First, Brandon Rios had a deal on the table to go to England in September to challenge Kell Brook for his welterweight world title but it fell through over issues related to a rematch clause in the event Rios won.
Then an even more interesting fight was on the table for Rios, a December title shot against Timothy Bradley Jr., but now that one is dead too.
HBO, which was on board for the Brook fight and would have also handsomely backed the Bradley fight, and Rios manager Cameron Dunkin told ESPN.com the fight fell apart on Wednesday afternoon.
Dunkin said he got word from Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, which promotes Rios and Bradley. Dunkin was told that he needed to start making other plans for Rios because the fight with Bradley was not going to happen because he and Bradley were too far apart on the money.
“Todd said (Bradley and his wife/manager Monica) were too high on the money and we need to start doing something else,” Dunkin said. “He said they were in left field, or something like that. He said they didn’t come in at a number where we could make the fight. It wasn’t HBO’s fault and we were at a very reasonable number because Brandon really wanted the fight. But all the numbers didn’t add up to where they wanted to be so they couldn’t make it.”
Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Oxnard, California, has been itching to get back in the ring. He has not fought since a one-sided third-round knockout of the ill-prepared Mike Alvarado on Jan. 24 to win their trilogy 2-1.
“We’re going to try to find a fight for him,” Dunkin said. “We’ll go to work, try to get with HBO and find someone they’ll agree on and get Brandon fighting again. The problem is there are not a lot of guys available. It’s too bad. I think this one is over with Bradley and there’s no chance of fixing it. But Brandon really wanted this fight and he wasn’t out of line with what he was asking for. Even (Top Rank boss Bob) Arum said that Brandon was reasonable.”
Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs), 31, of Palm Springs, California, who won a unanimous decision against Jessie Vargas, another Dunkin client, to win a vacant welterweight title on June 27, likely now will face mandatory challenger Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs). Had the Rios fight been closer to being made, Bradley and Top Rank were prepared to work out a deal with Ali and promoter Golden Boy for him to step aside for one fight to allow Rios-Bradley to happen.
Dunkin did not disclose what Rios was seeking, but he made $850,000 for the third Alvarado fight and was undoubtedly seeking a solid raise. Bradley made $1.5 million for the Vargas fight and probably expected a larger purse to face Rios, a much more well-known and experienced opponent.