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Friday, December 2, 2011
Margarito, Cotto behave; Rios brings drama

By Michael Woods

One might've thought a likely source of drama would come from Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto getting an early start to their festivities, and rumbling at the Friday weigh-in.

Nope, those two behaved themselves in the theater at Madison Square Garden.

The drama was instead provided by California's Brandon Rios, who expelled every ounce of fluid he could from himself in every way possible, but could not make the 135-pound limit for his lightweight title defense against John Murray.

He stepped on the scale and it read 136.4. He again stepped on the scale and hit 135.6. One might've thought he could sweat out 0.6 of a pound in the one hour he had to do so. Not so. He came back less than half-hour later, and weighed 136.6. He had to vacate his title and hand over $20K from his $325,000 purse to the Brit challenger, and to add insult to injury, tonight he will not be able to gorge himself on hotel room service, because he must weigh in Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Team Murray extracted that concession, against the wishes of Rios' manager, Cameron Dunkin, who was backstage muttering about "those Brits"  as he tried in vain to get the Murray people to just take the extra cash. No dice. Rios cannot weigh over 146.6 pounds in the morning weigh-in. If he does, Murray won't fight.

I won't assume, but could I see a Team Rios possemember guarding the door from a room service call tonight?

Rios will likely jump to 140 pounds after this draining, pun intended, affair. Murray wins the title if he beats Rios, but Rios lost all claim to the belt when he couldn't make the weight.

Margarito and Cotto both made their contracted weight, which was 153 or less.

"This is the moment you've all been waiting for, two guys who just loooove each other," said emcee Michael Buffer, before the Mexican stepped on the scale. Boos at the theater nearly drowned out Buffer. Margarito, with his Keith Partridge hair and omnipresent sunglasses on, was 152½, while the Puerto Rican, who holds the WBA super welter crown,  was 152¼.

You had the weeks of licensing drama, and now the Rios affair. Who wants to bet something weird will go down Saturday at MSG? I just hope and pray we don't have an abbreviated tussle, like in the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson debacle in October.