Rios certainly didn’t get the result he was hoping for on Saturday night, but he ought to take referee Vic Drakulich out for a nice steak dinner.
The 28-year-old’s record does have an additional win on it, but his victory over Argentina’s Diego Chaves was ugly.
And not just ugly—ugly.
It was clear from the early going that Rios and Chaves didn’t like each other, and it was equally clear that Drakulich had no clue how to handle the street fight that was breaking out on his watch.
Chaves had a quick point taken in Round 3 for clinching on the inside, a spurious decision for sure, but Drakulich evened the score two rounds later when he docked Rios for roughhousing.
Matters continued along that path for the rest of the fight, with each man frequently complaining about fouls both real and contrived.
When it comes to the legal fighting that was occurring in the ring, Chaves had the upper hand when the fight was contested at a comfortable distance. Rios did better at close quarters, but on balance it seemed the Argentine was doing enough to win the fight.
Chaves had a second point deducted in Round 8 before being suddenly disqualified a round later for a foul that nobody could seem to explain or understand.
Drakulich, who was not interviewed after the fight, didn't have to explain his verdict, and as of yet, nobody has gotten word of what caused the disqualification. Watching live and on replay, there didn't appear to be an obvious foul, much less one worthy of ending a fight.
To ensure full disclosure, Rios trailed by a point on two of the scorecards at the time of the questionable stoppage, and he led by a point on the third.
Nobody, least of all Rios and Chaves, was happy with the way the fight ended, and it didn’t really answer many of the questions that swirled around Bam Bam coming into the fight.
To his credit, he acknowledged that fact in post-fight comments to HBO’s Jim Lampley.
Everything about this ending stinks, and nobody, regardless of the official result, wins in these situations when the referee and not the fighters are the story.