Text and photos by Chris Robinson
This week, former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios could be found training tirelessly as rumors of a March 3rd HBO date continue to circulate.
Rios sparred six vigorous rounds with promising junior welterweight prospect Herbert Acevedo and trained with a certain kind of reckless abandon that many pugs today lack.
Rios lost his title on the scales last month after weighing in at 135.6 pounds for his December 3rd bout with Manchester’s John Murray, a contest that Rios would win via 11th round TKO. While reports initially surfaced of a move up in weight, Rios is making an attempt to fight in the lightweight division a few more times and is now working with strength and conditioning coach Cecilio Flores, known best for his work with lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
Rios’ efforts to stay in the lightweight division is very clear as he is after a huge showdown with Cuban marvel Yuriorkis Gamboa, who is abandoning the featherweight division in hopes of landing a big-money fight. During our conversation after his workout, Rios pointed out that he is tired of Gamboa calling for the fight and wants him to step up to the plate.
“That’s the only reason I’m staying at 135, because I want to fight that dude,” Rios stated. “So, if he’s talking all that sh!t, back it up. If I’m talking sh!t, I’m going to back it up.”