By Keith Idec
A discouraged Brandon Rios realized in its aftermath what his technical-knockout defeat to Danny Garcia could mean to his career.
Unlike his lopsided loss to Timothy Bradley two years earlier, Rios was well-prepared and put forth a commendable performance against Garcia on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The result still means Rios (34-4-1, 25 KOs) has been stopped in two of his past three bouts and hasn’t won a significant fight since stopping an ill-prepared Mike Alvarado in their rubber match three years ago.
After enduring numerous grueling fights, the Oxnard, California, native knows that makes his boxing future tenuous, even though he’s only 31 years old.
“What’s next?,” Rios responded when asked that question in the post-fight press conference. “F***. We’ve just gotta wait for – hopefully I don’t get back down to the f***ing gutter, man. You know, I’ve gotta see what Lupe Valencia, my adviser, see what he can come up with and see if he talks to Al Haymon, see what’s good. I’d like to thank Al Haymon for presenting me, for giving me the opportunity to fight one of these good fighters. So, what can I say, man? I’m just mad because of the fact that I know I was winning the fight. F***!”
Rios pressured Garcia throughout their welterweight fight, but he was behind on all three scorecards before Garcia blasted him with an overhand right that dropped Rios for the first time in his 13-year, 39-fight pro career. Rios reached his feet, but referee Kenny Bayless didn’t like the way Rios responded to his commands and halted the action at 2:25 of the ninth round.
If nothing else, Rios displayed during eight-plus rounds of action that if properly prepared he can be much more competitive than he was when Bradley battered him throughout a welterweight title bout Rios lost by ninth-round technical knockout in November 2015.
The second TKO defeat of his career still will be difficult for the prideful Rios to handle.
“The critics, they’re always gonna talk sh*t,” Rios said. “So that’s the thing that drives me more insane, makes me more mad because of the fact that you mother***ers are gonna say some stupid sh*t tomorrow. That’s what makes me more mad. And if you know who the f*** you are, you know who the f*** I’m talking about. That’s what makes me more mad.”
Philadelphia’s Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) consoled Rios after his opponent expressed his frustration.
“Hey Brandon, don’t worry about the critics, bro,” Garcia said. “I was champion for five years and they still talked sh*t about me. Until somebody could do what you do, bro, f*** ‘em. You the one putting that blood, sweat and tears in there, risking your life in the ring. So nobody can tell you nothing, bro. Keep your head up.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.