Photos and story by Ricardo Conde
WBA #3 lightweight contender “Bam Bam” Brandon Rios (24-0-1, 18 KOs) of Oxnard, CA, trained by former junior lightweight champion Robert Garcia, is set to take on WBA #2 lightweight contender Anthony Peterson (30-0, 20 KOs) of Washington DC this Saturday, September 11 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV in a scheduled 12 round lightweight title eliminator in the co-feature of HBO’s latest edition of B.A.D. “Boxing After Dark” which is being headlined by WBA featherweight champion “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Yuriorkis Gamboa (18-0, 15 KOs) of Cuba against IBF featherweight champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (34-10-2, 22 KOs) of Mexico.
We had a moment to sit down and talk to Brandon Rios about his upcoming fight, here’s what he had to say:
How was training camp and did you doing anything different in this camp that you haven’t done for your previous fights?
Nothing really, training camp was pretty much the same. It seems like I’ve been in training camp for a longer period, out of 6 months I only took 4 weeks off, but other than that everything was the same. We worked a lot on speed, which I had good sparring with Eloy Perez; he helped me out a lot with that, so training camp was really good.
With only a couple of days until the fight, how do you feel at this point?
Well, to tell you the truth I feel great. Usually by this time in camp I’m exhausted, weak and all that but right now since I’m doing a good job on my dieting and everything the weight has been coming off perfect, I look good and I feel good. So I feel great right now, ready to rock and roll.
What do you know about your opponent, Anthony Peterson and what do you think of him as a fighter?
Well, I don’t know too much about him. I used to see him in the amateurs; he was always in a higher weight class than me. I know he’s very quick. I’ve been studying him on the tapes also. He can box really well when you let him, but other than that I know it’s going to be a tough fight and really good one too.
Do you feel Anthony Peterson is going to be the toughest fight of your career so far?
So far on paper he is, but I’ve had some tough fights coming up so I don’t know if he’ll be the toughest fight of my career, maybe if we talk after the fight I can let you know if he was tough or not but I’ve already been in with some tough guys so we’ll see.
Your last six fights have all ended in knockouts, give us your thoughts on this fight, do you see the fight going the distance or ending the same way your last fights have ended, what’s your prediction on this fight?
It’s going to be really hard fight; from what I’ve seen he has a really good defense. A prediction, maybe in the later rounds I might get him, you never know it’s boxing so I really don’t have a prediction by knockout or anything like that. I know he’s already predicting he’s going to knock me out, which I love. I love it when people think they can knock me out and when people doubt me, because that just makes me stronger in the ring. So right now he’s predicting he’s going to knock me out in the later rounds but all I can tell you is that he isn’t going to knock me out in the later rounds or at all. My prediction is that it’s going to be a great fight and hopefully he’s ready for war and I hope he doesn’t run all day and get on his bicycle.
Let’s talk a little bit about your last fight.
Going into the fight with Jorge Luis Teron, which you won via third round knockout to claim the NABF lightweight title, did you think the fight was going to be a lot tougher than it actually was or you made it seem and why?
Well, yes because everyone kept saying that he’s a tough guy and Brandon doesn’t have any power and basically saying that he’s the tougher guy. When I fought Teron, to me it wasn’t tough at all, not even close to being tough. I broke straight through him and he couldn’t handle the first power punch I gave him and after that he just kept running. So when I saw him hurt in the first round, I knew he couldn’t handle it and the same goes with Peterson, as soon as he feels my first power punch to me I’m pretty sure he’s going to get on his bicycle and run around in the ring because I’m sure he’s not going to want to stay in there and trade with me, but we’ll see.
You have a very tough assignment on September 11, but should you get past Anthony Peterson, who would you like to face next?
Well, if everything goes well on September 11, I would love to fight Humberto Soto for the WBC championship, if he has balls, and I hope you put that in there, those are the exact words from me. If he has balls grow up and fight somebody, stop trying to pick your opponents and get easy fights. Fight someone that’s real and wants it as bad as you say you want it, you say you’re the champ, well I’m ready. If he doesn’t want to then I’ll fight anybody at 135 with the belt and if they don’t want to then there’s Antillon. Everybody’s still waiting for that one and I would love to fight that fight. I didn’t get to do it before because I was cut but I would love that fight.
You’re both going into the ring as undefeated fighters, this fight is definitely a must win for both of you, what kind of statement are you looking to make in your fight with Peterson, and how important is it for you to win this fight?
The statement I’m trying to make is that I want to show everybody that I’m the best at 135; I’ve been training all my life to get where I’m at and I’ve been doing a good job at it and I just want to show everyone that I’m ready for the upper level fighters and its about time. It feels like my pro debut fighting for the first time on HBO and you know what, I feel ready, I feel confident. People are going to want to see even more and more of me after this fight.
What is your opinion of the current lightweight division?
I’m in a very tough division, we have Juan Manuel Marquez, Katsidis he’s a champion, there’s Robert Guerrero who’s also in the division. It’s a great division to be in right now, along with welterweight its one of the best divisions to be in right now. I’m ready to explode and show everybody who I am, it’s about time.
In closing, is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
I would like to tell my fans, my family and friends, thank you for all the support. I want to thank everyone for watching me coming up. If you’ve seen me on TV or if you haven’t make sure you tune into HBO on September 11. If you’ve seen me fight then you know the situation, you know I come to fight and how I do it once I’m in that ring. I’m ready and I’m always prepared so thanks a lot to everybody in Oxnard and my home town of Garden City, Kansas, I love you all and thanks for everything.
“Battle of the Champions” is being presented by Top Rank in association with Arena Box and Zanfer Promotions. Remaining tickets are priced at $200, $100 and $50 and are available at the Pearl Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000.