Brandon Rios is talking up his chances of fighting Kell Brook on his home Sheffield turf...but he is also talking up the size of his pay day, too.
The Texan gun-slinger claims he is the obvious choice to be next in line for a crack at the South Yorkshireman’s welterweight title.
In fact, he says he is Brook’s only credible opponent available after the Brit’s two easy defences of the IBF belt.
“I’m not getting excited” said Rios. “Brook called me out and I accepted the challenge, but then he went and fought (mandatory challenger) Jo Jo Dan. Then, after that, he called me out again and goes and fights Frankie Gavin,” Rios said. “So it’s like, come on man, you want to fight? I accept the challenge.
“Floyd Mayweather isn’t going to fight him. Manny Pacquiao has a shoulder injury, so he’s out of the question. Keith Thurman has a fight coming up (July 11.) I am available whenever he wants to fight. I’ll fight him.”
If Rios is indeed in such a strong position, and has to fight Brook at Bramall Lane on August 29, as has been mooted, he will want a big purse.
His manager Cameron Dunkin says that while he is interested he ”doesn’t like the money” currently on the table from promoter Eddie Hearn. The location and date suits the Americans, though.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to them” continued Rios, who beat Mancunian John Murray to the WBA World lightweight title four years ago.
“They’ve been saying my name, Kell Brook and Eddie Hearn. If they want to do it, cool, I’m ready.
“But don’t call my name out if you don’t want to fight. So to me it’s ‘BS’ until I see a contract and my manager say it’s OK and he calls me. Then I will get excited.
“I have no problem going to the UK. I went to China to fight Pacquiao. No problem,” Rios, 29, added.
“I have a lot of fans in the UK, so no problem. I talk to a lot of people from the UK on my Twitter and stuff. I think we can bring more people than he did with Jo Jo or Frankie. It would be amazing to go out to the UK and fight him in front of his home crowd.”
Dunkin believes it would be a fine match-up: “Brandon can fight. He has a chin; he knows how to fight a guy like that. He’ll put pressure on him, try to back him up. Not worried about Brandon. He will be the best he can be and give it everything he’s got. But the question is, is he being compensated for going overseas? I’m going to talk to Brandon about it and hopefully we can do it. We’re not here to hold them up, but there’s a price Brandon deserves to get paid.”
HBO would be interested in filming the Sheffield event, according to ESPN reporter Dan Rafael.