Ariza: I can get Brandon Rios back down to 135lbs
By Chris Williams: Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza is confident that if Brandon Rios works with him before his next fight, Ariza can get him back down to 135lbs with no problems, according to boxing news from Fighthype.com. That’s interesting because Rios has missed making 135 on two consecutive occasions in the past year.
Ariza told fightype.com “If Rios wants, let me know you now to get to 135. Not only will I guarantee that he’ll make 135 and be an animal the next night, I’ll even do it for free if he’s not.”
That’s pretty unbelievable. I don’t see it happening unless Ariza can be Rios’ shadow 24/7 and live with him and make sure he doesn’t sneak treats before and after his training sessions. I don’t think Ariza can put in that kind of commitment to watch over Rios, because he’s got other priorities. But besides that, it might be difficult for Bob Arum, Rios’ promoter, to agree to let Rios take another chance at 135 after failing twice. It’s not just the failing to make weight; it’s how sickly looking and weak Rios was in his actual fights. Yeah, maybe Ariza can get Rios into shape to make 135, but I don’t think it’ll be fighting shape. I think it’ll be a fighter that looks as if he’s been on a diet for too long where his muscles will be stringy and weak. If Arum is going to put Rios in with a soft touch, then it doesn’t matter. But if he matches him against someone good, we may see Rios get dominated like he was last Saturday night against Richard Abril. Rios can’t afford to put in another performance like that one.
Ariza doesn’t see Rios as a 140 pounder when he looks at him, and he believes that his frame is that of a 135 pounder. He’s probably right, as a lot of boxing fans have been saying the exact same thing. That’s why his time at 140 will be troublesome unless Arum is going to keep him away from the good fighters and instead match him softly. Rios’ days as a top fighter will likely be all but over when he starts fighting at 140. I expect Arum to feed him cream puffs for the most part and strategically match him against guys he has a high degree of certainty that he can beat. But as far as Rios beating the top 10 quality fighters in the light welterweight division, I can’t see it unless you get more of the judges working the fight like the ones that gave Rios his win over Richard Abril. I think Rios should do whatever he can to stay at 135 because that’s probably his only chance of staying on top. If that means hiring Ariza as his strength and conditioning coach then Rios should be ready to do that. He sure has nothing to lose at this point in making some badly needed changes in his game. I think he also needs to get a new trainer because he still doesn’t show basic skills that even elementary fighters are using, such as moving his head, jabbing, showing movement. He looks like a fighter that learned a few things and then fell asleep during the rest of the instructions.