I do it for my fans and I do it for my family. I don’t do it for myself. I don’t have the pleasure of waking and losing weight, running. I hate that sh*t but I do it for my family and my fans out there because I want them to have a good time and see that this is me.— Rios.
In some ways he IS similar to Margarito but mostly the differences are stark. Unlike the "Tijuana Tornado" who is no longer an elite fighter, Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOS) is now coming on as one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. "Bam Bam" is exciting because of his unrelenting incoming style and brute power, and he has endeared himself to fans with the fact he is never in a dull fight. Says Bob Arum, Well, we got a lot of young guys causing buzz…We got ’JuanMa’ [Lopez], [Yuriorkis] Gamboa and [Guillermo] Rigondeaux, who are going to be causing a lot of buzz. But yeah, he’s [Rios] is the one."
Style-wise, Rios stalks stuns and closes like Tony used to do, but he begins the stalk faster, has more power (with either hand), and he closes off the ring better. He also has far more all-around technical skills to go with his propensity to be a warrior. "I’m very aggressive; I like to come forward a lot. I’ve always been like that—I like to put a lot of pressure on my opponent. But lately, my trainer still lets me put on pressure, but he wants me to box more. So I’m learning boxing now. I’m learning both styles—when I need to fight, I’ll fight. When I need to box, I’ll box" says Rios. Many fans are unaware that he had an astounding amateur record of 230-35) and won the 2004 U.S. championship gold medal in the 125-pound division and earned an alternate position on 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.
In his recent outing against game John Murray, he was fighting weight loss fatigue. But if what he did against Murray (31-2) was done when Bam Bam was out of shape, imagine what he would have done he had come in with no weight issues. His unstoppable jackhammer uppercuts launched with both hands were reminiscent of a prime Margarito’s and even a slashing Delvin Rodriguez’s and were devastating in their accumulative damage as they rendered p Murray’s face into gory pulp.
Brandon will never find himself in the kind of scandal Antonio did, but political correctness clearly is not Brandon’s strong suit (to which the incident in which he mocked Freddie Roach’s attests). Still, he’ll fight like the Tornado and that means you will either have to scoop him up or save him from himself because he doesn’t know how to quit. Rios has TRIPLE AAA HEART. Hideously impaired vision, blood, low blows, or being decked by painful body shots, will not stop him. He’ll get up and keep coming; he’ll fight their way back. Rios will never quit. And the way he paces back and forth like a caged tiger before the his fights start and the way he smiles when he returns too his corner after each round only adds to his aura as a guy with a mean streak. The Future
It appears he will soon be rumbling at 140 as Rios is headed to the junior welterweight division which is great news for his current divisional foes him but bad news for his new opponents. Margarito’s options (if any) are now limited. Brandon’s are wide open. Names like Maidana, Bradley, Khan, and Morales begin popping up. Even a dream grudge match with Vicious Victor Ortiz is within the realm of possibility. Ríos says that while they were growing up in Garden City, Kansas, he often got the better of Ortiz during sparring. However, his relationship with Vicious Victor went south after an incident involving Brandon, Victor, and Victor’s younger brother, Temo.
There are other more complicated subplots that account for the bad feeling between Ortiz and the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Suffice it to say that Bam Bam has many things to say about Victor and most are obscene.
So, is Rios the new Margarito? I say NO! I say Rios is a real original—I say he is is his own man.
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