Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios slugged his way to the welterweight sweepstakes with his knockout victory last weekend.
With his career hanging in the balance like the Sword of Damocles, the Oxnard prizefighter powered his way to victory with a two-fisted attack that left Mike Alvarado looking up at his conqueror.
Rios has punched his way to possible mega fights with several of the top welterweights in the world. It’s a prime position for a fighter who seemed to be hanging on the ropes. Now the world looks rosier.
“He’s a true professional. He took it serious,” said Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman. “It was his last hurrah. If he lost the fight he knew he probably wouldn’t fight again. There was no losing. He had to win.”
And win he did with a performance that surprised fans for its dominance, and probably shocked Alvarado, who had beaten Rios a couple of years ago by decision. There was no decision this time. Rios looked like a steamroller as he fired and connected with head snapping uppercuts from the onset.
Rios, 28, a former lightweight world champion, was unbeatable at 135. He probably never could have been beaten if not for the weight problems. Fighting at 147 has proven to be a comfortable fit for the native of Garden City, Kansas, who now lives and trains in Oxnard, Ca.
“People thought I’m a shot fighter, that I’ve been in too many wars,” said Rios before the fight. “Not really. I fought the best in the world. Who could beat Manny Pacquiao?”
Now Rios has an opportunity to face some of the top welterweights in the world not signed with Al Haymon. As some may know, Top Rank and Haymon do not get along and the many welterweights signed with the rival boxing impresario will not be available. But that still leaves plenty left for Rios.
“There can be Tim Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jessie Vargas. Maybe move up and fight Miguel Cotto,” said Goodman about the possibilities for Rios. “He’s in a very good situation.”
Rios spoke to ESPN chat on Thursday and was optimistic of his future.
“I’m still young and I got a lot of gas in my tank. I still got a ways to go,” said Rios.
Photo credit : Chris Farina
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