Rios is Back and Still Rios

By Marc Livitz on June 12, 2017
Rios is Back and Still Rios
Does he have a chance against the top welterweights in the division? (Nabeel Ahmad/PBC)

Some of us thought we’d seen the last of Rios, but alas a fighter’s time in the ring is oftentimes tough to forget…

Sunday night was a return to glory of sorts for former lightweight champion, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. The Oxnard, California fighter was last seen in November of 2015 on HBO when he was thoroughly outclassed and subsequently pummeled by then WBO welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley, Jr. To his credit however, Rios essentially faced all challengers in his career and had the battle scars to show for it, though some of them were self-inflicted. He captured the WBA lightweight title in early 2011, yet his inability to make the 135-pound weight limit was a demon he was unable to easily shake. He’d often step upon the scale looking dangerously emaciated and in the potentially deadly zone of severe dehydration.

In any case, he received the perfect example of a rotten decision when three either blind or simply incompetent judges handed him a gift win over Richar Abril in April 2012. He went on to hold a two-fight advantage over Mike Alvarado during their trilogy which spanned from 2012 to 2015, though he sandwiched in a landslide decision loss to Manny Pacquiao and a DQ win over Diego Chaves in between their second and third fights. Then came that night in Vegas against “Desert Storm” Bradley. Rios looked like he wished to be somewhere else and his efforts almost made it look as if he deserved such a wish. Some of us thought we’d seen the last of him, but alas a fighter’s time in the ring is a treasured commodity and oftentimes tough to forget.

His efforts at the Pioneer Events Center in Lancaster, California were commendable and of course echoed a man with some expected ring rust. Rios was under the guidance of new trainer, Ricky Funez, and he was essentially the same fighter with the perfect opponent for a comeback, Aaron Herrera, who stood directly in front of him. Does Rios have a legitimate chance against the top welterweights in the division? How would he fare against Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia or newly crowned champion, Errol Spence, Jr.? More than likely, we know the answer to this question. We can’t fault the guy for trying, however one thing that some cannot shake is the memory of Rios looking like nothing more than a clueless follower during the training camp of Antonio Margarito in 2010.

As Margarito, the confirmed cheater made infamous for looking to have his punches hardened by way of plaster trained for his showdown against Manny Pacquiao, he openly mocked Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. He made stuttering sounds and rapidly blinked to deliberately make light of Roach’s fight with Parkinson’s disease. Not to be outdone, Rios followed suit like a trained puppy and did the same in front of HBO cameras. Eventually, Pacquiao left Margarito with a broken eye orbit in November 2010 and stopped just short of making “Bam Bam” look like a man on a deserted island three years later. Bygones can indeed be just that, but such actions are classless. Hopefully, he’s learned from all the up’s and down’s that have been thrown his way during his now thirteen-year career.

If he hasn’t, then worry not. The habits which once cursed him can stop by for a few drinks once again. Father Time, as they say is unbeaten, especially when one makes him an invited guest.

Fight highlights can be seen here.

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  1. Anonymous 11:22am, 06/15/2017

    KC = Anonymous as well


    LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous as well 07:55pm, 06/14/2017

    Leave it be?  Maybe your boy rios and punk ass margarito shouldve taken your advice.  Next in line for what?missing weight?making fun of deaf kids?yeah..

    Maybe cheato was THE MAN to his fans.  He was nothing special to the rest of the boxing world.  Greatness and margarito were never mentioned together, and sure as hell never will be. Watching him get beat down by pacquiao and mosley was great…watching what his wraps did to cottos face is hard to watch. 

    I like rios but hes a chump for making fun of a dude that has parkinsons.  Pacquiao closed both of their mouths though,plus took cheatos eye out…

  3. KC 07:53pm, 06/14/2017

    Leave it be?  Maybe your boy rios and punk ass margarito shouldve taken your advice.  Next in line for what?missing weight?making fun of deaf kids?yeah..

    Maybe cheato was THE MAN to his fans.  He was nothing special to the rest of the boxing world.  Greatness and margarito were never mentioned together, and sure as hell never will be. Watching him get beat down by pacquiao and mosley was great…watching what his wraps did to cottos face is hard to watch. 

    I like rios but hes a chump for making fun of a dude that has parkinsons.  Pacquiao closed both of their mouths though,plus took cheatos eye out…

  4. Anonymous 09:16am, 06/12/2017

    “”... however one thing that some cannot shake is the memory of Rios looking like nothing more than a clueless follower during the training camp of Antonio Margarito in 2010.”


    Huh. What do you know about the climate of the Oxnard Gym and Garcia’s fighters.  Margo was the MAN back then and Rios was on his way to becoming his replacement as the leader of the Oxnard pack. It was their thing. Leave it be Livitz.

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