- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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A deal for welterweight contender Brandon Rios to go to England to challenge titleholder Kell Brook is all but dead, both camps told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
In late June they had made a lot progress toward a fight ticketed for Sept.12, which HBO would have aired live in the United States. However, the camps got hung up on terms for a rematch in the event Rios pulled the upset and with neither side desperate to make the fight it is unlikely to happen.
“It’s pretty much dead. I don’t see it happening,” Cameron Dunkin, Rios’ manager, said Tuesday. “We are looking for another fight for Brandon.”
Said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, “(Brook versus Rios) looks like it’s dead. We increased our offer and was happy to accept the rematch in the U.S. but basically I believe he just didn't really fancy the fight.”
So both fighters will move on. Hearn said Brook will fight in late October -- opponent to be determined. Top Rank, Dunkin and HBO will talk about other fights for Rios.
“We need to get Rios a fight in the fall. It’s been too long,” Dunkin said.
The names being mentioned for Rios are former junior welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov -- a guaranteed action fight but one also tough to make -- Jessie Vargas, Jose Benavidez Jr. and Mauricio Herrera.
Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Oxnard, California, has not fought since a one-sided third-round thrashing of the ill-prepared Mike Alvarado in their January rubber match in Alvarado's hometown of Denver.
Brook (35-0, 24 KOs), 29, has made two title defenses, including a one-sided sixth-round knockout of countryman Frankie Gavin on May 30.