By Keith Idec
The lopsided odds and Brandon Rios’ ugly loss to Timothy Bradley suggest Angel Garcia is simply selling his son’s fight.
However you view it, Danny Garcia’s father/trainer emphasized Friday that they don’t expect his 12-round welterweight fight against Rios to amount to an easy night of work. Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) is a 20-1 favorite over Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) in advance of their February 17 fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“Brandon Rios is not gonna be an easy opponent,” Angel Garcia said during an open workout Friday at his son’s DSG Boxing Gym in Philadelphia. “This is gonna be a great fight. Rios is a very tough fighter. There’s no way this is gonna be an easy fight and Danny knows that.”
If nothing else, the 31-year-old Rios clearly has trained better for their fight than he did for his ninth-round technical knockout loss to Bradley in November 2015. Rios came to training camp very heavy before boxing Bradley, who made Rios pay for preparing poorly by beating him up on his way to a stoppage in Las Vegas.
Rios, 31, has fought just once since Bradley battered him. He knocked out Mexico’s Aaron Herrera (33-8-1, 22 KOs) in the seventh round of that June 11 bout in Lancaster, California.
Garcia, 29, will end an even longer layoff when he squares off with Rios. The Philadelphia native hasn’t boxed since Keith Thurman beat him by split decision in their 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight March 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Bigger fights await Garcia in a loaded welterweight division, but he isn’t overlooking Rios.
“Danny knows he can’t take anything lightly because Brandon Rios will be prepared,” Angel Garcia said. “But he’s not going to win. Danny Garcia has never taken a beating; he gives them out.
“Brandon Rios better keep his hands up. We’ll be ready in one week for Danny Garcia to be at his best. You’re gonna see him once again show his great skills.”
Showtime is set to televise the Garcia-Rios fight as the main event of a tripleheader.
In the opener of the three-bout broadcast, Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas (20-3, 9 KOs) will face Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson (24-2, 12 KOs) in a 12-round IBF welterweight elimination match. In the co-featured fight, Phoenix’s David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) and Las Vegas’ Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs) will meet in a 12-round rematch for Benavidez’s WBC super middleweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.