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Brandon Rios ready for Murray defense

NEW YORK -- WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios stopped by the SI offices ahead of Saturday's title defense against England's John Murray on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito undercard.

The irreverent Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs), widely regarded as the world's best 135-pounder not named Juan Manuel Marquez, will be looking for his 11th straight victory and 10th consecutive knockout against the 5-to-1 underdog Murray (31-1, 18 KOs).

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The Oxnard, Calif.-based Rios said he's excited to be fighting in Madison Square Garden for the first time -- a longtime dream venue -- and hopes to put on a show against Murray, who is coming off the first defeat of his career against Kevin Mitchell in July.

"If you don't come prepared, it's going to be an early night," Rios said at Thursday's undercard press conference in Times Square. "If you come prepared, you're still going down early."

-- Bryan Armen Graham

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