icon Updated at 02:04 AM EDT, Mon Apr 16, 2012

Garcia: Rios Will Prove Worth With Juan Manuel Marquez

By Chris Robinson

Boxing is a sport filled with highs and lows and trainer Robert Garcia will be the first to admit that Saturday night was anything but banner for him and his fighter Brandon Rios.

Fighting inside of the Mandalay Bay against awkward and lanky Cuban Richard Abril, Rios found himself in the middle of an ugly fight lacking in any action or real drama. Marching forward and attempting to mount some kind of attack against Abril, Rios would win a split-decision nod that wasn’t too popular amongst the press and some fans either in attendance or watching on pay-per-view.
 
In the wake of a kind of victory that Garcia wasn’t preparing or hoping for, the Oxnard, California-based trainer had a lot to get off of his chest, from his belief why the decision was just, why Abril didn’t fight to really win, the nature of critics in the sport of boxing, and why he and Rios and still going to push for a July 14th date with Juan Manuel Marquez.
 
In his own words, this is what Garcia had to share…

A difficult style…
“It was a tough fight, I got to admit. This guy came in with a difficult style. A style that will make any fighter in the lightweight division, he will give anybody a hard time. It was just one of those fights that, whoever it is, won’t look good against [Abril] and that was the case last night.”
 
Why Abril wasn’t trying to win…
“You know what? Not necessarily that he was dirty, it was just the way he was fighting. I guess that’s his style. He was just trying to avoid getting hit and in reality, you don’t win fights like that. Holding and all the moments, which was most of the fight, where Brandon got really close to him and Brandon was throwing punches and even though Brandon isn’t landing the best punches, but he’s at least throwing, he’s going to the body, going to the head, trying to land stuff where all Abril was doing was defending himself. How could you win rounds like that? The few moments where he threw punches, right when Brandon was walking in he would throw punches, and he landed a few too, but most of the fight was Brandon on him and trying and throwing punches. Landed some, missed a lot, but I don’t see how rounds could go his way when he’s not even trying.”
 
Why Rios and his team were fooling themselves thinking they could still make 135 pounds…
“We, of course, aren’t very happy with the performance because it wasn’t his best performance. But what are we going to do? They told us that we have to fight him and it has to be a135, where it killed Brandon to get those last three pound s off where he ended up getting down to 137. It really hurt him. It really hurt him and like Brandon said, he was fooling himself. We were fooling ourselves thinking that he could still do it. There’s no way we could do it anymore. He tried hard, he tried everything possible to lose that weight and the weight just wouldn’t come off. It just never came off. Everything we tried, it just didn’t come off; there’s nothing we could do.”
 
A lot of critics…
“I know there’s going to be a lot of critics. There’s going to be everybody’s saying ‘Brandon’s not that good; Brandon’s not that great’ and ‘Robert’s not that great’. But they forgot a year ago, when he beat Acosta and then he comes back and beats Antillon the way he did.  And at that time, everybody’s thinking ‘Damn, this kid is unbelievable. This kid could be facing Pacquiao in the future’. And then, just one performance and the credit goes away.”

Comparing Rios’ situation to that of junior middleweight contender James Kirkland…
“Let’s go back to James Kirkland coming up and looking great. Looking great and ‘This kid is unbelievable. This kid is the best junior middleweight in the world’. Then he gets beat and now, nobody believes in him. Now everybody’s saying that he’s shot, he has no chin. Then he goes and beats ‘Perro’ and he’s great again. And now, his last performance he didn’t look too good, you know what I mean? That’s just critics.”

Keep working…
“That’s the way it was last night with Brandon. Now Brandon has no chance with anybody, no top fighters at 140, that’s what everyone’s going to be saying. Now Robert is not a great trainer. But then you have other fighters or other coaches that have lost four of their last five title fights by knockout, their fighters get knocked out, and nobody says anything. Whatever it is against me, against my team, I don’t know. All I have to do is keep doing my work, keep proving what I’m doing. Last year I had a great year with my top-level fighters to my four-round fighters. I had fifty fights and all I lost was one fight and that was the Margarito-Cotto fight. And I still never got credit, I still don’t get credit. That’s just the way it will be. All I have to do is keep working. My fighters are happy, keep doing what I’m doing.”
 
A similar situation with Rios’ stable mate and junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire…
“Nonito Donaire looked sensational against Sidorenko here in Anaheim. He looked sensational. And then he goes and knocks out Montiel. ‘Pound for pound, he could be even better than Pacquiao’, that’s what everybody’s talking about. Everybody’s talking about Nonito. And then he fights that stinky Argentinean who didn’t want to fight. Now he’s not great. Now people change their minds right away. From one fight to the other. You know what I mean? That’s just boxing and I’ve learned it in my short career as a trainer. I don’t know what I have to do.”

Not taking anything from the opponent…
“I have more than one fighter and there are trainers who train just one fighter and get all the credit in the world. And I train a lot of fighters and they’re all getting better. Kelly Pavlik looked great in his last fight. Brandon has looked great, except for yesterday. But it was the opponent too. We can’t take nothing away from the opponent, but the opponent was awkward, he was hard. He was a difficult opponent to fight. It happens. It’s boxing.”

Why Rios will show who he really is in a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez…
“Well, we didn’t see his fight last night but we do want that fight. And that’s a fight that will give us that opportunity at 140. Because that’s where Brandon belongs and that’s where Brandon will be stronger, much better, and that’s all we want, that opportunity. And to get that opportunity against the best, the legend, and the hall-of-famer, then it would just be so awesome. Hopefully Cameron and Top Rank can work it out and hopefully Brandon is ready for it. Brandon is more than ready. Brandon has been asking for it and hopefully we can get it. After that, nobody will remember Richard Abril’s fight. Everybody will say ‘Damn, this kid can really fight’ because he will show who he really is.”

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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected] and www.Twitter.com/CRharmony