By Keith Idec
Brandon Rios has paid no mind to the skeptics convinced Danny Garcia is going to annihilate him.
Some dissatisfied fans have been referring to Rios as a “cherry,” in relation to their criticism of Garcia as a “cherry-picker.” The former WBA lightweight champion has used all that negativity as motivation to pull off an upset in their 12-round welterweight fight February 17 in Las Vegas.
Numerous Internet sports books list Garcia as a 20-1 favorite over Rios in a bout Showtime will televise as the main event of a tripleheader from Mandalay Bay Events Center.
“Everyone’s calling me a cherry, but it’s all good, man,” Rios told BoxingScene.com following an open workout Wednesday in Lynwood, California. “Danny’s a cherry-picker, but they’re picking a wild berry, not a cherry. So it’s all good. Let them think I’m a cherry. Let them think I’m done, I’m a done fighter, which is all great.
“My job is, and what we’ve been training for, is to go out there and perform the best I can perform and prove everybody wrong. And if they bet against me, I’m sorry for taking your money. But we’re ready, though. We’re ready. We’re ready. We’re ready.”
If nothing else, the 31-year-old Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) arrived at training camp for this fight in much better condition than he was prior to his lopsided loss to Timothy Bradley in November 2015. Rios estimated he was 190 pounds when he started training for the Bradley bout, roughly 25 pounds more than when he began preparing to face Philadelphia’s Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs).
“I’ve got the hunger again,” Rios said. “This time I’m doing it right. The last four years I have [left in boxing], I wanna do it right this time. So I’m ready now. I’m ready this time and everybody’s gonna find out [there’s] a different Brandon Rios in there. They’re calling me a cherry. I love it. It’s good when they call me cherry. As long as they put some whipped cream on my cherry, sh*t, there it is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.