Written By Bakari Simpson: Following a nearly two-year hiatus from the sport Brandon Rios a.k.a. “Bam Bam” (34-3-1, 25 KO’s) made an impressive comeback. The fun-loving, hard-hitting fighter broke down a very game Aaron “La Joya” Herrera (32-7-1, 21 KO’s) within seven rounds. The entertaining Premier Boxing Champions main event broadcast live on Fox Sport 1.
Right from the clang of the opening bell, these two boxers tore into one another. Foregoing any semblance of a feel out round, Rios and Herrera threw big bombs immediately. Each man set a high pace and both boxers landed hard shots with regularity. Although both men found early success, Brandon was enjoying the greater effectiveness on the inside.
Unfortunately, Brandon Rios is frequently and dismissively labeled as a mere “brawler” by most in the boxing world. The world-class skill that Bam-Bam demonstrates in the phone booth habitually goes unnoticed. While many in the audience may have not noticed this quality work Herrera certainly did!
During the first three rounds, Aaron was extremely busy and definitely pressed the pace. A relaxed Rios never tried to take the lead, but rather focused on countering punching. Bam-Bam simply could not miss with his jab, left hook and counter uppercuts. Of the two, Brandon was connecting with the heavier, more thudding punches. To make matters worse for Herrera, Rios was doing a magnificent job of rolling, slipping and block punches when in close. As the first three rounds wore on Rios got more and more into his groove.
Sensing the subtle, but consistent, shift in momentum Aaron made his last stand in the fourth round. It was the only round that I personally could score for him. Despite the valiant work that he did, the writing was definitely on the wall for Herrera. He simply couldn’t implement a game plan that held Rios at bay. He frequently loaded up with everything he had and blasted Rios. In response, Brandon would joyously smile and pour on more pressure. In the phone booth, Herrera was really in over his head.
During the fifth stanza Aaron begins in tit-for-tat fashion, but can’t sustain the high energy pace. The end of the round is hammering him. The sixth begins were the fifth left off. Nothing changes during the meat of the round. In the seventh period, Brandon Rios finally tracks Herrera down for the kill. While pent against the ropes Rios stabs Aaron with the final body shot of the night. The ill-tempered right hooks deflated Herrera like a crazy ex-girlfriends stiletto flattens a tire. Like Kell Brook did recently, Aaron would take a knee never to rise again.
All in all this was a great come back bout for Brandon Rios. After one or two more bouts to re-acclimate himself to the division Rios should be ready for a major bout. Although Rios gets a bad rap, he only has three losses on his resume: one to Manny Pacquiao and another to Tim Bradley. The third was to Mike Alvarado who Rios has beaten twice. Losses to Manny and Bradley are far from shameful!
Let’s hope that Brandon can maintain his form and focus so that he can make one last run.
Congrats to Brandon and team Rios for a great night in the office!
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson