Tag Archives: brandon rios

Timothy Bradley vs Brandon Rios @ Crossroads

Current WBO welter champ Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, 32-1-1, 12 KO, and former titlist Brandon Rios, 33-2-1, 23 KO, will tee it up Saturday, November 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in what is being marketed as something of a war.

Desert Storm vs Bam Bam

Desert Storm vs Bam Bam

Unfortunately, this may well turn out to be a track meet by Bradley who continues to suffer from serious blows to his noggin that seem to have diminished his former capacity to fight at the highest level. In his last outing, the light hitting prospect Jessie Vargas had enough in him to knockout Bradley had they been officiated in a fair fight. Unfortunately, California has it’s own pitiful referees to match Vegas, so after a big punch slumped Bradley badly to the ropes with just enough time to finish him off as Vargas flurried furiously in the waning seconds of the fight, referee Pat Russell waived off the fight to stop the punishment, a clear TKO victory for Vargas.

But wait, wait, this is boxing we’re talkin’ about. Boxing reserves the right to reverse any decision in a moments notice regardless of merit with no deference to the existing rules or to the resulting controversy.

The ridiculous Russell seemingly heard ding-dongs chiming in his noggin, claiming to have heard the final bell, which is quite loud and distinctive so as to be heard over the din of sound created by the crowd suddenly lurched to their feet by the impending upset after what had been a sure lopsided decision for Bradley. Russell’s TKO verdict was promptly overruled by, ahem, himself, and, whew, close call that one. The easily bruised, sacrificial lamb in waiting, Bradley, was successfully delivered up somewhat lopsided to this date for yet another banana skin slip’em up.

Sadly, Top Rank has been propping up Bradley past his sell date after Manny beat his legs and confidence out of him in their first fight only to lose the Robbery of the Century in Vegas. Bradley wasn’t a draw back then, but the controversy made him more marketable to other fighters and fans who saw the damaged goods as I saw him. It didn’t help Bradley that the public turned on him like rabid dogs complete with death threats and a dearth of hate mail that put him in a depressive funk as anyone would suffer, he has my sympathies in that regard, after all, the decision was rendered by the typical suspect boxing judges, not by him in an otherwise courageous fight just to survive on two injured legs.

Ruslan Provodnikov was next in line after Pacquiao to get robbed, yupsir, by the same goof Pat Russell who can’t ever seem to figure what the hell is ever going on the ring. Ruslan caught Bradley in the opening round with a shotgun blast that sent Bradley to his knees clutching at Ruslan in a futile effort to stay up. Incredibly, Russell ruled a slip, and no sooner had Bradley gotten up from his “slip” than he fell into the best drunken chicken break dance since Zab Judah got one punched by Kostya Tzyzu a several years back and went down again. That’d be two knockdowns by Ruslan with one punch if boxing ever kept score that way, but he never got credit for even the single knockdown for thanks to Russell’s boner that would’ve made Ruslan the victor, not Bradley.

Most reputable refs would have stopped the bout for a Ruslan KO win right then and there, but sadly reputable and referees and boxing seldom meet in this current boxing climate.

No siree, no commie Ruskie is gonna take down an American in Russell’s court of law, so then equally blind judges awarded the “close” bout to Bradley who mostly ran around to avoid getting creamed further until his legs finally gave out and he was caught again in the last round. In his next bout Bradley got the best of a very close exchange early on with the 40 year Juan Manuel Marquez, yet then chose to run for the rest of the incredibly boring, non-participatory bout by Bradley who used to relish the good fight, but no more. Marquez was disgusted at the tactics and the decision, but then again, why should Bradley take any unnecessary chances against this new BALCO trained monstrous version of Marquez?

I can sort of see his point of view for that, but then he lost the rematch to Pacquiao where he looked utterly clueless again, almost club fighter like, and then on to a draw against an awkwardly strong club fighter, Diego Gabriel Chaves. In spite of his stellar record on paper, he lost his Ring P4P ranking in their recent staff shakeup and has further dropped down to 15th in Boxrec. Bradley used to be the alpha dog in the ring, dictating the pace and the style, but no more. His destiny now seems hellbent to cultivating the beta side of him as his physical advantages over opponents slowly decline.

So here he is against Rios who is a big, strong, powerful, pressure fighter with reasonably quick feet when on pursuit. Bradley has to run to maybe survive since he can no longer handle this kind of punching power or pressure, but now he has to worry if his legs can carry him for all 12 rounds. I’d sure like to see a fair decision out of boxing once in a blue moon, but we might as well be baying at a lunar eclipse while praying for the winning lotto ticket. Rios has had some training issues of missing weight during his lower weight classes in the past that have made him a big target of critics, but since Robert Garcia has trained him, Rios has successfully moved up in weight and been drilled into better shape with better discipline and game plan.

Rios still has to make weight at 147, so can he do it first try? That may well prove to be the key in this matchup. Can Bradley survive the guaranteed onslaught? His new trainer, the loonytunes buffo Uncle Teddy, can he even make it out of training camp without blowing everyone’s head gasket? Bradley’s damaged legs aren’t saying much yet, but we’ll be finding out soon enough.

 

Macau Manny Pacquiao On The Road To Brandon Rios

Venetian Resort in Macao on November 23rd will be the hottest place to be to be in Asia when the biggest international boxing match in Chinese history hits those shores, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines vs Brandon Rios of the US of A.

Bob Arum of Top Rank has been testing the shores of Macao since he signed Chinese gold medalist Zou Shiming straight out of the 2012 Olympic Games. Shiming will help shore up the Pacquiao/Rios undercard with his 3rd straight bout in Macao this year. With both Pacquiao and Rios coming off notable losses that might take the shine off a Vegas PPV promotion, the perfect moment to introduce the big fight climate into Macao has finally arrived.

On The Road..

On The Road..

The idea is a type of low cost PPV off the Chinese internet that Arum says has the biggest potential with an Asian population in the billions. Presumably HBO will be still broadcasting in an American PPV format, so we’ll see how the figures are split if and when they release them.

It should be noted that even going against a diminished version Pacquiao for this fight, Rios is making a quantum leap up the big fight scale, not to mention the internationally exotic venue being beyond his wildest dreams. What Rios has going for him is a straight ahead physical style, so there is precious little boxing nuance to freeze up as might happen with a more complex style and personality in such a big fight. Rios likely knows how to box better than he shows, but why bother with such frilly notions when power on top of even more power has been all that he has needed to get him to this point, 31-1-1, 23 KO with a world title belt for a trophy? He’s also the bigger, stronger fighter in spite of moving up another weight class for the Pacquiao fight, 161 lbs in fighting trim for his rematch against Mike Alvarado, so he has to be feeling good about his chances to be even a bigger fighter against a smaller opponent in Pacquiao, not that I am suggesting his team might be overlooking Pacquiao.

Quite the contrary in that Rios will be able to spend more time in actual physical fight preparation than any other camp since he won’t have to waste precious resources losing unnatural weight as happened too many times in previous camps. Rios has earned hot blasts of criticisms from looking like death warmed over at the weighin before subsequent poor fight performances, but has been in training an incredible 5 months for this fight. That’s one thing Pacquiao has done for boxing competitiveness, giving fighters plenty of time to whip themselves into all time good shape compared to some other top fighters who’s opponents are often given short notice.

Team Pacquiao couldn’t have picked a more dangerous opponent for Manny’s return from the death punch knockout loss of the century against Juan Manuel Marquez.  Rios is prime aged at 27 years and been brought up old school hard by one of the premiere trainers in boxing, Robert Garcia. He vaults into the stratosphere of boxing with a dynamic win here, and even with a hard fought loss he still wins. He always comes out swinging to let the chips fall where they may anyway, but perhaps that much harder now that he has a sniff at a big time boxing purse.

If any added intrigue is needed, Pacquiao’s longtime physical trainer Alex Ariza fell out with team Pacquiao after the devastating Marquez loss. Pacquiao looked spectacular in that fight but for what in tennis is termed a foot fault, having the mortally wounded Marquez lined up for the knockout before jumping in with his lead right foot landing on the Marquez lead left foot. The penalty in tennis is the automatic loss of the serve, but in boxing the consequences can be much more severe even if nominal foot faults played out a dozen times in their past fights. This time Marquez was well balanced with his back to the ropes. Pacquiao’s sudden loss of balance with momentum changes left him stooped over, his entire noggin being exposed for the Marquez counter right hand that exploded with all time great effect behind the ear.

Ariza quickly took up an opportune offer from the “enemy camp” to rework Brandon Rios who is changing up after an ill advised stint with disgraced BALCO figure Victor Conte. It goes without saying that Ariza knows all of Pacquiao’s weak spots, so his input helps shape their fight plan to tap into those weaknesses in spite of banal denials by the Garcia camp that they ever intended to tap into the Pacquiao history with Ariza. 

Justin Fortune served as Pacquiao conditioning coach from 2003 until 2007 and will reunite with Freddy Roach for this effort at least. An ankle and leg specialist Gavin McMillan is in support to shore up Pacquiao’s long time leg cramping problems. The illicit drug testing cartel chosen for this non Vegas bout is supposed to be the newly created VADA,  Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, also associated with Victor Conte and operating out of Las Vegas if any more drug testing sleaze factor is needed. I’m sure Team Pacquiao felt the need to keep the Las Vegas connection however loosely associated since the Chinese boxing commission was only newly formed this year. Whether or not Conte now has a grudge against Team Rios is not known by me, but any advantage would appear to be Pacquiao’s. Who can really know with claimed traces in parts per trillion modern day snake oil medicine men and drug testing cartels are selling the public? They can’t pass their own drug tests which is why you’ll never see them implemented on themselves.

What Pacquiao used to sell was a tigerish instinct to fight with lightning knockout punches out of his southpaw stance that garnished him every fighter of the decade bauble that counts. The past couple of years, however has seen him selling soap in the form of Filipino politics. His brother and sister in law are now elected officials on top of Manny being the supreme politico as a congressman for his district. His wife also holds another substantial office, so could be the start of a new Filipino political dynasty if Pacquiao can keep his focus once he retires.

His domestic life certainly became the stuff of soap operas with his wife serving a divorce subpoena going into the Bradley fight after years of Pacquiao infidelities. Then he added fuel to the fire with ill advised comments over gay marriage, going against the liberal Speaker of the House, longtime Senator Harry Reid, a former amateur boxer that Pacquiao actually campaigned for. Few in boxing even care for politics save the liberal Nevada governor who appoints boxing commission honchos. That “political misstep” is likely the real reason Pacquiao didn’t win the Bradley fight. If that wasn’t enough of a tactical boner, what were Team Pacquiao genii thinking when they invited “Hi, I’m Mitt Romney and I just lost the US presidential election.” in for a canned chat before the always tough Juan Manuel Marquez? The quotation is exactly as Romney introduced himself, I kid you not. They further compounded that grave error by saturating the Paquiao corner with more negativity when they gave this loser’s loser a ringside seat spitting distance from where Pacquiao was knocked cold before his eyes. 

Thank goodness I don’t get paid big bucks for making these kinds of critical decisions for fighters, but we have to wonder what further idiocy the team will have in store for the beleaguered Pacquiao going into Rios? He’s been in the ring against the hardest overall caliber fighters of anyone in boxing not to mention there are few ranked fighters with more than his 61 career fights currently operating. He needed and got an 11th month breather from boxing for the first time ever in his career. This is surely going to be a firefight for as long as it lasts, and it may last 12 rounds of the kind a grind the near 35 year old fighter really doesn’t need, but relishes all the same because he’s been the purest premiere fighter of his ages in giving his all in the ring. 

Certainly Rios is stylistically made to order for Pacquiao, yet Rios still remains an unrelenting knockout beast wanting to duplicate Pacquiao’s still painful KO loss. The vacant WBO International welterweight title is the bauble. Rios can be outboxed for spells, but nobody has yet to put a serious dent into him like Pacquiao always used to do, but can he still?

Fun on Tour

Fun on Tour

The undercard is strong with perhaps the most varied international cast of top fighters ever assembled from the 4 corners of the earth. Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr looks like the biggest upside there in potential stardom, looking to become the best Mexican heavyweight contender in history and not too far removed from a title shot, perhaps late next year or 2015 if his victories continue to mount. He goes against former touted American prospect Tor Hamer looking to climb back in the ratings.

Contract terms  of Pacquiao and Rios are may be unknown, but supposedly Rios would earn more than the $3 million Robert Guerrero made to fight Mayweather according to Arum in a dig at his former protege now nemesis. It’s a gamble on whether the Asian market picks up on this historic opportunity to see Manny Pacquiao in what looks like a firefight of the year in the deal of the century!

The skinny here:

http://www.venetianmacao.com/manny/?utm_source=google-us&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=aug13-tkt_en&utm_campaign=sem-ven-manny-fight

If all the above history of distractions aren’t enough, the worst typhoon in the history of the Philippines has devastated that country. Congressman Pacquiao should be slogging around in the middle of the mess leveraging his position to speed as much aid possible to his district, but alas, he has schedule conflict with what may turn to be the most importing fight of his boxing career coming up. These types of conflicts were well predicted in advance of his assuming congressional duties, and in fact he was supposed to be retired as early as 2012.

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/pacquiao-registers-worst-attendance-in-congress-094644868.html

The tens of millions left on the table luring him for one more fight again and again simply cannot be forsaken by such a poor bedraggled Filipino waif as he grew up. Presumably many if not most Filipinos forgive him his distance from the tragedy since he does have his “lieutenants” working on the ground as they would be even if he were there. The official statement here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/manny-pacquiao-statement-230941

“I really feel very bad over what happened in the Visayas region where more than 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives. I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy but I’m in deep training in General Santos City for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go. I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”

Indeed, these are very trying times for many, even for Manny Pacquiao and “boxing” in general. Such are what The Fates have given Pacquiao to work with. Brandon Rios for sure has his own Fates to deal with. Fighters seldom enter a fight 100% healthy and mentally prepared. Life imposes it’s will, so we shall see how they deal with it.

Slugger Paridiso–Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado reprise their blunt force fan thriller to go mano a mano again Saturday, March 30th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The undercard has the potential for even more fireworks when unrepentant sluggers Breidis Prescott and Khabib Allakhverdiev go toe to toe, tooth and nail in the same division. Could be the winners fight each other in the next promotion with the losers fighting each other in support.

Unfortunately the card suffered a premature knockout when Allakhverdiev pulled out with a damaged shoulder. An unsung American fighter Terence Crawford is making a big step up the division as the replacement. He has a 22nd lightweight rank in Boxrec with an undefeated 19-0, 15 KO. Go figure Boxrec if you can, 18 of his fights have been above the lightweight limit, but guaranteed Prescott and Crawford will be near the 140lb limit at the weighin.

Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête

Rios has become something of a star for Top Rank. They have floated his name in potential bouts against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and supermegafighter, Manny Pacquiao. He won the last dukem up with Alvarado by way of spectacular knockout, but not before using his face to block a furious blizzard of shots from the smart boxing Alvarado who must have thought he was beating on a block of granite by fights end. That was for the WBO Latino title, this time around they’ll fight for the WBO interim title.

If Rios is to enter into the mega fight promotions, he absolutely has to win again and should be a substantial favorite to do so. The sticking point for him is how much more face first punishment can he absorb in a career before the wheels come off his express? To a lesser extent, the same applies to Alvarado who took similar punishment against Breidis Prescott before knocking him out in another spectacular fight.

Speaking of, Breidis Prescott briefly became an up and coming star of boxing after back to back wins, a gritty split decision win against current WBA lightweight champ Richar Abril, then a spectacular first round knockout of British darling, Amir Khan. The Prescott name was plastered across front pages of British tabloids for whom Khan had been tapped as the King in waiting. Unfortunately boxing is vicious at the business end and Prescott was never properly developed as mismanagement butchered his momentum and title aspirations. Newly signed under the Top Rank banner, he was finally challenging for the WBA light welterweight title against  Khabib Allakhverdiev, but no more since that fight was nixed.

Now Prescott is fighting to stay busy for his next shot at glory, but you can bet that Terence Crawford would like to take that shot instead. That’s what they all fight for, future opportunity, and perhaps a minor belt on the line by the time of the fight.

The 140 division currently has the lean and hungry look of the most dangerously stacked division in boxing, thank goodness for that.

*** Noted development in advance of fight: Brandon Rios and trainer Robert Garcia have revealed they are using BALCO derived elixirs of disgraced Angel Heredia/aka Hernandez to assist the Rios physical development.

Alvarado for his part doesn’t seem to care, but the news highlights further inroads the infamous BALCO tag team of Victor Conte and Angel Hereria have made into elite boxing circles.

The Brandon Rios Challenge of WBA Champion Miguel Acosta

Bam Bam Brandon Rios challenges the newly crowned WBA lightweight champion Miguel Acosta in his first bid for world title this Saturday, February 26th at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Combatants

The Combatants

The 32 yr old Venezuelan Acosta has been boxing since 1999 in an up and down career going nowhere until he caught fire in two consecutive away bouts, torching the undefeated records of Urbano Antillon and Paulus Moses with big knockouts in their home environs for the WBA interim and regular titles in Mexico and Africa respectively.
 
Moreover, Acosta, 28-3-2, 22 KO, has been undefeated since 2004, so now he arrives at the apex of his career, his first defense of his title in another away bout as the headliner in the capital of boxing.

Quite a career turnabout by Miguel Acosta that merits big time respect, harkening back to the days of Danny Little Red Lopez going over to Africa to dethrone champ David Kotey and defending his title against a series of thrilling hometown challengers.

The 24 yr old Rios is just as easily undefeated since his pro debut, 2004, and already nailed his signature win over the equally undefeated Anthony Peterson at the Palms Casino Resort in a WBA title eliminator, so now he has his own fireworks showcase just for him in a comfortable home style setting not that far from where he lives and trains in Oxnard, California.

I’m guessing Acosta will be the favorite, however I’ve learned that odds can be strangely puzzling sometimes. Mainly the fighters seem evenly matched and I only note projected odds as part of the sport, not wishing to direct any betting.

In the Rios corner will be Robert Garcia, the hottest up and coming trainer in the biz. One notable attribute about Rios is his size, entering the ring bigger than most middleweights in history, but Acosta is hardly a dainty flower himself and may be the hungrier, more self made fighter than Rios who still has a bit of the kid in him needing direction.

The undercard features fast charging 21 yr old featherweight prospect, Robert Marroquin, stepping way up in class against an experienced Mexicali fringe contender, Gilberto Sanchez Leon along side some other Top Rank prospects.

Great card to see some of the future names in boxing, so peel your eyeballs off in that direction this coming Saturday if you like action packed knockout type of fights.