Brandon Rios could still change his mind, of course, but for now he sounds like a fighter who is quite serious about an early retirement from boxing, which he announced in the ring last night following his one-sided knockout loss to Timothy Bradley on HBO.
Rios (33-3-1, 24 KO) struggled to make weight, and told Max Kellerman that his training camp just didn't go well, that his body didn't respond the way he wanted once he got back to training. He also says it was the same last night, that his body just didn't respond the way that it had in the past.
"My body wasn't doing what I wanted to do. I tried to pull the trigger and I couldn't let it go. ... I'm not going to fool myself and make myself look like a jackass and get beat up. I can live life now. ... I made it further than anybody thought I would. I proved everyone wrong."
Rios, 29, has been in a lot of wars over the years, and even the fights that won't be remembered as wars saw Rios take a lot of punishment due to his face-first, march-forward style. If he is done, he will be remembered as one of the best action fighters of his era, but there will also be questions about his conditioning and dedication, and whether or not he really made the most of his career, even though he had a good one.
Rios won the WBA lightweight title in 2011 by knocking out Miguel Acosta, and made one successful defense against Urbano Antillon that same year. His title reign was cut short when he missed weight for a fight with John Murray, and a chance to get the vacant belt back in 2012 also saw him miss weight for his bout with Richar Abril. After moving up from 135, Rios went 1-1 at 140 pounds, splitting a pair of fights with Mike Alvarado, and 2-2 as a welterweight, beating Alvarado and Diego Chaves, and losing to Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.