Todd DuBoeuf's nerves were a wee bit jangly at the Monday Los Angeles press conference to hype the April 14 Brandon Rios-Richard Abril fight. The two men got into a physical skirmish on March 5, at a Miami presser, when the WBA interim lightweight champ Abril showed up to heckle Rios, who was in need of a replacement foe for Yuriorkis Gamboa, who no-showed the presser and flaked on a fight with Rios.
So DuBoef mustered all the patience and good humor he could, after good naturedly warning that he was in no mood for foolishness, when asking Rios and Abril to pose for a promotional photo at the end of the LA presser. Rios at first barked out hell no, but was convinced by DuBoef, who reminded him that a photo helps promote the tussle.
It went well, to a point, as they started at each other for a spell...but then Rios shoved off Abril, and cooler heads hopped in between the boxers, to prevent them from giving the milk away for free.
Rios during his time at the mike, before the shove climax,admitted he was happy with how his life has been going, and said he was proud of the three guys he took off the streets, who he called drug addicts, and he pointed to the unnamed men in the front row.
Rios (29-0-1 with 22 KOs; age 25; lives in CA), who won the WBA lightweight belt in Feb. 2011 from Miguel Acosta, defended it against Urbano Antillon that July, before dropping it because he didn't make weight for the Dec. 3, 2011 John Murray fight, said he wants that crown back. No one thought he'd be at 135 when he looked cadaverous for the Murray fight in NY, but he is still at 135, and maintains he is on track to make weight for April 14.
"I am going to gain my title back," he said. "Abril, nobody is still going to know who he is," after he loses to Rios, the Texas-born hitter said. He called Abril an "unknown guy," and said he is "going to let this fool know who Bam Bam is...I'm going to knock his ass out, and will show the world why he's a shadow, I'm a star."
Trainer Robert Garcia said Rios is in great shape and promised a great fight against Abril.
Abril during his time at the mike said in Spanish that he was grateful for the opportunity to fight Rios. The 17-2 Cuban, a free swinging sort,said that the beef he and Rios had in Miami a few weeks ago came about because he heard Rios using the eff word on him. He said he doesn't really have anything against Rios, per se, and promised a "great fight" on April 14. The 29 year-old picked up the interim WBA belt when he downed Miguel Acosta in October, via UD12.
Tix, DuBoef said, are still available for the Mandalay Bay card, scaled from $250 down to $25. The card, paired with Juan Manuel Marquez' scrap versus Sergey Fedchenko for a 140 pound belt, will air on PPV, as well, for $44.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV