Brandon Rios can win a fight tomorrow, but no title and no bonus money after he missed weight today in Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Crystina Poncher tweeted moments ago that Todd duBoef and Top Rank's $50,000 bonus for a win tomorrow night is only good for Richard Abril, and Brandon Rios cannot win the bonus money with a victory. Rios missed weight for the Vegas fight today, weighing in at 137 pounds on his initial attempt, then coming back at 139 later. The fight will still go on, but Rios cannot win the belt at stake, and can't win the bonus money.
It's a very good move by Top Rank, if only for PR purposes. It would look terrible if they gave a $50,000 bonus to Rios for winning, as he's their fighter (Abril is not a Top Rank fighter) and he missed weight for the second straight fight. Whether it's 100% fair or not, boxing fans don't look kindly on guys who miss weight. My take is that Rios never should have been trying to make 135, but that's a whole other ball of wax.
Rios (29-0-1, 22 KO) is clearly headed to the 140-pound division now, as he should have been as soon as Yuriorkis Gamboa pulled out of the April 14 date. It made no sense to try and force him down to 135 for a fight like this one, where the title doesn't really matter, especially considering Rios' next fight, tentative for July against Juan Manuel Marquez or maybe Mike Alvarado, was going to be at 140 anyway.
Simply put, this entire thing was ill-advised and should have been avoided. It never should have happened. But it has. My feeling is Rios was basically set up to fail here, and trying to get him down to 135 surely did him no favors physically, either.
For a guy who many felt was a bit of a sleeper tomorrow anyway, Richard Abril is getting the chance of a lifetime to make some waves in boxing tomorrow night. If he pulls this off, it's a huge dent in Rios' career, and obviously an even bigger win for the lanky Cuban.