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Soto Outboxes Rios at Home

By Derek Bonnett Not a lot of fight fans were talking up the Brandon Rios vs Humberto Soto clash on DAZN leading up to the bout, but it looked like the match-up of the week to the nostalgic eye.

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By Derek Bonnett Not a lot of fight fans were talking up the Brandon Rios vs Humberto Soto clash on DAZN leading up to the bout, but it looked like the match-up of the week to the nostalgic eye.

 

It was a bout that sparked the imagination in a Camacho versus Duran sort of way and my money was on the underdog Soto, who was against 7-1 odds. In the end, both boxers put on a good show and fed the fans their money’s worth in a bout that went the full twelve round distance at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, Mexico.

 

Soto, entering his eightieth professional bout, jabbed immediately and Rios sought to test him early as the bigger puncher. Soto rocked Rios for trying, proving that timing and precision are plenty good enough to sting a foe.

 

Better combos came from Soto all round as Rios stalked. The Mexican-American landed good leather, but not enough to take the round. Soto relied on rolling with blows more than evading punches, likely due to age. Soto, 38, continued punching in combo better while Rios banged him on the arms inside.

 

Rios, of Oxnard, California, USA, hooked plentifully, but got countered easily by Zorrito. Soto tagged Bam Bam at the end of round to build an early lead. A well-timed right hand turned Rios’ head in the third. Rios connected with less wild hooks at a greater rate though. Soto slipped shots and rolled with the punches to save energy.

 

A good right by Soto connected, but Rios outworked him late in the round. Rios kept on Zorrito’s chest in the fourth, but Soto has a very educated uppercut and landed it when he threw it. Soto tripled his shots, going to body and head, landing cleanly while Rios got blocked. Unofficially, Soto led 39-37 on the SecondsOut card.

 

Rios, 32, set the pace with sustained pressure in the fifth, but played right into Soto’s counters. Rios got more accurate on the inside and made good with his effort to tighten things up. Soto had less output the first half of the round.

 

Rios stayed on him and stymied his attempt to steal the round with a higher work rate. Soto landed some crisp one-twos, but it was secondary work in this frame. Soto fought back on his game in the sixth, landing crisp shots in combination. Rios failed to change his attack, so Soto read him and countered accordingly.

 

Soto, a Tijuana native, worked the body and another big uppercut connected. Rios pretended he wasn’t tagged, but fooled no one. Sadly, for Soto, he did not make it a bigger part of his arsenal on the night. Soto found his spots to trade and time to rest in round seven.

 

Rios let Soto control more of the pace and Soto made the most of distance with straight shots. Soto switched to southpaw briefly, seemingly to stretch, and his brains edged the rounds more than anything. Soto used last ten seconds wisely to flurry for the crowd and judges. Soto showed some old school flash in the eighth while Rios landed a big hook clean to the side of Zorrito’s face. Soto smothered Rios’ attack and countered when Bam Bam turned up the heat. The uppercut remained gold for Soto. Rios bled from nose as he walked back to his corner at the end of the eighth. Soto held a 78-74 lead at SecondsOut.

 

Soto wasted no energy in the ninth. He threw only when he knew he would connect and allowed Rios to work harder than him while smothering and slipping punches. Rios connected with a good right. Some rounds might go other way in the minds of judges if they preferred wild punches to clean counters.

 

Rios outworked Soto later in the round again, but a great hook by Soto to tip of chin of Rios had to resonate to those scoring. Ten punches by Soto at the bell finished the round, but all caught glove. Both boxers looked and fought tired in the tenth. Soto fighting his fight and negating Rios’ storm remained the story-line of the night. Soto saved his legs it seems for the last six minutes.

 

The Mexican, former two-time champion, used more angles since round two. Soto slipped the artillery and tied Rios up in the eleventh. After a break, Soto countered to remind Rios whose house they were in. Rios threw more punches in retaliation, but with less thunder.

 

Rios outworked Soto again, bringing the scores a little tighter. Both boxers looked exhausted in the twelfth and final round, but Soto relied on educated boxing rather than stamina to out finesse Bam Bam in the final stanza. The two boxers embraced and showed mutual respect at the bell. The judges’ card cut Rios little slack as Soto took home a lopsided decision by margin of 119-111 and 118-112 twice. SecondsOut also saw Soto a clear winner, but by a closer score of 116-113. Soto lifted his ledger to 69-9-2 (37). Rios fell to 35-5-1 (26). It is unclear what the future holds for either man, but any venture outside of the Senior’s Tour would be ill-advised.

 

However, with HBO bowing out of the boxing world and DAZN (I still pronounce it incorrectly) my new hub for boxing pleasure, I’d tune in to see

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