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Brandon Rios says he’ll gloat after he beats Danny Garcia

Brandon Rios Danny Garcia

By Dan Ambrose: Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios says he plans on giving the finger to all the people that doubted him after he defeats Danny Garcia this Saturday night on Showtime at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)

It’s more than likely that Rios is going to lose to Garcia and he won’t get his chance to give the media a one-finger salute for them writing him off. Rios never showed in his best years that he could beat the top guys. Rios’ claim to fame is beating slugger Mike Alvarado, whose career never went anywhere. Rios has wins over Urbano Antillon, John Murray, Miguel Acosta, Omri Lowther, Anthony Peterson, Jorge Luis Teron, Diego Chaves and Richard Abril. Those guys aren’t super talents. Rios beat a handful of contenders, and that’s about it. He lost badly to Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.

Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) says his body was worn out from his many wars that he had in fights against Manny Pacquiao, Diego Chaves, Mike Alvarado and Tim Bradley.

Rios took close to 2 years of from boxing before coming back last year in June to defeat journeyman Aaron Herrera by a 7th round knockout. Rios, 31, thinks he’s back to where he was before he started wearing himself out. We’ll see on Saturday if Rios is still in his prime. If he is, he could give Garcia a lot of problems with his pressure and inside fighting ability. Garcia has been off for 11 months after losing a 12 round decision to Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last March. If there was a perfect time for Rios to pull off a big upset, it’s now with the 29-year-old Garcia having been taking it easy doing nothing for the past year. Garcia might have conditioning problems if Rios pressures him hard in the first half of the fight. Pressure fighter Lamont Peterson wore Garcia down in the second half of their fight in 2015. Mauricio Herrera did the same thing to Garcia in 2014. Thurman did well against Garcia when he was pressuring him in the early going last year in March.

“Now I feel rejuvenated and fresh. So you will see the new and improved Brandon,” Rios said. ” I want to go out there and prove everyone wrong. I’m going to prove every one of you wrong. There’s going to be a smile on my face when I win this fight and I will put up my middle finger to all of you,” Rios said.

Rios sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder over being criticized by members of the media and the boxing fans. What are people supposed to say about a fighter that has struggled as badly as Rios has in the last few years of his career? He was beaten by Manny Pacquiao, Mike Alvarado and Tim Bradley. Rios was stopped by Bradley in their fight in 2015. Rios looked terrible against Diego Chaves and Richard Abril. If you count all the losses and the poor performances from Rios in his last 8 fights. He looked bad in 5 of them. Rios only had 3 fights where he looked good and 2 of the matches were against the same guy in Alvarado. The only other fighter Rios shined against was in his last fight against journeyman Aaron Herrera.

“One thing I like is he doesn’t move or run, he likes to bang it out, and that suits my style better. But if he does run, we’ll be ready for that too. I sparred with young guys, so I’m ready,” Rios said.

Garcia is capable of running. Rios needs to understand that he can run on occasions. In Garcia’s fight against Lucas Matthysse in 2013, he used movement in the later rounds of the fight when he started getting hit hard. It’s more likely that Garcia won’t use movement against Rios. If Garcia gets tired or if he needs to escape the pressure, he’ll start holding like he did in the Matthysse fight in the 11th and 12th rounds.

The 31-year-old Rios is capable of winning this fight if he’s in good shape and not weight drained. Rios has been looking really thin lately, and it’s unclear how much weight he’s lost with his long training camp. Rios looked thin even before he started his training camp for the Garcia fight, so there’s no telling what kind of performance we’re going to get from Rios. If Rios hasn’t lost too much weight, then he’ll have a good chance of winning the fight.

“I’m 29 years old and in the prime of my career. It starts now. I’m ready to get back on track,” Garcia said.

Garcia might be in the prime of his career, but he might not good enough to win a world title at 147 any longer now that the belts are all held by good fighters like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Lucas Matthysse and Jeff Horn. Garcia could probably beat Matthysse and Horn, but he’s not going to fight either of them. Garcia has already dismissed the idea of him challenging Matthysse for his WBA World welterweight title, because he views Thurman as the real WBA 147 lb. champion.

The WBA has 2 world champions a 147. Matthysse has the minor belt, called the WBA World welterweight title. Thurman holds the WBA Super World 147 lb. strap. Horn is with Top Rank, and that makes him a fighter that Garcia will probably not consider for a fight. Garcia’s options at welterweight are limited in terms of him fighting for world titles. It’s either Thurman or IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. Garcia hasn’t been calling out Spence. The only champion Garcia wants is Thurman, and he’s record saying 2018 is a “get back year” with him planning on fighting twice this year against an opponent ranked below the top 10 for his first fight on May 19th, and then against someone ranked from 5 to 7. That leaves Garcia and Shawn Porter out of the running for a Thurman rematch this year. Garcia is ranked #2 WBA and #2 WBC. Porter is ranked #1 WBC. If Garcia never wins another world title at 147, he might have to think about losing weight to go back down to 140. If Garcia is no longer a champion, his paydays are going to stop dropping at some point if all he can do is beat up contenders and over-the-hill guys like Rios.

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