By Chris Robinson
2013 may not have played out the way Brandon Rios expected, but the former lightweight titlist is still relatively upbeat as the New Year pushes forward.
Catching up with Rios inside of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, Calif. on Wednesday afternoon before his training session with assistant Donald Leary, Rios took a moment to reflect back to his last ring appearance, a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao this past November in Macau, China.
“I lost to one of the greats,” Rios explains of his effort against the eight-division champion. “I wish I would have won but it was a great experience for myself. I’ve been in with one of the best of the world. I’m not too down about that.”
Rios admits that Pacquiao’s blend of speed and precision, coupled with his unorthodox southpaw stance, was simply too much for him to cope with.
“The first round I felt good,” Rios said. “After the second round, I lost control. His quickness and his awkwardness caught up to me and [him being] southpaw. I got lost. Once you lose your mind, you lose your fight. I got lost in the second round.”
Still just 27 years old and already having endeared himself to fans because of his pressing style and outspoken demeanor, there are still plenty of options on the table for Rios despite a two-fight losing streak.
The one fight scenario that seems to catch Rios’ eye the most is a mouth-watering showdown with WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
“I want it to happen,” Rios says of facing the stout Russian. “I want that fight. Everybody wants that fight. That would be a good fight for everybody around the world. Not only that, but everybody would tune into that fight. Honestly, I’ve been telling my manager all the time that I want that fight. It would be a great fight.”
For Rios, simply dealing with a style that is far more suitable to his own is reason enough to clamor for the match.
“He comes to fight,” said Rios. “That’s what I like. We’d both be in the middle of the ring fighting it out. That’s why I want that fight. It would be toe to toe. We’d be brawling it out.”