12 Jun Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios Makes Successful Comeback Following Nearly Two-Year Layoff
On Sunday night at the Pioneer Events Center in Lancaster, CA, Brandon Rios faced a substantially unknown opponent from Mexico in Aaron Herrera (32-6-1). From once landing on a PPV card against Manny Pacquiao in 2013, he was now fighting in front of a small audience in Lancaster, CA. Rios hadn’t lost a step after the 17-month layoff, keeping consistent and steady pressure on his opponent. He continued to force his way inside, landing hooks to the head and body at varying speeds and angles.
Rios is not known for his defense, which he characteristically lacked in his comeback fight. Herrera landed at a high rate, as Rios rarely used head movement to elude oncoming blows. Although Rios did not display technical defense, his high punch output and work to the body kept Herrera from having landing a similar volume.
But fans don’t watch a Brandon Rios fight for a slick defensive showcase that goes to the judges’ scorecards. Rios has a fan-friendly boxing style, consisting of walking down the opponent and unleashing power shots on the inside. He isn’t afraid to take a punch, and has a granite chin. Round in and round out, Rios was never budged by Herrera’s power shots, and continued to smile and shrug them off.
Going into the 7th round, it seemed that Rios was heading towards a unanimous decision. On this writer’s scorecard, he won every round except the 4th. In the 7th, Rios backed Herrera into the corner and double jabbed to block Herrera’s vision. The jabs led Herrera to keep a high guard, leaving an opening to the body. Rios landed a well-placed right to the body, causing Herrera to go down on one knee as referee Jack Reiss administered the ten count. Herrera did not get up.
Rios proved that he is still the relentless fighter he was known as before the layoff. Despite stopping Herrera in the 7th round, he was hit several times in the process. At 31 years of age, it is unlikely that he will reach elite status, but he is certainly a fan-friendly fighter who makes for an entertaining bout every time he steps into the ring. Rios is signed with Al Haymon, who manages the bulk of higher-echelon fighters at welterweight. Because of this, Rios will probably get a title opportunity in the future. The former lightweight world champion may never win a world title again, but he showed Sunday night that he is still a vicious fighter who is always on the offensive. There is no such thing as a boring Brandon Rios fight, and it remains to be seen whether he will be able to present an obstacle to high-caliber fighters at this stage in his career. But we do know that he will continue to deliver entertaining action fights with his come-forward style.