By Jeff Newman: Former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs) called out IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) on Wednesday on his social media site, telling him that he’d be interested in challenging him for his IBF title. However, when Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn chose not to reply to Rios, he then fired back a comment about them not wanting to face him due to the risk involved.
“@Eddie Hearn and Special K – Let’s make this happen,” Rios said on his twitter to Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn. “I would love to go out there and fight you. I accept the challenge.”
After Brook and Hearn failed to respond to Rios’ challenge, Rios said “Will look like Special K Brook [and] Eddie Hearn do [not] want to fight me. I guess I’m too much for him, so I’ll talk to Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley.”
What is strange about all this is that Brook and Hearn were both interested in the Rios fight recently. However, they now have the chance of facing 42-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez next, and that obviously is a much bigger fight for Brook than a fight against Rios.
It’s also a more winnable fight for Brook than a fight against Rios. The last thing that Hearn wants is to put Brook in with someone where the victory isn’t assured. Hearn tends to put together fights involving his fighters where his guys generally always win. The only time they lose is when Hearn promotes both guys.
Rios will likely need to be satisfied with facing the likes of Victor Ortiz or Tim Bradley next. Either of those fights would likely bring in a lot of fans, but none of them would compare with the money that Brook is capable of bringing in due to his huge fan base in the UK. Rios obviously wants to tap into that money so that he can get a big payday.
Hearn said earlier on Wednesday that he plans on scheduling Brook to fight on May 30th on the Jorge Linares vs. Kevin Mitchell fight card at the O2 Arena in London, UK. That’s only two months away. If Hearn is going to bring Brook back that soon then it very much tells you that Hearn is going to put him in with someone beatable rather than a guy like Rios who will have a good chance of beating Brook.
It would look bad having Rios fight Brook in a toe-to-toe manner rather than Hearn finding some easy mark for him to showcase Brook like his last fight against Jo Jo Dan.