Rios to become Santa Ana’s 1st world champion?

By Miguel Maravilla

Santa Ana super bantamweight Ronny Rios (33-3, 16 KOs) is ready for this weekend’s world title fight as he challenges WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion Muradjon Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KOs) from Uzbekistan. Rios takes on Akhmadaliev this Saturday night at the Techport Arena in San Antonio, Texas, live on DAZN. We caught up with Rios here is what he had to say.

Having wrapped up a solid and fun training camp in preparation for his title shot Rios anxiously awaits his return to the ring.

This will be Rios’s second shot at a world title as he was defeated by Rey Vargas in his first attempt, dropping a unanimous decision back in 2017. Since that defeat, Rios suffered another defeat, a TKO loss to Azat Hovhannisyan in 2018. Just when it appeared that Rios was serving as a gatekeeper for then-undefeated prospect Diego De la Hoya, Rios handed De La Hoya his first defeat by stopping him in the sixth round.

Coming off a unanimous decision over former world title contender Oscar Negrete last year, Rios comes into this world title fight with nearly a one-year layoff as he looks to relish the world title opportunity.

His opponent, Akhmadaliev won the world titles by edging out Daniel Roman via split decision prior to the 2020 pandemic. Akhmadaliev has defended the WBA and IBF titles twice, scoring a fifth-round stoppage over Ryosuke Iwasa in his first defense and is coming off a unanimous decision over Jose Velasquez in his last fight.

Rios looks to become Santa Ana, California’s first boxing world champion as he looks to put his hometown on the map. His younger brother, welterweight Alexis “Lex” Rocha is coming off a big win, Ronny hopes to pile up another big win for the family.

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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  • No. Unfortunately he’s not going to become Santa Anas first world champion. Akhmadaliev is a couple levels above Rios. I expect Akhmadaliev will stop Rios around rd. 7.

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