By Rick Reeno
On Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, former champion Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22KOs) won a controversial twelve round split decision over Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8KOs). The scores were 117-111 Abril, 116-112 for Rios and 115-113 for Rios.
Following the fight, Rios and trainer Robert Garcia sat down with BoxingScene.com, and several other reporters, to discuss the fight with Abril, the outcome of the fight, their future plans, and more.
Thoughts on Abril's performance and his own - "He said he was coming to fight. He didn't come to fight. He said he was more Mexican than me. If he was more Mexican than me, then he wouldn't have held me all f****ing night."
"I had to stay close, but when I got close he held me. It was one of those fights that don't make a fighter look good. It could have happened to [Juan Manuel Marquez]. If he would have fought Marquez right now, he would have held him [the entire fight]."
"We knew Abril would be a tough opponent. We knew was awkward. We saw videos on him and we had a feeling that he would hold us a lot. And that's what happened. He would hold, hit and hold, hit and hold, and there was nothing that I could do. The referee did his job and I did my job."
"I did get frustrated because he was trying to break my arm. He was holding my f***ing neck. I even told the referee a couple of times 'he's f***ing holding me, what the f***.' I told the ref a few times. The ref told me to stop hitting him in the back and I said 'he keeps turning around, how can I not hit him in the back.' He was holding my head and literally twisting it around. I told the ref 'he was holding.' I was frustrated but it is what it is. Abril did what he came to do with his gameplan and I came to do what I do."
"A win is a win, but I'm not satisfied because I could have did better. I killed myself to make 135. I tried to make 135, its just not my weight no more. I've been at 135 since 2004.....eight years already. My body is growing. I'm getting older. If I was at 140, I think I would have done way better than I did tonight."
Thoughts on referee Vic Drakulich's inability to stop the holding - "That's not my job. My job is to pay attention to the fight. If the referee didn't take any points, then he didn't take any points."
Thoughts on facing Juan Manuel Marquez next - "I would love to have that fight, but it's up to [manager] Cameron [Dunkin]."