Humberto Soto beats Brandon Rios by unanimous decision in Mexico

In a battle of former lightweight belt holders past their physical primes, Humberto Soto defeated Brandon Rios over 12 rounds by unanimous decision Saturday in Tijuana, Mexico.

The scores were 119-111, 118-112 and 118-112 in the junior middleweight contest.

Soto (69-9-2, 37 KOs), a grizzled veteran, showed at age 38 that he is still a crafty technician, boxing well early on, using adroit movement to offset the pressure of Rios (35-5-1, 26 KOs) and also creating offensive openings for himself. In the early stages, Soto built up an early lead by simply beating the methodical Rios to the punch time and time again.

But Rios, 32, never stopped coming forward and moving his hands. In this particular respect, it was prime Rios, who certainly landed his share of punches but could never truly turn the tide of the fight.

Every time it seemed as though Rios was on the verge of seizing the momentum of this contest, Soto finished off rounds with quick and accurate flurries.

While Rios threw many more punches throughout, the more accurate and effective salvos were thrown by Soto.