Like so many others, I thought Brandon (Bam Bam) Rios was catching Palm Spring’s WBO welterweight boss, Timothy Bradley, at the right time. I thought the Desert Storm was about to become the ‘perfect’ storm. With the not too sweet parting between Bradley and long time trainer Joel Diaz, and the hiring of the retired Teddy Atlas, would Bradley be vulnerable? Not to worry, last night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Bradley turned in a masterful performance on his way to handing Rios his first ko loss, stopping him at 2:09 of the ninth round. Rios was never, ever in this fight, mentally Or physically and his long time trainer Robert Garcia knew it. Rios (33-2-1D-23K0), came in looking like an Oxnard warthog after ballooning up to 170 lbs after killing himself to make the 147lb welterweight limit. By being off for 10 months (for whatever reasons) and admittedly losing his desire for the game, Rios pretty much justmailed this one in. He looked as if he visited an all you can eat buffet immediately after the weigh in. Where the hell was Robert? His fighters seem to have issues with scales.
Bradley (32-1-1D-1NC) who hadn’t scored a ko since 2011 over Joel Casamayor, didn’t give a damn about Roly-Poly Rios’ weight issues and took full advantage, starting quickly, hurting Rios early with a body shot to the basement and never letting up. He was drilling the smiling Rios with hard (for him) right hands to the head and blistering combinations. This was the best I’d ever seen Timothy look and I always thought he was an over achiever and would never make it this far. Obviously, Teddy Atlas’ training had Bradley looking real good. He was confusing the plodding Rios with his angles and hand speed. Bam Bam had his moments in the second round but that was pretty much the ball game for him. Brandon had nothing, nothing. He usually fights with a passion, killing folks with body shots but tonight, he was pretty much a punching bag.
It was quite sad, really, seeing a once proud warrior being soundly trounced, trying to act as if Bradley’s shots had no effect, when they truly had. I was a bit irritated with his trainer Robert Garcia who was screaming at Rios, “c’mon man, you’re not doin’ shit, you’re too slow, throw punches”. Garcia, being regarded as one of the game’s top trainers had to know his guy didn’t have shit tonight and what he was asking for was long gone. Rios seemed to realize it early on and probably wishes he’d never listened when his wife told him, “you can’t quit” while struggling to find motivation. Well, he announced his retirement after the fight, admitting “it was gone and it was time to hang ‘em up” I think this is the right thing to do and I don’t see him returning. He’s accomplished a lot in the game, gave us many outstanding fights, but father time was on his ass last night. Now, Bradley knows he can at least compete with the light heavies, given Rios’ weight. Maybe he can fight Andre Ward, that’s another guy that no longer seems to have his heart in the game.
It was a strange feeling seeing Rios go out like this, very submissive and resigned to just accepting his punishment without giving some bullshit-ass excuses. Bradley was beating Rios at every facet of the game. Killing him with body shots, knowing Brandon was in no shape for a hard fight. He finally applied the finishing touches, dropping Rios twice with crushing body shots, with Rios taking the counts on his knees. There was no protest, no whining, no complaining, he just accepted things for the way they were and gave Bradley his props for a job well done. Atlas, always aware of the cameras ( he must be a member of the Sam Watson family), went all dramatic in between the sixth and seventh rounds, screaming at Bradley at being” a fireman and a whole bunch of other crazy shit, but it fired Bradley up. So now, somewhere in Coachella, Joel Diaz is kicking his cat and cursing Atlas for the way he had timothy looking.
It was mentioned after the bout that Bradley could conceivably meet the winner of Canelo-Cotto’s fight in The Battle To Duck Golovkin, which is how they should bill this fight.
Now, I’m still trying to figure out the reason for the other bout on the card last night. I know Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1-2K) is highly regarded and even talked about as a pound for pound contender, but after five fights, c’mon man. Sure, he made Gary Russell Jr. look like an amateur but I think that was due to the barrel of bullshit The Hologram, was feeding him and the slew of TBA’s he had Gary face. I’d like to see a rematch and Lomo seems to be all about it, saying Russell should fight him or just stfu. But this guy he fought tonight was no kinda’ comp at all. Romulo KOASICHA (24-4-14K) was just a waste of time. Lomochenko could’ve beaten this guy with one hand and his eyes closed. HBO should’ve called me, I would’ve been more of a threat. This was a total mismatch and does nothing for Lomo’s career. The most competitive thing happening during this fight was to see whose lips were more firmly attached to Roy Jones’ ass, Max Kellerman or Jim Lampley. They kept comparing everything Lomochenko did to “the great Roy Jones” and Roy would just give that laugh “heh, heh,heh”.