In the main event of the tripleheader tonight on HBO starting at 9:45pm ET/PT, we have the return of Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) against former champion Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs). Rios is coming off of two back to back 12 round unanimous decision losses, his last being to Manny Pacquiao, where Rios also tested positive for a banned substance in his post-fight drug test. Chaves’ only loss is to the hard hitting Keith “One Time” Thurman, which was a great battle until Chaves was stopped in the 10th round. This is a must win fight for Rios. I don’t see too many options for him with Top Rank losing 3 fights in a row, unless they want to throw him in with Mike Alvarado for a third fight. I wouldn’t be interested in seeing that and I don’t think too many other boxing fans would be either. Rios is a slight favorite for tonight over Chaves, in which I’m sure will be a brawl until the fight is over. I’m not sure if it will go all 12 rounds but I’m slightly leaning towards Rios. I say slightly, because Chaves is a tough cookie as well, and you have to wonder if Rios has seen his better days with all of the wars that he has been in. I didn’t think that Rios looked as weight drained at the weigh in yesterday like he has in the past and he looked a little bigger than Chaves. He knows that this is a crossroads fight for him and I’m sure that he will give it all that he got. This should be a great battle, so get your popcorn ready.
In the second fight, we have Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) against Blake “II Capo” Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) in which Kovalev will be putting his WBO Light Heavyweight belt on the line. If he wins, he will fight Bernard Hopkins on November 8th in a unification bout according to Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. It will take place in either New York or Atlantic City. That will be a very interesting fight and I think it will happen. Caparello says that he will box Kovalev the entire fight because he knows that he can’t stand in front of him but I am picking Kovalev by KO. Caparello doesn’t have the power to keep Kovalev from attacking. This fight will not go the distance.
In the opening bout, Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) will be defending his WBA Super Lightweight title against Anton Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs). This is a step up in competition fight for Novikov, but I’m predicting Vargas to hold on to his belt in a 12 round decision.