Brandon Rios vs. Aaron Herrera – Results
By Jim Dower: Making a comeback after close to 2 years out of the ring, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) stopped journeyman Aaron Herrera (32-7-1, 21 KOs) in the 7th round on Sunday night in a successful comeback at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California. The 31-year-old Rios wore down the younger, faster and more powerful 28-year-old Herrera until stopping him with a right hand to the body in the 7th.
Herrera went down to one knee and was counted out by referee Jack Reiss. It didn’t look like that big of a punch by Rios, but it was placed well and Herrera was already tired from the shots that he’d been absorbing.
Rios appeared to win every round of the fight but the 4th. Rios took a lot of heavy shots from Herrera. It was troubling to see Rios getting hit so many times, because this was supposed to have been an easy fight for him. Rios wasn’t fighting a world class contender. H was facing a 2nd tier guy that had never beaten any quality fighters before during his career.
The punches that Herrera threw that seemed to bother Rios the most was the body shots. But for some reason, Herrera didn’t stick with the body shots. He was headhunting for most of the fight. I got the feeling that Herrera wasn’t comfortable taking shots in return for the body shots he was landing. Rios would usually make Herrera pay when he’d focus his attention on going to the body.
”Next I get in there, I’ll be better,” said Rios after the fight. ”You’ll see more progress each time I get out there. I still have my same style but I’m adding some more athleticism and head movement to it. I felt like I did well in there.”
Let’s hope for Rios’ sake that he does get better reach time out. He needs to improve dramatically for him to have a chance against the current world champions. Keith Thurman and Errol Spence would have made it tough on Rios tonight if they were in Herrera’s shoes.
To be honest, I didn’t see much head movement from Rios in the fight tonight. Herrera was able to hit him almost anytime he wanted. The only reason Herrera missed with his shots was because he had lousy punch accuracy. The hand-eye coorindation wasn’t there for Herrera in this fight. He was throwing way too many wild left hooks that badly missed the mark despite Rios being wide open for them. A good welterweight would have been teeing off on Rios tonight. It’s scary to think what Errol Spence Jr. would have done to Rios had he been inside the ring with him tonight instead of Herrera.
”We’re ready to move forward from here,” Said Rios. ”I’m ready for the next challenge.”
It would be interesting to see how Rios would do against someone like Robert Guerrero or Andre Berto. I’d like to see either of those fights take place. I doubt that Rios would be matched against either of them though. Those would be tough fights for Rios, and he likely would lose to both of them.
In Herrera’s best round of the fight in the 4th, he hit Rios with 4 consecutive left hooks. Rios came close to blocking none of them. All 4 shots landed. Rios has never been known for his defensive boxing skills, but it wasn’t a good sign to see him getting hit with so many punches in a row like that.
Rios did a good job of walking Herrera down and hitting him with a lot of hooks and uppercuts on the inside. Rios seemed more comfortable in fighting in close than he did when he was on the outside for some reason. It could be that he felt like he was able to neutralize Herrera’s hand speed and power more than he was on the inside than when there was space between the two fighters. To be sure, Herrera wasn’t as effective when he was stuck in close against Rios. Still, Herrera was connecting through the first 4 rounds on the inside and outside, and it wasn’t easy going for Rios.
Herrera started to wear down beginning in the 5th round, as Rios was attacking him and landing some really hard shots to the head and body. Herrera tried to move around to get away from Rios, but it was no use. Rios was able to stalk him and land some nice punches. Rios’ shots weren’t that hard looking, but the fact that he was able to land so many of them made it tough on Herrera. He was taking too many flush shots for his own good.
Herrera looked done for the night from round. Rios looked tired himself, but he was able to control the action because Herrera was even more fatigued than he was. For a moment there, it was unclear whether Herrera was going to be taking over the fight after he landed some tremendous shots to the head and body of Rios in the 4h. I don’t know what happened in the 5th for Herrera not to take over the fight. Herrera had such a good 4th round. It looked like he was coming on.
All in all, it was a decent performance from Rios. He lost a lot of weight during training camp to get down to the 147 pound limit. It’s surprising that Rios was able to fight this hard, because he started training camp over 180 pounds. It’s never good to have to take that kind of weight off to make weight. Rios will need to make sure in the future that he stats his training camps at a lower weight when he faces better opposition.
If Rios was facing a good contender in the division like Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia, he would have lost tonight for sure. There wasn’t enough improvement in Rios’ performance from his last fight against Tim Bradley to suggest that he would beat a better fighter in the division. I think Bradley would have knocked Rios out tonight if he’d been in the ring with him.
Before tonight’s fight, Rios hadn’t fought since he was stopped in the 9th round by Tim Bradley on November 7, 2015. Rios retired from boxing following that fight. However, after 19 months, he decided to return to the ring with the goal of winning a world title at welterweight. Rios believes that he’ll be at the top of the welterweight division by the end of 2017.
Depending on which sanctioning body he’s talking about, it’s quite possible that Rios will get ranked No.1 before long. The International Boxing Federation has been ranking a lot of arguably weaker fighters at No.1 in recent years in ranking Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier No.1. If History is any guide, we could see Rios ranked No.1 soon if he keeps winning like he did tonight.
If Rios’ goal for his comeback was to just try and get a title shot, then that would be something that would be realistic. But Rios believes himself capable of winning a world title. To me, that seems like he’s dreaming, because he doesn’t have the power, speed or the talent to become a world champion at 147. If Rios could go back down to his old weight class at 135, he would be potentially capable of winning a world title, but not at 147.