Five years ago, Bradon Rios was one of the hotter names in boxing. His back-to-back fights with Mike Alvarado in November 2012 and March 2013 were can’t-miss bouts for hardcore fans. Even though he came up on the losing side of that second fight, his star-power was deemed sufficient to earn him a pay-per-view date with Manny Pacquiao in November 2013.
Pacman treated him like a punching bag in that bout, although the tough-as-nail Rios had little trouble making it to the final bell. Still, even after he came up short against one of the sport’s biggest superstars, Rios remained an all-action fighter who could count on regular dates on premium cable. He won by DQ in a brawl with Diego Chaves in August 2014. He made quick work dispatching Alvarado in their January 2015 rubbermatch, knocking him out in three rounds.
Rios spent most of the rest of 2015 out of action, waiting to line up a fight. When he finally scheduled Timothy Bradley for November, fans once again circled their calendars. Both men were fixtures on yearly lists of the most exciting fights.
But Rios came into that fight in the worst shape of his career and Bradley came in with a fire burning inside of him. For the first time in his career, Rios was stopped, going down twice in Round 9 on body shots. After the loss, he announced his retirement.
Retirements are often temporary in boxing, however. And this weekend in Chihuahua, Rios will return to action again, after a layoff of 17 months. It’s been nearly a decade since one of Rios’ fights was not on national television. But he’ll return to action in relative obscurity.
Indeed, his opponent still hasn’t been posted onto Boxrec, as of April 25, just four days before the fight.
I’m not exactly shocked to see Rios on the comeback trail. This is a born warrior. I still remember interviewing him before his second fight with Alvarado–his passion for the sport was impressive. He talked about the sport with the enthusiasm of a diehard fan.
And he has given the fans a ton of entertainment so far. It remains to be seen if he can still fight his way back into the spotlight. But be sure that he will go down swinging.