Brandon Rios no longer with Robert Garcia

By Boxing News - 01/27/2016 - Comments

rios0000By Dan Ambrose: In something of a surprise, the Top Rank promoted former WBA lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (33-3-1, 24 KOs) has split with trainer Robert Garcia after years of being trained by him. Garcia revealed the news today on his Instagram. It’s unclear what led up to the two of them parting ways.

Rios, 29, is in bad shape in terms of his career outlook after his recent embarrassing 9th round knockout loss to WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley last November in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rios briefly retired after his loss to Bradley. The retirement didn’t last long, as he came back last week and said he was going to be resuming his pro career.

A new trainer for Rios will be confronted with the same issues that Robert Garcia was. Rios doesn’t have hand speed and his defensive skills are pretty limited. Rios doesn’t match up well with the best fighters in the 147lb division, and he would be a much better fighter if he could go back down to 135 to use his size to squash the smaller fighters like he was doing before.

Rios can’t make the lightweight division any longer, however. It’s doubtful that he could make the 140lb division as well. Rios even struggled to make weight for the 147lb limit for his fight against Bradley. Rios rehydrated to 170. That’s the kind of weight that Saul Canelo Alvarez weighs when he rehydrates for his fights at middleweight.

The loss for Rios at the hands of Bradley was his third defeat in his last five fights. But when you really look at Rios’ last seven fights, you can make an argument that Rios has lost 5 out of his last 7 fights. Rios’ 12 round split decision win over Richard Abril in 2012 was INCREDIBLY controversial, as Rios appeared to win only 2 of the 12 rounds in the minds of some fans. I had Abril easily winning.


A photo posted by Roberto Garcia (@rgbaboxing) on

Then there was the controversial win for Rios over Diego Chaves in 2014 in a fight that Rios was trailing in at the time the referee Vic Drakulitch stopped the fight in the 9th round, disqualifying Chaves for allegedly throw an elbow. I’ve seen the 9th round of that fight in slow motion many times and I still can’t spot an elbow being thrown by Chaves. It just looked like Rios was getting handled well by Chaves in that round. There was only round to go in the fight. The disqualification of Chaves saved Rios from losing that fight because he was definitely behind.

In my view, Rios’ only real wins in the last five years in view were his two victories over Mike Alvarado. That’s it. The rest of his fights have all be losses with him getting worked by Chaves, Bradley, Pacquiao, and Abril. Rios was little more than a punching bag in his losses to Pacquiao and Bradley. He wasn’t even competitive. Rios got paid well in both of those fights, but he looked like more than a journeyman level fighter in those fights. It was hard to believe that he was an opponent for those world class fighters, because Rios looked like he didn’t belong in the same ring with them.

Here’s what Rios had to say in his message on his Instagram last week about coming out of retirement:

“After I had time to think about it, I want to end my love for this sport in boxing the way I started, fighting strong and with everything I had. I didn’t train right last time & was not able to bring my best, letting myself & my fans down. Now I’m back at the gym getting in shape, before I even do training camp, with a renewed passion for my sport & fans. Strong basics and some new twists to up my game and when it’s time to end on my terms of hard work and victorious. #teamrios.”

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