Garcia Flattens Rios

By Robert Ecksel on February 17, 2018
Garcia Flattens Rios
“I’m mad. I don’t like going out like that. I’m a warrior.” (Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)

Danny “Swift” Garcia (35-3-1, 25 KOs) stopped Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (34-4-1, 25 KOs) in a WBC welterweight world championship eliminator…

Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, Danny “Swift” Garcia (35-3-1, 25 KOs), the former two-division champion from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, stopped former lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (34-4-1, 25 KOs), the blood and guts warrior from Oxnard, California, at 2:25 of the ninth round in a WBC welterweight world championship eliminator.

Fighting out of the blue corner in leopard skin trunks, it was Garcia’s return to active duty since suffering his first loss, a close split decision victory to Keith Thurman 11 months ago. He put the time off to good use and looked rejuvenated Saturday night. He looked sharp. He fought sharp. And if he was helped in no small part by a do-or-die opponent, someone tailor-made to endure Garcia’s gifts, well, that does with the territory.

Rios, fighting out of the red corner in white trunks with gold trim, is a veteran nearing the end of a distinguished career. He is only 31, but it feels as if he’s 31 going on infinity. When he gets hit he smiles, as if he likes or deserves it, and fights as he has always fought, face first with more heart than skill. Some may question the wisdom of his continuing to fight, but no one questions his courage.

With the victory, which was a foregone conclusion, Garcia is in line to fight either Errol Spence Jr. or a rematch with Keith Thurman. Both fights look promising. And both fights he will likely lose.

After the fight Garcia said, “I felt the ring rust a little bit in the beginning. He’s a good inside fighter and he was giving me some good uppercuts. I felt good. It was a good nine rounds. He came to fight. I came to box. I did that. I came to bang, and I gave the fans what they wanted—a knockout.

“I just noticed when I was getting my punches off he was standing right in front of me and I just let it go. As soon as I got the fight in the middle of the ring where I wanted I landed good shots. I was just letting my hands go and the punch landed.”

Rios beat the count. He wanted to go out on his shield. He didn’t want the ref to wave it off.

“I’m mad, he said. “I don’t like going out like that. I’m a warrior, I got back up and I wanted to continue. I guess the corner stopped it but I’m mad. I’m mad because I got up.
“I was doing good. I got lazy with the jab and he came over with the right hand and he caught me. I’m a warrior. I’m still in the game. I didn’t think he did much to hurt me. I think it was closer than what he thought it was. He just caught me with a lucky punch. I was ready to continue.”

That fighting spirit is commendable. It’s what Rios is about. He’s not finished. He’s still a good fighter. He’s just not a good enough fighter to defeat a man who is rarely brilliant but does everything well.

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  1. Pete The Sneak 01:08pm, 02/19/2018

    @Alfonso Bedoya,....There is still an opportunity for Ortiz/Rios to happen. I agree with you, that is a fight that I’ve always wanted to see, as it’s a real grudge match and yes, I’m sure they can make some god money off of it if promoted properly, i.e. lots of trash talking and other crazy antics that would drum up interest. Rios actually looked a lot better in this fight than I thought he would, so no shame in this loss. He didn’t tire as quickly as I believed he would have and was giving Danny all he could handle. I think his reunion with trainer Robert Garcia has helped him and I believe he still has some good fight in him, predicated on the opponent, and I think Ortiz would be such the type for him to go out in a blaze of glory, along with a ton of F-Bombs…...Peace.

  2. Jose 04:48pm, 02/18/2018

    Why do you guys always get there fight records wrong? Danny Garcia only has one loss. These days in boxing one or two losses makes a huge difference. And you call yourself writers

  3. Alfonso Bedoya 12:43pm, 02/18/2018

    Too bad Rios couldn’t make it to the end….I really wanted to see him in with Victor Ortiz in a fight where they both could have made some decent money

  4. JamesSteele 12:04pm, 02/18/2018

    Magno said it’s a sure bet Rios would win. Hey Paulie any stock tips for us?

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