Surely you’ve heard about the big fight Saturday night.
No, not Mayweather vs. McGregor.
Rios vs. Vargas.
That’s Ronny Rios, the pride of Santa Ana, who takes on WBC super-bantamweight champ Rey Vargas at the StubHub Center in Carson.
The title fight, which will be shown live by HBO Boxing starting at 9:45 p.m., is the biggest in the career of Rios, who began boxing when he was 13 years old at TKO Boxing Club in Santa Ana. Now 27, Rios was the subject of my former colleague Daffodil J. Altan Aug. 2, 2007, cover story and she went on to chart his early career that included the Golden Gloves.
“Founded by John M. Raya in 1994, TKO’s mission is to create champions in and out of the ring,” reads a press release the City of Santa Ana felt compelled to issue about Rios vs. Vargas.
It notes that Rios rose quickly as an amateur boxer and went on to win a National Golden Gloves and two U.S. National Bantamweight Champions in 2012. On Nov. 21, 2015, he defeated Jayson Velez at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas to win the WBC Silver Featherweight Championship.
Alexis Rocha, Rios’ younger brother, will also be fighting at the StubHub Center on Saturday, but the co-main event to Rios vs. Vargas is Miguel Cotto vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai.
For information about TKO’s programs, call 714.336.3361 or follow them on Facebook @tkoboxingclub.