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21 OCTOBER 2018


Brandon Rios Celebrates Honeymoon in Vegas

By Jason Pribila: HBO’s cameras returned to Las Vegas for their latest edition of Boxing After Dark at the Palm’s Casino Resort on Saturday night.

The opening bout on the telecast matched a pair of undefeated lightweights when Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios met Anthony Peterson. Rios won both the physical and mental battle through seven rounds when Referee Russell Mora was forced to disqualify Peterson for excessive low blows.

Rios of California was led to the ring by both fellow Oxnard-native Fernando Vargas and Antonio Margarito. As the story of Rios – Peterson was unfolding inside the ring, each former titlist must have had flashbacks of nights from their own careers while sitting ringside.

For Margarito the action surely reminded him of his career highpoint against Miguel Cotto. Each fight saw the boxer take the early lead on the scorecards, only to see the pressure fighter impose his will and eventually dominate. Rios, unlike Margarito, only waited for one round before he began to dish out punishment.

Rios won round two by landing eye-catching uppercuts to the suddenly stationary Peterson. He took the lead for good in round three, before doing his best “Tijuana Tornado” impression in rounds four and five. During that six minute stretch Rios threw 252 punches according to CompuBox.

Peterson earned the reputation of being a well-schooled boxer with an impressive amateur pedigree. Those who followed his career also know that when he gets hit, his instincts as a fighter take over, and he chooses to hit back. That mentality led him to a trip to the canvas during the final seconds of round five. Peterson tried to follow a left hook to the body with one to Rios’ head, but he was countered and dropped by a Rios left hook. Peterson beat the count as the bell rang to end the round.

Peterson seemed hurt and desperate to change the momentum of the fight. He finally found a home for a punch that stopped Rios in his tracks; unfortunately that punch was below Rios’ belt, and is illegal. The third low blow of the round cost Peterson a point. After a brief delay another low punch cost Peterson another point. When all was sorted out, Peterson won the action during the round, but lost on the scorecard (9-8) due to the two fouls.

Peterson had told HBO announcers prior to the fight that he would do whatever it took to win a bout. That mentality was also shared by Tito Trinidad, who landed a few well placed low blows to the cup of Fernando Vargas during their slugfest nearly a decade ago. Fortunately for Rios, Peterson does not contain Trinidad’s power.

It took Rios a minute into round seven before he was able to go back on the offensive. Once he did, he found Peterson several times at the end of his right hand. Peterson, staggered by a left-right combination, again threw a punch below Rios’ belt, and was disqualified as the round came to an end.

This disqualification was warranted. Peterson appeared desperate, and whether or not his punches were intentionally low, he was warned several times. To Rios’ credit, he kept fighting through the fouls. He allowed the referee to do his job, and at no time looked to draw attention to any of Peterson’s shots that strayed low. In other words, Rios has never taken a class in the Bernard Hopkins Acting School.

At the time of the stoppage, all three judges had the fight scored in favor of Rios 68-62.

The final CompuBox numbers reflected a part of the story. Peterson landed 194 of 414 total punches (47%) during the bout, but was out-gunned by Rios’ pace of 189 of 677 (28%). However, the more telling numbers may have been reported by HBO’s unofficial scale. While each fighter weighed in at the lightweight limit of 135 lbs, Peterson stood on the scale on fight night and gained only 4 lbs. Rios rehydrated and weighed in at 151 lbs. Perhaps fighting a guy two divisions lighter allowed Rios to absorb Peterson’s punches so well.

That is in no way to take anything away from Rios’ victory. His style and personality will have many (including myself) looking forward to seeing him in the ring again soon. Rios made the contract weight when he needed to, and it was his opponent that was punished for breaking rules.

Prib Notes:
HBO did a great job introducing fight fans to both Peterson and Rios. They had a pre-fight feature that chronicled the inspiring story of the Peterson Brothers (Anthony and Lamont). They were children who were abandoned by their parents, but found sanctuary in the boxing gym and community. Boxing coach and trainer Barry Hunter eventually became their legal guardian, and has thus far led their pro careers to contender status.

Once again, we were reminded that the B-side of a promotion also has a story. Brandon Rios also had a good amateur background, but he was often unable to refrain from throwing punches when he was not on the clock. He had been in several dust-ups with the law until his trainer introduced him to his new bride, Vicky. She has made a career of working with troubled youths from 18-25 years old. Rios is 24.

He was originally supposed to face Peterson in July, so it made sense to plan a wedding for August. While the fight game may be unsympathetic to one’s best laid travel plans, it was no match for a set wedding date. The couple was married two weeks ago, and the honeymoon began as soon as Rios’ hand was raised.

This evening’s victory should serve as a spring board for Rios’ career and marriage. Can’t wait to see what he has planned for his anniversary.
Jason Pribilla can be reached at Also, visit on Facebook.

September 11, 2010

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