By Miguel Rivera
The only thing that former champion Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) asked for was one more opportunity, a fight that would allow him to show that he possesses real skills in the ring.
And now that opportunity is here, when Rios faces former two division world champion Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs).
Their Showtime televised fight takes place on February 17th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
As BoxingScene.com reported a few days ago, the World Boxing Council has sanctioned the fight as a final eliminator.
Rios is coming off a knockout win over Aaron Herrera, and Garcia is returning from the first defeat of his career - which took place last March at the hands of Keith Thurman.
A victory would place Rios in line for a secondary mandatory title shot at Thurman, after Shawn Porter receives his mandatory crack at the belt.
"My mistakes of the past have left a mark and I will not blame someone else, they were my mistakes, but beyond talking and making promises - what I wanted was a fight, a great fight, because I know that a good result will be the ideal way to keep [the haters] quiet. I just have to show that I know how to do everything much better than I have done so far," acknowledged the 31-year-old fighter to Erika Montoya.
Back together with longtime trainer Robert Garcia, Rios is looking to shake up the odds in a contest where he's being tabbed as a huge underdog.
"It will be a very good fight, but very hard. Danny is a good fighter, but with a good preparation and strategy I will be able to compete at the level and give him a fight to remember. It's my goal to be able to show that I have what it takes to be at the highest level,"
"I have matured, now I feel that I am a much more aware person and I know what I have to do to get back on track and what better way to do it than with someone who knows me as well as Robert. Together we can apply a strategy that makes it difficult for Danny Garcia and that would lead me to have the opportunity to go for the title of the World Boxing Council, a belt that I've always wanted have.
"It's a challenge, a very important one for my career, because a lot of things will depend on this result. I'm working hard because I want to prove that they are wrong about me, that I am much better than they think."