By Allan Fox: Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) earned $1.25 million for an easy night’s work in stopping Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (34-4-1, 25 KOs) in the 9th round of a scheduled 12 round fight last Saturday night on Showtime Boxing at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rios made $500,000, which is a lot of money for a fighter who fought like a journeyman. Garcia ended the fight with a right to the head of Rios in the 9th. Rios stated afterwards that he was still strong in the 9th and in the lead on the scorecards. He’d been hit a lot in the fight, so you could forgive him for not being aware of how he was fighting.
The fight wasn’t the entertaining match that many fans were led to believe it would. Rios was glacially slow, moving around the ring like he was caught in quicksand. Garcia, 29, didn’t look much faster, but his speed was much superior to that of Rios.
Garcia landed 188 of 614 punches for a connect rage of 31%. Rios landed 109 of 605 punches for a connect percentage of 18%.
WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman was at ringside for the Garcia-Rios fight last Saturday night, and he licking his chops at the thought of facing Garcia a second time. Thurman beat Garcia by a 12 round decision on March 4 last year, and he’s thinking about giving him a rematch later this year if he doesn’t face Shawn Porter.
“More easy, baby, no injuries,” Thurman said to Fighthype, when asked if he thinks he can beat Garcia in the rematch. “I fought him with an injury. He’ll learn real soon. He [Rios] didn’t have the power to hurt Danny, and his punches were all over the place. He was throwing a lot of punches, but he wasn’t landing them with leather. Danny got in a rhythm and started boxing and moving more. He landed some counter right hands several times before that big right hand. I got different things I can do. I’d rather show you. The thing is he’ll be on the mat this time. He was trying to box and move a little bit, but he’s still slow, slow-footed, slow-handed. He’s still slow. He does have pop. We all know that. He’s a puncher. I’m a puncher,” Thurman said about Danny Garcia.
Rios had his moments in the fight, especially in the first 6 rounds. He landed some shots to the head and body of Garcia. Rios’ punches didn’t have the snap on them that he needed for him to be competitive. Garcia’s was marked up and swollen after the fight. That was a product of Rios’ high work rate. Rios was on a pace to throw 800 punches in the fight. That’s a lot of shots for a welterweight to throw. Rios landed over 100 punches, and Garcia obviously feeling it.
Rios came into the fight with high profile defeats to Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in the past. Rios was treated like a punching bag by both of those fighters in one-sided losses. Rios’ lack of hand speed is what made it so easy for Bradley and Pacquiao to dominate him. It was the same last Saturday night with Garcia having his way with Rios. His hand speed was too slow for him to be competitive with Garcia. Rios looked slower than he’d been in his fights with Pacquiao and Bradley. That’s something you have to be concerned with if you’re a Rios fan. He’s getting slower as he ages, and he can’t keep taking these beatings like this if he doesn’t want to get hurt permanently.
At the post-fight press conference, Rios sounded like he was punch drunk. He was rambling, slurring his words badly and repeating himself. Rios was telling the same story over and over. Someone should have stepped in and had Rios sit down because he made no sense. He was talking about how his trainer stopped the fight. That’s not what happened. It was the referee that stopped the contest. Garcia dropped Rios like a rag-doll with a right hand in the 9th. Rios was too slow to react to the right hand, and it caught him with full force. The punch knocked Rios’ head sideways and knocked him flat. Rios got back to his feet, but he couldn’t walk straight without staggering when referee Kenny Bayless directed him to come towards him. Bayless stopped the fight right then at 2:25 of the round. Rios looked like he was in a daze.
Rios isn’t talking retirement yet, but if he suffers a few more brutal knockout losses like he did last Saturday night, you can bet that he’ll make the decision to walk away from the sport. Before the fight, Rios sounded like his feet weren’t fully on the ground with him talking about beating Garcia and getting back up there with the top fighters in the welterweight division. Rios was never one of the top fighters in the 147 lb. division to begin with. He was used by Manny Pacquiao as a tune-up fight in 2013 after he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.