Spend enough time around this game I call The Fight Racket and you see some pretty special fighters. Some are great fighters that come along once a generation. Others are dominant in ways that were once unimaginable. Some are just real characters and fun guys to watch.
I don't know yet what category Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios fits into. But I do know he is fun to watch, he has some wonderfully raw skills that are just boiling there under the surface waiting to thrust themselves upon the best in the world. I want to see Brandon Rios fight again - and I want to see him fight again soon.
The way in which he repeatedly waded head first into the churning Argentine vat of arms called Diego Chaves this past Saturday night showed you all need to see. Rios has guts, he has balls and he is just the type of guy this racket needs more of in order to thrive. Chaves threw everything at him and then some - arms, elbows, forearms, his head - and through it all - through the blood and the lumps - Brandon Rios kept on coming, kept on throwing and kept on swearing.
Forget that the fight went off the rails somewhere around the fifth round and that referee Vic Drakulich ended up having to disqualify Chaves in the ninth round for another in a long line of fouls. Forget that Rios was behind on two of the three official judges' scorecards at the time the fight came to an end. Forget that Rios had lost two straight coming into the ring Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Remember that this was a helluva' scrap. Remember that this is what people pay to see. Remember that when it comes time to buy a ticket to see "Bam Bam" fight that you need to pony up a few bucks and make sure to be there. That's because Brandon Rios is a real cracker jack. He's full of piss and vinegar. He's just the type of fighter that boxing needs more of. Brandon Rios wears that big heart of his right on his sleeve. It's that big heart that walked head first for twelve long rounds into a meat grinder with Manny Pacquiao stamped on it. The same heart that waged two wars over 19 rounds against "Mighty" Mike Alvarado.
I have seen tens of thousands of fights and fighters in my time of following this game I call The Fight Racket. I have seen just about every crooked nose trainer and fighter and cut man there is dating back to 1980 - or 34 years if you are counting. I say that Brandon Rios has that little something extra special. He has that rare combination of personality, character, skills and one other thing - the boy can take a punch too can't he? I say give me a whole barrel full of Brandon Rios type fighters and you just watch this racket survive and prosper.
There is a saying that some guys are made for fighting on TV and I say Brandon Rios is one of them. He doesn't have Floyd Mayweather Jr boxing skills. He doesn't have Manny Pacquiao speed. He doesn't have Marcos Maidana punching power. But Brandon Rios has "it" and that is something that can't be captured or bottled or manufactured. He is like the modern-day Rocky Graziano - full of fun - and you just never know how his fights are going to end. They are like passion plays.
His impromptu post fight interview with Jim Lampley of HBO was great to watch wasn't it? The kid said "bullshit" and the eff word and at the end of it Lampley was smiling and shaking hands with him. Rios is real and he's genuine and I say get the kid on TV again and make it soon. I have a feeling the more this kid fights the better he is going to get and the more fun those of us that watch him are going to have.