Brandon Rios (32-2-1, 23 knockouts) was coming off of a nearly year-long layoff when he stepped inside the ring last Saturday night against Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a fight that was what Rios referred to as a “do or die” type of a bout for him. Rios showed little in the way of improvement in getting nailed repeatedly by Chaves’ best Sunday punches.
Rios was on his way to losing the fight when referee Vic Drakulich stepped in and saved the day for Rios by disqualifying Chaves for throwing an elbow that no one saw him throw. Before confusing stoppage, Drakulich had kept Rios in the fight by twice deducting points from Chaves for petty things such as clinching excessively during the first three rounds and lacing Rios.
Chaves had rarely clinched at the time that Drakulich took the point away from him in the 3rd. And the point deduction from Chaves in the 8th came after he’d been head-butted hard directly in front of Drakulich. An angry Chaves reacted by pushing Rios away with his glove to his face, but Drakulich took the point away from Chaves instead of Rios, who had started it all.
Rios was moving forward constantly in the fight, throwing shots, but walking into some tremendous shots. He showed a frustration with the movement that Chaves was using in the fight. The thing is, Chaves doesn’t move well and he looked like he was really laboring in doing the little bit of movement that he used. It didn’t matter though, because Rios couldn’t handle it.
Rios didn’t look particularly powerful after he rehydrated up to 159 after weighing in at 147 last Friday. He’s fighting at welterweight, but he’s more of a light welterweight, which he has no interest in trying to make that weight any longer.
If Rios’ is going to make something happen in the 147 pound weight division then he’s going to need to learn how to fight a lot better. He can’t continue to foul the way he did last night if he wants to be a major player in this division.