Brandon Rios Wins WBA Title with 10th Round Knockout

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(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)
(Chris Cozzone)

Brandon Rios shocked a lot of people by knocking out WBA Lightweight Champion, Miguel Acosta in the 10th Round. Brandon demonstrated a lot of resilience and determination in this fight. Rios started off very slow and it looked like Miguel Acosta was going to be on his way to earning his 20th consecutive win (he had not lost since 2003). At the time of the stoppage, all 3 judges had the fight 86-83 for Rios. I also had it 86-83 for Rios.

Acosta was too much in the early rounds. He was dominating Rios with body shots, upper cuts and his jabs. He landed some heavy shots in those couple of rounds. It was the fouth round that it looked like Brandon Rios was going to be knocked out. I told my friends that if the fight continues this pace, Rios might not make it past the 7th round. My friends and I agreed that Rios had to change the pace on the 5th round. Depending on how he came out in the 5th round, it was going to dictate how the fight was going to go. And Rios came out slugging. He kept putting pressure on Acosta and landing some combinations. He started to work the body and to cut the ring. The 5th round in my score card and in all the judges score cards was the turning point in the fight.

The 6th round, Rios kept the same pressure and appeared to be more relax. One could see the determination in his eyes. He kept landing more shots, working the body and with a short left hook, dropped Acosta down. When Rios knocked down Acosta, my friends and I were going nuts. I was yelling my lungs out. Rios had 2 more minutes to knock out Acosta. As much as my friends and I wanted Rios to knock out Acosta, Rios kept his focus and stuck to his game plan. It was in this round that Acosta demonstrated his fatigue. Acosta was in survival mode the last two minutes of round 6. His punches appeared to have lost some power.

From round 6 and on, it was Brandon Rios fight to lose. Miguel Acosta was running on an empty gas tank. His punches were weak and when he did landed some shots, it wasn’t the effect as in the early rounds. Rios, on the other hand, made the adjustments that he need it to make and kept closing the ring on Acosta, landing some body punches and using 3-4 combinations. When Rios fought inside it was to his advantage and when he allowed Acosta some distance, it was when Acosta was more effective. The 8th round knocked down was caused by a left hook that sent Acosta to the canvas. But in that 8th round, it is clear that Rios pressure and his aggressiveness was catching up to Acosta. The 10th round was all Rios. Rios combinations and his right hook was eventually too much for Acosta. My friends and I were going nuts when Rios knocked out Acosta. I have a reputation for being too passionate when it comes to watching fights. This one was no different. I was yelling my lungs out. Rios literally knocked out Acosta. His corner did the right thing in throwing in the towel.

“If a kid like me, always in and out of trouble, almost had his career taken away, come back…
and become a world champion…anybody out there can do it. Dreams are possible. Just stick to your dreams.”

It was the above quote that Brandon Rios started his post fight interview with Jim Gray. Listening to Rios and seeing the joy of Brandon Rios winning the WBA title gave me the chills. It was an awesome feeling to see that Steven Luevano, Nonito Donaire, Mickey Garcia, Fernando Vargas and Eduardo Garcia were there to celebrate his first championship victory. His emotions and his GRITO, which is his trademark when he wins, almost made me cry of joy for him. This was a very impressive victory. I must say that I didn’t expect Rios to knock out Acosta. I did mention in my pre fight analysis that if Rios keeps the pressure, cuts the ring and works inside, he would have more chances of winning. I also stated that the fighter who was well conditioned would win the fight. I thought that if the fight ended in a knock out, Acosta would have more of a chance. But, Rios proved me and any other boxing fans wrong. Brandon Rios reminds me of a lightweight version of Antonio Margarito. He has the same style. Rios demonstrated that he has a heart of an aztec warrior and has a very solid chin. Rios can take a punch. Even after acknowledging that he was hurt in the beginning rounds, he kept the pressure and brought the fight to Acosta. This victory clearly puts him in talks with the best fights available in the lightweight division. Let’s see if Humberto Soto is able to defeat Urbano Antillon in their rematch fight and decides to fight Brandon. Bam Bam Rios was supposed to have fought Soto last night but Soto decided to fight Antillon on May 7th (the co fight of the Manny Pacquaio vs Shane Mosley fight) instead. Brandon Rios definately got the respect of the greater boxing community in his impressive victory. Rios keeps his undefeated record on the line and let’s hope that Rios fights Soto next. If not, the rumors are that he will fight Marco Antonio Barrera. If he ends up fighting Barrera, I don’t see Barrera hanging with Rios. It will be the lightweight version of Marcos Maidana vs Erik Morales. Maidana is going up against the legend but old Morales in a fight in which fans and boxers alike feel that Maidana will be too much for Morales and end up knocking out Morales. If Barrera were to fight Rios, I feel that Rios will knock out Barrera and maybe send him back into retirement.

Congratulations Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios for winning the WBA Title and bringing the title to Oxnard. For those who miss the fight, check it out. If you want to see the knock downs, you can check out Rounds 6, 8 and 10th. Enjoy one of this year’s Fight of the Year candidates.

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