MANILA, Philippines – Former world lightweight champion Brandon “BamBam” Rios is convinced that he won his main event match against Cuban boxer Richard Abril last Saturday in Las Vegas (Sunday in Manila).
Rios, who came into the bout two pounds above the lightweight division limit of 135-pounds, took home a highly controversial split decision that was widely criticized in boxing circles.
But in an interview with Boxing Socialist, the hard-hitting Rios said he clearly won the bout and criticized Rios for turning their match into an “ugly fight.”
“I know I won. Abril is a good fighter and I take nothing from him on that note, but he was holding me all night long,” Rios said. “He made it an ugly fight and those are always hard to score.”
Abril used his length and reach advantage to keep Rios at bay throughout the match, and at times resorted to clinching to prevent from engaging with Rios.
“This guy was just holding me, pulling my head down. He kept turning his back, holding my arm like he was trying to bream my (expletive) arm, headbutting,” Rios said.
“You know, he is a good boxer, but his plan was just to make a boring fight,” he added.
But Rios was also ineffective and sluggish, often walking straight into Abril’s right straights. Rios gained a lot of fans because of his brawling, entertaining style, but he could not provide any highlights against Abril.
Rios said this was because Abril opted to run away from him throughout their match.
“I hit him with a big left hand in the first round and he was on the bike all night long, and when I got close, he held me,” Rios said.
“He said he was a true Mexican and he was going to knock me out, but he just wanted to hit and run,” he added.
Rios is hoping to bounce back with a match against Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez in July, but said that he will “fight anybody.”