Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tim Bradley Breaks Ironman Rios in 9th Round: Rios Retires

Photo Source: HBO Boxing

By Peter Silkov

Timothy Bradley Jr. successfully defended his WBO world Welterweight Championship tonight with a conclusive 9th round stoppage of  Brandon Rios at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas . It was a lively performance by Bradley, who was having his first fight with new trainer, Teddy Atlas. After starting the fight looking as if he was going to go toe-to-toe with Rios, Bradley adjusted his approach. He began using the ring more, moving in and out, and giving Rios a lot of angles.

Bradley’s movement and hand speed troubled Rios from the beginning. Even when the two men were up close on the inside, the only place where Rios could hope to win the fight, Bradley was still having the better of things with his superior hand speed.  While Bradley looked sharp and focused through out the fight, Rios wore the look of a man who really wished to be somewhere else.  Never known for his self discipline outside of the ring, the news that Rios weighed as high as 171 on the night of the fight must pose grave doubts about his fitness going into the fight and the methods that were used to help him get down to the welterweight limit the previous day. 

After managing to stay with Bradley for the early rounds, Rios began to visibly wane with each passing minute, and by the 6th round, he had little left in the tank.  At this point, Rios’s main response to Bradley’s punches was a weak smile as if the shots were not hurting him, yet as the rounds went on it, it became obvious that Rios’s almost notorious punch resistance, was wearing down.  When the end came, it was Rios’s stomach that let him down, rather than his iron chin.  Several blows by Bradley had Rios crumpled up on his knees, and even though he beat the count, another sharp attack by Bradley sent Rios down again, and this time Referee Tony Weeks had seen enough, and mercifully waved the fight over. 

For the rejuvenated Bradley, the future holds the promise of several big fights in a division now seemingly free of Floyd Mayweather Jr., and full of a number of top boxers, whom over the next few months, will be seeking to prove that they are the new number one at 147 pounds.

For Rios the future seems much grimmer, certainly from the point of view of his boxing career.  Rios is a very marketable fighter because of his fan-friendly style, but tonight, after the first three rounds, he looked like a washed up fighter.  He had no snap in his punches, and no bounce in his legs.  Indeed, his demeanor throughout the fight was disturbingly detached.  Directly after the contest, Rios announced his retirement to HBO’s Max Kellerman, which is probably his wisest move after this showing.

Rios told Kellerman “"I don't wanna hurt my body, I don't wanna hurt my family, I don't wanna hurt my close friends around me, so I think it's time to hang up the gloves."

In all, it was great night for Bradley, but some of the shine will have been lost from his victory due to the dubious conditioning of Rios. The whole issue of weight making and the huge amounts of weight that are lost and gained by fighters in the run up to their fights, needs to be looked into urgently, before a fighter suffers a serious injury as a direct result of this dangerous game.  Tonight, Brandon Rios looked at times as if he was in danger of being seriously hurt.  Ironically, the body blows that stopped him in the 9th round, may well have saved him from a much more serious beating.

Copyright © 2015 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to
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