I’m Betting on Brandon Rios

By Paul Magno on February 12, 2018
I’m Betting on Brandon Rios
Brandon Rios may possibly be the oldest 31-year-old on the planet. (Heczar Designs)

Sometimes disparity in desire and a perfect matching of strength to weakness, even if it’s on just one night, on one occasion, is enough to flip a script…

Back in December, I posted this bold prediction over at my other gig at FightHype.com and I took the appropriate amount of flak for it:

“Brandon Rios will stun Danny Garcia, winning via RTD in a rough, ugly brawl. A frustrated Garcia will quit on his stool between rounds nine and ten.”

Nearly two months later, not only am I holding firm on my call, but I’m putting my money where my mouth is. In a couple of days, I will be headed out from my Central Mexican mountain valley bunker to the closest big city to lay down a $500 dollar bet on Rios at +900 odds.

Danny Garcia has not looked even remotely interested in his craft since he outclassed Lucas Matthysse back in September of 2013. He’s 6-1 since that fight, but could easily be 4-3. Actually, he SHOULD be 4-3 since Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson both outworked him and got shafted on the scorecards. And “gimme” wins over no-hopers Rod Salka and Samuel Vargas during this stretch of time were as unconvincing as his wins over faded ex-champs Paulie Malignaggi and Robert Guerrero. The guy has been going through the motions for over four years now, turning in lackluster performances at three-quarters speed.

In the biggest fight of his career, a welterweight title unification bout against Keith Thurman last March on CBS, he couldn’t even muster the slightest hint of fire. In full sleepwalk mode, he displayed just enough resolve to keep himself from being embarrassed. And if Thurman had not, himself, been tepid and painfully conscious of the possibility of running into a big shot, Garcia would’ve been eaten alive and stopped within nine. A braver, hungrier, meaner opponent would’ve walked right through Garcia’s half-assed presence that night.

The thing about Garcia is that from everything we see and hear and from everything he has shown us, boxing is just not a priority in his life anymore. As I wrote elsewhere about a year ago:

“The fighter from Philadelphia has not looked at all like a “Philly” fighter. His efforts suggest a certain sense of entitlement, like his mere presence should be enough to give him a win. He often seems to be going through the motions to get his paycheck so he can get back to what really matters to him—his fashion line, rap career, celebrity friends, and being a niche-famous sports star.”

In short, Garcia may not know it and may actually deny it vehemently, but he is just dying to be put out of his misery and placed on the path to where he really wants to be.

The question is whether Brandon Rios has enough left to be the guy to send Garcia to a full-time fashion designer/rap star career.

Rios has been through the wringer and just may be the oldest 31-year-old on the planet, but what we DO know about him is that he is all fire. He can be nullified by complex movement and has been slowed down by ring war after ring war, but few fighters are as tenacious as “Bam Bam.” Unless Garcia somehow becomes a master mover, he’ll be there for Rios to push up against and will only go away if he is PUT away by a Garcia intent upon letting his hands go.

Actually, it’s a distinct possibility that a hard-charging Rios may bring out the best in Garcia, forcing him to fight or be battered to bits. The battle will be in Garcia’s will to fight vs. Rios’ will to win.

For Rios, having fought only seven fairly uncomplicated rounds in over twenty-seven months will do him good and may add some strength to weary legs. It also may help him avoid the “opponent” mindset he might’ve fallen into post-Pacquiao and Bradley losses.

Of course, Garcia SHOULD win and he is the infinitely fresher and more talented fighter, but winning in boxing isn’t always about being the better fighter. Sometimes disparity in desire and a perfect matching of strength to weakness, even if it’s on just one night, on one occasion, is enough to flip a script. I’m banking on this being Rios’ one night, one occasion.

Is betting on Rios over Garcia a dumb call? Maybe. But it’s no dumber than when I won a bundle by betting on a shot-to-shit Vivian Harris to upset Jorge Paez Jr. in Paez’s own Mexican backyard. And a Rios bet is certainly not as bold as when I was crying foul on Antonio Margarito, insisting that someone check his gloves or wraps a couple of years before Brother Naazim Richardson actually did.

But even if I’m wrong about the outcome of Saturday’s fight, I’m not wrong about Garcia. The only thing the kid seems to enjoy about boxing these days is the ring walk. From the opening bell on, he’s disconnected and increasingly disinterested. If it’s not Rios who knocks him into the life he REALLY wants, it’ll be somebody else.

My money is riding on Rios being able to send Garcia on his way to a brighter, shinier life. I may regret this decision—especially given the sorry state of my finances—but boxing is all about taking a risk, right?

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  1. JamesSteele 12:03pm, 02/18/2018

    Garcia KO’s Rios the creep and Magno is magnificently wrong again yay!

  2. Carlos Torres 07:50pm, 02/13/2018

    I don`t like either of this guys but if I have to choose I would choose Rios. I don`t like Rios because he has a big mouth and Garcia thinks his a pretty boy. I will go with Rios

  3. Koolz 06:03am, 02/13/2018

    I can’t stand little Danny i have never liked him ever since his eyes closed lucky counter that hit Khan below the ear.
    But Danny has very strong counters and one of those could damage and hurt Rios.

    Rios has taken way to many hits to the head in insane war Mexican style fights.

  4. Pete The Sneak 05:11am, 02/13/2018

    A burnt out Brandon Rios should be no match for Danny Garcia, who also isn’t as great a boxer as he (and his dad) believe. Common sense will tell you that Garcia will break down ‘Bam Bam’ and either KO him late or as AKT mentioned make him quit on his stool. With all that being said, I can see where Magno would want to put some money down on Rios. Garcia hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency in his last few fights and Rios (at least early on till he tires) will bring it to Danny and heck, who knows. Will it happen? I truly doubt it and I certainly won’t put any of my hard earned ducats on Rios. Still, if you got a few bucks to throw around and want to make the fight more fun from a rooting interest, heck I say go for it. Crazier things have happened…Peace.

  5. AkT 03:42am, 02/13/2018

    *Mr Magno I meant to write.. sorry! Spellchecker issues..

  6. AkT 03:41am, 02/13/2018

    Mr Macho, I wish you were right. Unfortunately, this Brandon is no longer the fists-for-lunch-and-dinner we used to know. Danny Garcia will discourage him.

    I say Brandon will retires on his stool. Unlike you though I won’t be getting that much!

  7. Billy 10:45pm, 02/12/2018

    Totally agree with Jun. Jeff Horn has been bringing it and has the hunger to keep thumping away.

  8. Jun 08:03pm, 02/12/2018

    garcia isn’t an elite fighter. he’s good but doesn’t possess anything really special in his arsenal. he would lose to top guys in ww like spence porter crawford pacquiao. but rios, at this point, doesn’t have it as well so it’s far-fetched that he can pull off the upset. possible but improbable. that’s why they chose him. they’ve been very smart in picking the salkas and other washed up fighters. and bambam fits that bill. maybe the 2013 rios can take the current garcia but not now. you know who i think the mediocre ww that can expose garcia? - jeff horn. he possesses the relentlessness described in the article that can stymie garcia. plus he’s young, big, hungry and very dirty. do that fight in australia and garcia won’t even win a round :)

  9. Your Name 03:14pm, 02/12/2018

    Bravo! Good call!

  10. Koolz 02:06pm, 02/12/2018

    no under Paul?

  11. Alfonso Bedoya 01:45pm, 02/12/2018

    Everything you write rings true….still…..a more sensible bet would be 500 pesos on Rios then if a miracle occurs at + 900 you’ll be a couple of hundred US to the good….enough to buy bottled water and toilet paper for a couple of months!

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