By Luis Sandoval
Former WBA lightweight champion "Bam Bam" Brandon Rios has still not finalized a fight for his April 14th date in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay but he’s already in the gym staying active and keeping himself in shape.
Cuban sensation Yuriokis Gamboa seems like the likely opponent for Rios as Gamboa will leap frog a division in order to make the fight happen. But last week a possible fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson fell by the wayside when Peterson chose to pursue a rematch with Amir Khan instead. That left Marquez looking for an opponent for a proposed date in July and many have already envisioned a fight between him and Rios as a possibility.
BoxingScene caught up with Rios while training in Oxnard and was asked which fight he’d prefer if he could choose between the Gamboa and Marquez fight.
“I’d pick both. I’ll fight Gamboa April 14th and then I’ll fight Marquez in July. Why not? Let’s make it happen. I’m a warrior. I’m a fighter. That’s what I do and I love to fight. So why not get both of them at the same time. F**k it, let’s do it. Kill two birds with one stone” said Rios.
The only thing getting more attention than these two possible fights for Rios is his battle with the scales. Rios’ failure to make the contracted Lightweight limit of 135 pounds last November against John Murray was documented in the HBO special 2 Days: Portrait of a Fighter – Brandon Rios.
The 15 minute documentary took us behind the scenes as Brandon struggled to make weight which ultimately cost him his world title. Rios reflected back on the incident and being filmed by the HBO cameras.
“I was like whatever, [being filmed] didn’t bother me. The only thing that sucked when I watched it again was f**k, I lost my title. Nobody beat me, nobody defeated me for that. It just brings back the bad memories. I didn’t give a f**k that they were filming me, it didn’t bother me. It’s just the fact that I lost my title. That really got me down” explained Bam Bam.
There’s a concern with Rios trying to make 135 again for the possible Gamboa fight but he is now working with a nutritionist and is already feeling better and experiencing different results.
“I took two weeks off after the [John] Murray fight and then I came back into the gym. The weight is coming off slowly but I feel strong when it’s coming off. Usually it comes off fast and I feel like sh*t. So right now, it’s coming off good and my nutritionist is feeding me well so everything is working out perfect right now."
Hiring a nutritionist is one of the steps team Rios is taking in order to determine the root of the problem.
“We hired him to see if that’s going to be the difference. See if I’m just too big for lightweight now or if it’s just my eating habits. Right now I’m following everything he’s given me and I’m feeling great. If it’s 135 again, then it’ll be 135 one more time”.
It’ll also be the last time as after that, Team Rios plans to move up in weight and explore the 140 pound division.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.