By Ryan Burton
Wynn Resort and Casino, Las Vegas - The weights are in for Saturday night's HBO televised doubleheader. Photos by Chris Farina.
Timothy Bradley Jr. (32-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, Cal., takes on hard-hitting Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 23 KOs) of Oxnard, Cal., in a scheduled 12-round welterweight championship contest.
Bradley weighed in at 146-pounds, and Rios - who looked a little drained - stripped down completely and came in at 147.2-pounds. Rios came back later and made 147 on his second try at the scale.
One of the sport’s most accomplished pros, Bradley, 32, has earned acclaim for his willingness to take on any challenge. His sterling record includes two Manny Pacquiao fights and notable wars with Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov. Bradley began his 2015 season with a victory over Jessie Vargas in June, when he claimed a 147-pound title belt. He returns to Las Vegas with veteran Teddy Atlas as his new trainer.
Brandon Rios, 29, trains with Robert Garcia in the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, Cal., and looks to secure a second world title in as many weight divisions. He became one of the top attractions in the 140-pound weight class by brawling and slugging his way to signature wins, including two over archrival Mike Alvarado. The contrasting styles of Bradley and Rios have experts and fans anticipating an all-action affair.
Opening the telecast, world featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) of Odessa, Ukraine, meets challenger Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 14 KOs) of San Luis Potosi, Mexico in a 12-round, 126-pound clash.
Lomachenko weighed in at 125.6-pounds, and Koasicha also came in at 125.6-pounds.
Koasicha, 24, has a huge advantage in professional experience, but Lomachenko, 27, is widely regarded as one of the top amateur boxers ever, having captured gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Although he has had only five pro bouts, Lomachenko should prove a fearless competitor.