Humberto Soto Decisions Brandon Rios in exciting battle!
This was a battle between two former world champions whose careers hung in the balance.
The 32 year-old Rios recently signed with DAZN. He was making his second appearance on the streaming app, along with returning to fight in Mexico since 2009. This was supposed to be good test for the one they call “Bam Bam.”
Soto is a former two division champion. He is also a tough, rough and rugged fighter who has been around the sport over two decades. Fighting in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico was highly motivating. His performance came to prove that at age 38, the nickname “The Crafty Little Fox” still holds meaning.
This bout started off with fireworks from the opening bell; setting the tone for the early part of the fight for what was going to be another all action fight. Immediately noticeable was the mid-section of Rios looking softer than usual.
The veteran fighter would take advantage of this right away, throwing combinations and mixing up the attack from body to head; even moving back to create space to land the left hook. The younger opponent tried to mount a small comeback after being hurt in the second round. He managed a counter-right which was mostly an arm punch with nothing behind it.
In the middle rounds, the aging veteran started to find a home for the left uppercut and finishing every combination with a hard left hook. All this was done while developing a pattern of fighting hard in the last seconds of the rounds. The younger challenger had some good moments, shaking his head and waving for more while landing some body shots and combination punches of his own.
The Championship Rounds
The championship rounds is where things got interesting, as Rios was beginning to come alive a little. He started blocking some of the punches but, wasn’t throwing anything in return. Soto, possibly fatigued, was fighting in spurts and continuously stealing rounds with thirty second round-closing flurries. The eleventh round, both men were letting the leather fly.
This was Rios’ best round by far, taking advantage of the fading veteran. He started landing body shots followed up with left and right hooks to the head. However, the “Crafty Fox” would go back to what was working; throwing combinations to halt some of the younger fighter’s attack.
In the final round, the hometown fighter found some new energy again. He began firing in spurts and landing hard body shots while the aforementioned opponent would throw body shots as the veteran was against the ropes.
When the final bell sounded, the crowd applauded – showing appreciation for these two warriors. The judges saw the fight unanimously for Soto by scores of 119-111 and 118-112 twice.
Rios’ slow start and losing the early rounds is what attributed to this defeat. This is a major setback for his career. Its unclear what is the next move, but he will have to take a long hard look into the mirror!
By: Garrisson Bland