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Garcia-Rios: Can Brandon pull off the upset?

By Sean Jones: Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) is working harder than ever to get in top shape for his fight against Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) on February 17. Rios, 31, may not want to admit it, but his career is on the line against Garcia. Rios had lost too many fights in recent years for him to come back from a loss to Garcia. Garcia-Rios will be shown on Showtime on February 17.

If Rios loses this fight, he might as well pack it in and retire from back because he’s not going to be able to turn his career around. Garcia vs. Rios is not the best against the best. It’s 2 guys that are no longer world champions taking advantage of their past fame.

Going by how Rios fought in losing efforts against Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in the past, it’s not likely that he’ll be able to beat Danny Garcia, who is in the prime of his career still. Garcia isn’t like Rios in having left his best year behind him 3 to 6 years ago. Garcia is still fighting well. The only thing wrong with Garcia is he’s been marinating his titles at 140 and 147 by challenging himself. Garcia has been all about taking the easy fights since his win over Lucas Matthysse. Garcia challenged himself in his last fight against Thurman and he ended up losing the fight.

Garcia wanted the fight against Rios for some reason. Garcia, 28, had a ton of options for bigger fights against better fighters than Rios, but he wanted this fight. Garcia is coming off of a 12 round split decision loss to WBA champion Keith Thurman last March. Garcia came up short in the scoring for the fight, but he finished strong. However, that’s only because Thurman suffered an elbow injury in the fight, and he chose to coast in the last 6 rounds after he embarrassed Garcia in the first 6 rounds of the contest.

Rios is slower, weaker, less mobile and with fewer solid wins in his career than Garcia. We don’t know what Rios is capable of doing because he was with Top Rank, and they didn’t match him up against a lot of good fighters besides Bradley and Pacquiao. Those are really the only good guys that Rios fought while he was with Top Rank. Mike Alvarado was a limited slugger that guys like Spence, Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bradley and Shawn Porter would have beaten with ease. Rios lost to Alvarado once. Rios did beat Alvarado twice, but the boxing fans mostly remember how he was beaten by him.

Unless Rios can show some talent that he’s been hiding for the last 6 years, he’s going to wind up getting schooled by Garcia just like he was in his loss to Bradley.

I think it’s safe to say that Garcia won’t get any credit at all from the boxing fans if he beat Rios, because he’s perceived as an over-the-hill fighter living off of his accomplishments from yesterday. Garcia could have taken on Shawn Porter or Errol Spence Jr. if he wanted to. Both of those fighters were interested in facing Garcia, but he chose Rios instead.

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