Brandon Rios will defends his WBA World Lightweight title this Saturday against EBU Lightweight belt holder John Murray. The fight is on the undercard of the Antonio Margarito Vs Miguel Cotto rematch giving us two matches which could turn out to be classic slugfests.
Brandon Rios vs John Murray Nearly Didnt Happen
After a stunning comeback victory, Kevin Mitchell was originally tipped to challenge Rios for his title. Who did Mitchell beat in this British fight of the year candidate? One John Murray. The very same who will fight Rios on Saturday.
Sadly for Mitchell, a spot of community service meant he wasn't able to fly out to America for the fight. The twenty-seven year old lightweight was caught with a butterfly knife in his BMW, a weapon he had 'only just become aware of shortly before he was stopped'.
It happens to us all.
Rios' searched for an opponent moved on, and as one door closed for Kevin Mitchell, another opened for John Murray.

Rios settled for the man who Mitchell beat John Murray. A lot of you guys believe Brandon Rios is a much better version of John Murray. You are right to compare the two, because they are both come-forward fighters who take the punches in order to land their own. But with an unbeaten record, a world title, and better punching power, Rios is a better fighter than Murray.

Brandon Rios vs John Murray: Rios is considered a bigger and better version of Murray.
Does John Murray Deserve the Title Shot?
A lot of boxing fans (including myself) have asked the question is a boxer allowed to fight for a word title after coming off a loss? Well, since the fight is scheduled to happen the answer must be yes. But does this make it right?
James Degale was in a similar situation when he got a shot at the European Super Middleweight belt straight after his defeat by George Groves. Frank Warren (Degales promoter) said he got his shot at a European title because his previous loss was a close points decision and not by knockout. Right or wrong, the fight is here. So lets look at a more interesting question:
Is John Murray a worthy challenger? A good question and you would be forgiven for making a knee-jerk answer of 'no'. But dont be so hasty.
In Murrays fight against Kevin Mitchell he showed a tremendous chin and put up a hell of a fight, even though he took a beating. Yes, he lost by knockout, but it was not a domination. Murray took whatever credit he could from his defeat. A Brandon Rios vs John Murray fight promises to be an entertaining one.
BBBofC named the fight between John Murray and Kevin Mitchell fight of the year. Instead of a Mitchell  Rios fight, we got Brandon Rios vs John Murray.
Is  Brandon Rios vs John Murray a Step up in Competition for Rios?
Looking at Brandon Rios resume, the two stand-out names are Anthony Peterson and Miguel Acosta. Peterson, brother to Lamont who fights Amir Khan next week, was previously unbeaten in thirty before his fight with Rios, and Acosta held the WBA World Lightweight title before his loss to Rios. Casual boxing fans who only tune in to watch the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao wont have a clue who anyone is on Rios resume.
Hardcore fans, who regularly visit Punchbag Blog for ill-informed boxing talk, do know of the likes of Anthony Peterson and Miguel Acosta but probably dont know much about them in great detail.  Bam Bam Rios hasnt yet faced anyone who you could call a signature name.
A step up in competition is much needed.
Brandon Rios vs John Murray Prediction
Brandon Rios will earn the twenty second knockout of his career against John Murray. It will be an entertaining fight but it will end before the 11th round starts, but both fighters will have their moments. The stronger, more skilful Rios will have too much for Murray to handle.
However, Murray is a good puncher himself. If you punch hard and you have an opponent who is there to be hit then its a distinct possibility that you could get the knockout rather than be the victim of a knockout. The time for Murray to get the knockout will be the early rounds. I believe that if Murray doesnt score a knockout in the first half of the fight then he will get worn down and eventually stopped in the second half of the fight like he did against Kevin Mitchell.
I think Murray will make a good account for himself, but in the end Rios will have too much for him to handle. As I am British I am rooting for Murray to score the Knockout.
I take Brandon Rios to beat John Murray by stoppage.