Let me just start off by comparing this fight to a matador and a raging bull with Richard Abril being the matador and Brandon Rios the bull.
Before the fight even started, Brandon Rios lost his opportunity for the title once again by weighing in over the 135-lb weight limit at 137 lbs. When he was given an hour to lose the two pounds, he came back in weighing 139.
He didn't look healthy at all. He looked like a skeleton at weigh-in, and given the ways he has tried to lose weight in the past, it wasn't healthy. Rios even had a nutritionist in his corner this time but couldn't cut the weight. In the end, he ended up losing some of his purse, a shot at the belt and the $50,000.00 winner's bonus.
The whole fight consisted of Rios charging in and throwing shot after shot to try to pressure Abril. This was the tactic he used in his past fights and usually found success by bullying his opponent into a TKO in the end.
Not this time. Abril didn't play into this and put on a performance that nearly shut out the former undefeated Rios and handing him his first loss in his professional career.
Rios was clearly drained, tired from the start of the fight, and it became more and more visible as the fight carried on. Every round that passed, his punches looked like he was winging them, looked less crisp and with less power.
Abril was calm, smart and just too awkward for Rios. He didn't brawl with Rios and kept him at the end of his jab throughout the entire fight. Every time Rios came charging in, he found Abril's jab right in his face. He controlled the action throughout the entire fight; the tempo was his, and the harder shots belonged to him.
When the final bell rang, it was Abril who had clearly won the fight. I had the fight 10-2, if I was being extremely generous 9-3 for Abril. Rios was dead exhausted, and Abril had seemed to get stronger as the fight progressed.
As soon as the announcer started reading the scores and saying it was split, I felt a robbery coming. Sure enough, two judges ruled in favor of Rios, keeping his undefeated record afloat for just a little bit longer.
This has got to be one of the biggest robberies on the big stage in the last decade and definitely the biggest robbery this year. I've heard people compare Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy to this, I'm here to say that it wasn't even close. This robbery was worse than Paul Williams "win" over Erislandy Lara.
My apologies to Abril for putting on a strong performance against Rios and being on the bad end of the robbery. It seems for the moment, Rios will stay undefeated for just a little longer.
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