Trash talk at a pre-fight press conference is a time honored means of hyping a fight. Sometimes it is contrived, and sometimes it is a sign of genuine dislike between two fighters. Sometimes a fighter backs up his talk, and sometimes he will talk loudly but submit quickly, also known as "pulling a Haye."
Urbano Antillon took the trash talk to a new level recently by saying that Vicky Rios, opponent Brandon's wife, was the "one with the testicles" in the family. Needless to say, Brandon did not react well to this statement and has vowed to resolve the issue in the ring.
We don't know if Antillon was just trying to rile Rios, sell tickets or a combination of both, but it's possible he did a terrible job of making a valid point.
Brandon Rios was on a fast train to failure before he met his wife. The once hot prospect was in danger of being dropped by his trainer, his manager and his promoter. Outside the ring, there were frequent run-ins with the law in his hometown in Kansas.
Inside the ring, the low point was a draw with Manuel Perez in October 2008. Perez is not a world class fighter. Realistically, he's probably just a step or two above a club fighter. It was easy to see why people were beginning to give up on Rios after struggling to a draw with Perez.
It is around this time that the troubled young fighter began dating a woman ten years his senior, eventually marrying Victoria Lopez. His new wife works as a counselor with troubled teens, and if she is as successful with them as she has been with Brandon, there is hope for the youth of California.
Brandon's career has been re-vitalized since Vicky came into his life. As Dan Rafael pointed out, with so many of the top fighters at 135 moving up to higher weight classes, the fight with Antillon this weekend is effectively a fight for the No. 1 spot in the division.
To be sure, even with Vicky around, Rios has managed to find trouble on occasion. His reprehensible conduct in a video with Antonio Margarito that mocked Freddie Roach's battle with Parkinson's can not be forgotten. Rios eventually apologized.
Inside the ring, Rios has shown both the raw skills and the heart of a champion. His TKO of Miguel Acosta in February gave him the WBA version of the Lightweight belt.
Just a couple of years ago, it would have defied credibility to believe that Rios might be in this position today. "Behind every great man is a great woman" is an old saying, but if Rios eventually achieves greatness, his wife Vicky will deserve much of the credit.
Maybe, just maybe, that's what Antillon was trying to say.