Should Top Rank have allowed Rios to fight for BKB?


    Robert+Garcia+Brandon+Rios+Manny+Pacquiao+A2b0_Q4RR6AlBrandon Rios has never been shy about sharing his feelings, and he has always been very candid. This was especially true over the past few months as he sat idle with no signs of fighting anyone.

    Rios appeared on Thaboxingvoice’s twice weekly internet radio show and he was very vocal on his situation and the frustrations he was having with Top Rank. He spoke about how disappointing it was coming off of the Mike Alvarado win at the beginning of the year – it was the rubber match in a trilogy spanning three years.

    In the January fight, Rios made short work of Alvarado, dispatching him in the 3rd round of their scheduled 12rounder. It could be pointed out that Alvarado did not look like the same fighter he was in the first two contests with Rios, but that did not take away from Rios’ performances. He looked good in the fight and we saw a sharper version of Rios than we have in a long time.

    It appeared as though Rios was in line for bigger things heading into 2015, but as Robert Garcia, Rios’ trainer, pointed out in an interview with Fernando Pimentel of those promises were not kept.

    Pimentel asked Garcia about Rios’ unsolicited layoff, which is currently at 8 months now, and he responded by saying, “You have to ask Top Rank that question because after Brandon’s fight against Alvarado in January, coming off the ring, Bob Arum promised us a fight in June. June came, he had nothing lined up for us. We begged for a fight, they just couldn’t get Brandon in the ring.”

    Garcia pointed out that Rios, who is now scheduled to fight Timothy Bradley November 7th at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, will have been out of the ring longer come fight night than he was for the suspension he suffered in 2013 after failing a post-fight drug test following his unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao. Rios was back in the ring 9 months later against Diego Chaves, but it will be nearly 10 months between fights for Rios when he meets Bradley.

    What’s more troubling is that Garcia had pleaded with Top Rank to keep Brandon active and stated in several interviews earlier in the summer that Brandon is the type of fighter that is only at his peak when he is in the ring consistently. Not getting a fighter fights takes money out of their pockets, which is bad enough, but in Rios’ case he is being hindered from an actual competing standpoint. Whatever his chances are against Bradley, they are lower than they could be because he is at an obvious disadvantage being inactive all this time.

    As for the money, Rios lost out on a payday or two. Even if he took a stay-busy fight it would’ve alleviated some of the financial issues and all of his physical complacency issues. However, Garcia told that Rios had another opportunity outside of the boxing realm, and it was actually very financially lucrative.

    “We had an opportunity to fight in BKB (Big Knockout Boxing), which is pretty much the same as boxing. It wouldn’t be on his record and it would’ve been just a 5 round fight, pretty much an exhibition, and they were offering Brandon really good money and Top Rank didn’t give us that permission. It looked like they had something lined up, but [there was nothing] until now.”

    BKB would’ve allowed Rios to stay active and his style would’ve given him an advantage in “the pit.”

    Garcia admitted that they had big hopes at the beginning of the year and they were expecting three fights in 2015. The trainer from Oxnard claims that Rios would’ve had a shot a fighter of the year if he could’ve stayed on a roll and come up with three big wins – certainly beating Bradley at the end of the year would at least get him in the conversation had he added another name to his 2015 campaign after Alvarado.

    We cannot know just how hard Top Rank worked at getting Rios something else, and maybe they did make their best effort at securing the Kell Brook fight for Rios – a fight that Brandon was calling for but ultimately fizzled out – but they could’ve done more. Top Rank could’ve done more by doing absolutely nothing because they could’ve given Brandon permission to fight on a BKB card and not lifted a finger or spent a dime on the promotion, only to have Brandon return for the Bradley fight.

    Rios has his work cut out for him November 7th, and if he isn’t successful against Bradley then Top Rank will have their work cut out for them convincing Rios to keep quiet about why his skills weren’t as sharp as they could’ve been.