By Karl Freitag
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Former world lightweight champion and all-action fighter Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, undefeated WBA super lightweight champion Jessie Vargas, his next challenger undefeated contender Anton “The Pick Hammer” Novikov, and 2012 U.S. Olympian and social activist Jose Ramirez hosted a Los Angeles press conference Tuesday to discuss their upcoming fights, which will headline an HBO boxing event on August 2 at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Rios faces former interim world champion Diego “La Joya” Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) of Buenos Aires, who was not in attendance. Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) will be making his defending his title against Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs). Ramírez (10-0, 8 KOs) will be featured in an eight-round lightweight bout on the non-televised undercard.
Brandon Rios: I’m very exited to be back. It’s been eight months missing in action. People thought I was in Miami, but I wasn’t. I was in my house depressed, crying because I wanted to get in the ring and fight again. That’s what I love to do and I’m just very happy to be back to show everybody that I’m not done yet. The last two fights was, you know, it happened the way it did and that’s alright. Also I’d like to thank the Cosmopolitan for giving me the first fight to fight there and I’m very excited because it’s like breaking into the virginity for the first time, first fight there.
Jessie Vargas: Round-by-round, I’m gonna have fun and I’m going to outthink my opponent.
Anton Novikov: I’d like to wish Jessie Vargas luck. I believe that both of us will show a very good fight.