by David P. Greisman
Robert Garcia, trainer of Brandon Rios, spoke with BoxingScene.com on March 28.
BoxingScene.com: I know there’d been talk about Brandon Rios facing Ruslan Provodnikov, but there’s been a whole lot of back and forth about whether Brandon can make 140.
Garcia: “That’s what it is. Brandon wants the fight. And I know how much Brandon wants it, and I want it for him, too, ‘cause I know he can beat Provodnikov. But for some reason, either Provodnikov’s managers or promoters, Top Rank themselves don’t believe Brandon can make weight. Brandon, when it comes to training, Brandon trains very hard.
“We already did studies on him and his body. He can make 140 if he does things right, if he stays in training camp and eats what he’s supposed to and trains the way that he’s supposed to, he can make 140. The studies that we did on him with the doctor and everything, he can do it, but he’s got to do things right.”
BoxingScene.com: And he’d not been doing things right in the past?
Garcia: “No, he doesn’t. He doesn’t. But he knows how important — he knows where his career’s at right now.”
BoxingScene.com: His back’s against the wall.
Garcia: “Yes. He knows. He’s in the gym, and he’s telling us how much he wants it. There’s nothing that’s holding him back. That’s why he wants to fight for the title at 140. But I don’t know if it’s HBO, Top Rank or Provodnikov’s promoters/managers, that just don’t believe he can do it. I don’t think the fight’s going to happen, but Brandon would love to have that fight.”
BoxingScene.com: That’s what he wants. Would you rather he be at 147?
Garcia: “If he does things right and comes down to 140, I’d rather have him fight at 140. Because he’s a big guy. He’s big. He’s very strong. He’s got a big advantage at t 140 over any 140-pounder. But like I said, he does have to do — it won’t be easy.”
BoxingScene.com: Does that mean you staying on his ass with some of the things that he hasn’t been doing?
Garcia: “We’ll have to. We would have to. We’ve already talked about it with my assistants in the gym. We would have to do training camp where he’s staying with us in the house, we’re with him 24/7, because if we’re not with him, then we’ll have trouble.”
BoxingScene.com: I feel like it’s similar to what we had with Chris Arreola for a while, where he was able to get away with it, and finally he realized that he can be even better than what he was already.
Garcia: “It could be pretty similar. There’s been different cases, different fighters that go through that, and it affects them. It hurts their career. But the good thing about Brandon is he’s still young. He’s lost two fights but was never dropped, never really hurt, so he can still come back, if he does things right, he can still be the same strong beast that he was at 135.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at email@example.comTags: Robert Garcia , Brandon Rios