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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Scott Hirano

Brandon Rios: I Still Have It In Me

Former world champion Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs) of Oxnard, California by way of Garden City, Kansas two-division is set to take on two-time world champion Philadelphia's Danny "Swift" Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs). Rios will square off against Garcia next month on Saturday February 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas live on Showtime.

"I'm just waiting for February 17th to get in that ring. I have been the underdog before but its OK. Everyone is saying that I am a shot fighter but I have been training hard and I am well prepared for this fight. I am ready,"," Brandon Rios told Southern California "Everyone is counting me out, that I'm done and I'm a bum but really when was the last time you saw me really beat up in the ring. I still have it in me," Rios added.

For Rios he is back with trainer Robert Garcia as they prepare in Riverside and Oxnard, California. Training in Riverside, Rios spars with his stablemates at the Garcia Boxing Academy and works with assistant trainer Donald Leary as he prepares for Garcia.

"It's always been cool with Robert and I. We are like family, I took some time off but we are back together. I have been training with him and Donald Leary his assistant. He also worked with me when I won my first title," Rios said about camp. "I'm actually training for a fight now. I am not training to lose the weight for the first time in a long time. Wednesdays and Friday's we go out and spar in Riverside," Rios explained.

Coming off a knockout win over Aaron Herrera this past June, Rios returned to the ring since suffering a stoppage loss to Timothy Bradley back in October of 2015.

"It was a little nerve wrecking because I did have a lot of ring rust but we did what we had to do," Rios on his last fight.

Prior to the Bradley fight Rios had been in numerous battles with Mike Alvarado, and went the distance with Manny Pacquiao, and scored a tough DQ win over Diego Chaves. Rios talked about his time off and return.

"There was the 2 Alvarado fights, the Pacquiao fight and Bradley fight. My body needed that rest, pretty much all my fights have been wars. I just needed the time to rejuvenate now I feel so much better,"

With all that in the past now comes a shot at redemption taking on the two-time world champion Danny Garcia as he is coming off nearly a one year layoff since suffering his only defeat, a split decision at the hands of Keith Thurman early this year in March. Garcia has also defeated the likes of future Hall of Famer Erik Morales, former world champions Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero,and Lamont Peterson Rios gave us his take on Garcia.

"He has pop, power and is a good counter puncher. He is not a cherry picker,' Rios said. "He has pop, power and is a good counter puncher. He is not a cherry picker,"

Rios also makes his return to Showtime, the network in which he won his first world title over Miguel Acosta back in February of 2011. Now he looks to add another name to his resume and with a victory Rios will definitely be in the running for another title shot.

"I just wanted to fight and his name popped up. It really wasn't about getting the fight with him. I just wanted to fight whoever there was," Rios stated.

Garcia vs. Rios will be a scheduled 12 round fight in what will kind of renew the Mexico Puerto Rico boxing rivalry as Rios is Mexican-American and Garcia is Puerto Rican American.

"Fight night you never know its Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. He is Puerto Rican American and I'm Mexican American. Those fights always give good wars, that night I will make it exciting,"

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