"Gamboa, you know, he's very slick, very fast, and he's very awkward, smart, a smaller guy. It would be a fight that I would love to do. It wouldn't be nothing that I haven't been tested with. That fight to me looks like another Miguel Acosta fight. The first four or five rounds, he'll do good and do great, but after that, he'll feel my pressure, he'll feel my power, and I'll break him down...I don't think he ever has been in a dog fight like that. It'll be a good test for him to see what he's made of and if he's ready to move up to that weight class. It'll be a good fight for him and also a good fight for me and I think the fans and everybody will be the winners...I'm waiting for Gamboa, because I want to show the world that the speed, awkwardness, the punches from different angles don't bother me. They gotta worry about how they gonna handle Brandon's pressure, how they gonna handle Brandon's power, how they gonna handle Brandon's combinations when he's in the pocket. It's not how I'm gonna handle them. It's how they gonna handle me, because when I fight somebody, I'm determined to fight and I'm determined to win," stated former lightweight champion Brandon Rios, who talked about a potential clash with Yuriorkis Gamboa, a move up in weight, and much more. You don't want to miss what else he had to say. Check it out!
BT: What's good my man? All the talk lately has been about you and Gamboa. What's going on with that?
BR: I think that's what it looks like, you know? That's what has been going around, but I'm not 100% sure if it's that because I haven't signed the contract. Whatever my manager decides on, that's who I fight. Right now, I don't really know if it's him or not, but that's the talk that's been going around and that's the fight I would love to do before I move up. Hopefully it is him.
BT: What are your thoughts on Gamboa's skills inside the ring?
BR: Gamboa, you know, he's very slick, very fast, and he's very awkward, smart, a smaller guy. It would be a fight that I would love to do. It wouldn't be nothing that I haven't been tested with. That fight to me looks like another Miguel Acosta fight. The first four or five rounds, he'll do good and do great, but after that, he'll feel my pressure, he'll feel my power, and I'll break him down. The first hard hit that I land flush, he's going to be like, "Oh fuck, I'm not a featherweight no more. I'm a fucking lightweight." He's going to be like that, so I think it's going to be a good fight while it lasts. It'll be a great fight I think. One of us is going to go down and I know it's not going to me.
BT: You're a type of fighter who doesn't mind taking a few shots in order to get in and land your own. I don't think Gamboa has ever been in a dog fight like that before. Do you think he can handle a fight in the trenches like that?
BR: You know, I don't think he ever has been in a dog fight like that. It'll be a good test for him to see what he's made of and if he's ready to move up to that weight class. It'll be a good fight for him and also a good fight for me and I think the fans and everybody will be the winners.
BT: I think sometimes your opponents underestimate you and they think they will be able to outbox you from the outside. While that may work for a few rounds, it's hard to do it for a full 12 rounds and you always seem to put your foot on the gas at the right time in fights.
BR: That's what I'm saying. A lot of people, you know, they doubt me, which is great. A lot of people think I'm lazy and, you know, I love it. They don't understand that it's different watching it from the outside than it is being on the inside with me. A lot of people can say, "Oh, Brandon don't have no defense," Brandon this and that, "He's just an easy target," "He's just a punching bag," but 11 of them said that and 11 of them failed since my draw. 11 of them kept talking shit and all of them just got stopped; not by decision, they got stopped. I let them keep talking. It's all good. As long as I know what I provide and I know what I can bring into the ring, I'm all good.
BT: Is that a little irritating though, to still hear people criticizing you despite the success you've been having.
BR: It doesn't frustrate me. You know, actually, it makes me who I am today. It makes me strong. It makes me hungrier. It makes me show the world that these guys are just ones to talk. I'm not just somebody in their just to lose. I'm in there to freaking win. I'm there to show these guys what the fuck I'm about. Haters make me even stronger and I love it. I like when they talk shit about me. That's one thing that I love to do. I love to talk shit and I like it when they talk shit too. It's all good.
BT: I know you had problems shedding those pounds in the last fight. Is it becoming more difficult to make the cut?
BR: It looked like I had trouble making it, you know, but when I start training, I lose weight quick. It's just the fact that I didn't do it this time right. I kind of fucked up. I took it the hard route and I just tried to lose it all right away in one fucking day or two days. It was something that was my bad, my mistake. It's a learning experience, so that's why now, I hired a nutritionist. He's helping me a lot. I feel more healthier at this point. I feel good in weight and I feel good in the gym, and I'm just ready to see how better I feel going into a fight. I think it's just one of those things. It happens. Fuck it, it's a learning experience. I'm ready to put that shit behind me and hire a nutritionist and do it right.
BT: I feel ya. At the end of the day, you still fought, you won, you learned from it and you just keep it moving.
BR: Exactly. That's exactly right. You know, I won, I came out, and I did a performance with a guy that was determined to win. There was no losing in his game. He gave everything that he had and I just broke him down I think and I just took him out of there. It took me 11 rounds, but you know, he still got out of there.
BT: No doubt. People can criticize, but at the same time, they were still entertained by a good fight.
BR: Exactly. But you know what? Honestly, a lot of motherfuckers would have gave up. A lot of motherfuckers would have fucking folded after losing that much weight and fucking pretty much dying and pretty much dead the day of the weigh-in the next day, and just to do a performance that I did, people would not have done that kind of performance. They would have said, "Aw, I'm much too tired. I can't do this," but hell nah, that was not in my situation. I had to do it.
BT: Assuming you do face Gamboa next, after that, there aren't really too many big fights there for you down in the lower weights. Are you pretty much set about moving up in weight after this next fight so you can take on some of the bigger names in the sport?
BR: Yeah, definitely; that's just saying if I get the Gamboa fight, because I'm not 100% sure if I have that fight or anything. I haven't seen no contracts, like I told you. There's no contracts signed or nothing right now, so I don't really know if I got that fight or if it's going to be the next fight. Maybe one more fight. If it's Gamboa in my next fight, then yes, that will be my last fight [at lightweight], but if not, I'm going to wait one more fight to get him and then I'll be up to 140, because this guy, you know, he really wants to fight me, so if he really wants to fight me, I'll stick around just for him so I can fight him. After that, then I'll go to 140.
BT: If it's not Gamboa next, who else out there do you want it to be?
BR: It doesn't really matter who it is, man. To me, I'll fight anybody. I'm always game to fight anybody, but at the end of the day, I leave that up to my manager to pick my opponents. I don't go out there and pick nobody and I don't go out there and say, "I want to fight this guy right away," nah, because I don't want to look like a dumb ass or a jackass when they say, "No, he's not going to fight him." So I leave that up to my manager. That's why I pay him, to make the decisions and look out for my best interests, and so whatever he decides on, that's who I fight and I'll be ready for that. My job is just to be ready and I'll fight anybody, and his job is to do his job.
BT: I gotta know about the Victor Ortiz beef, man. I'm dying to see y'all two fight one day because I know there's some legitimate beef there.
BR: Yeah, you know, we have problems. The beef is not fake or nothing like that. It's not due to jealousy. If anything, I'd be more than happy for him because he's from the same town that I'm from. He's doing what I'm doing. He's trying to make money and I'm trying to make money, so I'm not hating nobody that's trying to make money. The beef is that, you know, he left Robert, and that's cool, you know. Every fighter leaves trainers. That's no problem for me. That's between you and Robert. That's not between me and you. So he left Robert and then, all of a sudden, he started bringing my name into it and started talking shit to me and started fucking getting people after me and started making phone calls towards me. It's like, motherfucker, now you went to a different level. Now you fucking have people threatening me over my phone and they told me it was you, so why the fuck are you denying it? So that's where the beef came out from. Other than that, right now, honestly, I don't really give a fuck about this guy no more. I'm tired of fucking calling him, I'm tired of saying his name, I'm tired of doing this and doing that. At this point, he does his fucking career, I do my career, and that's about it. He goes his way and I go my way. I'm done talking about him. That was a big beef between us, but right now, I'm not even focusing on this guy no more. I'm focusing on my career and doing what I do best.
BT: That's all you can do my man. At the same time, as a fan of the sport, I would love to see that fight. I'd love to see you fight Amir Khan too, just because I know Freddie Roach was poppin' off a little bit about Khan getting some revenge and...
BR: (Cutting in) Oh yeah. That's like Freddie Roach was poppin' off about Linares, saying Linares would dance circles around me, and this and that. Look what happened to him when he fought DeMarco. Just like when he said that Khan will make me look dumb like an amateur, knock me out, this and that, and also dance circles around me. Look what happened to him when he fought Peterson, and I think I'm a better inside fighter than Peterson is. That just shows you that, man, that's just haters. He's cocky and that's just haters that keep talking, but it's all good. At the end of the day, it's all good. I would love to fight them. I would love to fight Ortiz. I would love to fight Khan. That's a fight I would love to do, but if they think they're on a different level, then let them be there. If I have to take my time to get up there, whatever it takes, you know? That's why I've been doing good still in this sport. I'm young. I'm still undefeated. That's why I have my manager taking care of me very well. He looks out for my best interest. He looks out for what fights are right for me and that means something and that count, so I'll stick with my manager and let him do his job.
BT: When you won the title, Bob Arum was quick to start talking about a future fight between you and Manny Pacquiao. I don't know how much longer Pacquiao plans on fighting, but is that a fight you hope to get some time down the road?
BR: Well, if I keep doing the way I've been doing in my performances and keep winning, why not? I see a fight between me and Pacquiao happening sooner than everybody thinks. I think it will be a good fight. I think I could give Manny Pacquiao a run for his money. I know he won't knock me out. I give you that one damn sure. I guarantee he won't knock me out. It'll be a good fight. It'd be a helluva fight because Manny likes to go to war and I love to go to war. I think, right now, I have the hardest chin in boxing that nobody can stand. I think their hands get tired hitting my chin. I just smile at 'em and laugh at 'em. I think it'll be a good fight between me and Manny. You know, you never know. It could happen sooner than everybody thinks, but that's if I keep winning and if Manny wants to do it.
BT: I'm sure Manny would want to do it if Freddie would want him to do it (laughing).
BR: Sometimes there's that other thing, you know, "Brandon don't deserve it," so they might do it. You never know. At the end of the day, like I said, I leave that up to my manager. My job is to train, be ready for whoever they put in front of me, and dominate that fucker. That's why I'm waiting for Gamboa, because I want to show the world that the speed, awkwardness, the punches from different angles don't bother me. They gotta worry about how they gonna handle Brandon's pressure, how they gonna handle Brandon's power, how they gonna handle Brandon's combinations when he's in the pocket. It's not how I'm gonna handle them. It's how they gonna handle me, because when I fight somebody, I'm determined to fight and I'm determined to win. I'll do whatever it takes to win and that's my job. That's why I love boxing so much.
BT: You know, there's another lightweight out there who's been calling out everybody under the sun, but I don't remember him ever saying your name. Do you think there's a reason why Robert Guerrero hasn't ever talked about a clash with you?
BR: Maybe because he's looking for a payday. But you know what? I'm not looking for a payday. I'm looking for somebody to give me that drive and to give me my war. That's what I'm looking for. Everybody's out looking for a payday and this and that; not me, man. I'll fight whoever it is, whoever they want to put in front of me. I leave that up to my manager and that's why he's been doing a tremendous job. Whoever he puts in front of me, that's who I'll fight.
BT: That's a throwback mentality. That's the same type of mentality that Diego Corrales had.
BR: Because that's what we love. Warriors love that. Warriors love to fight. That's the mentality of a warrior, a true warrior. A true warrior would love to fight somebody who's going to give them that high and give them that thing that they need. That's like a natural high for them. That's like drugs. That's even better than drugs for us, you know, that's better than sex. We love that shit. We love to get hit. We love the type of fights like that. I think [Urbano] Antillon, me and him, the fight that we had, the first three rounds was great. If only it would have went a little bit longer, that would have been the Fight of the Decade so far, since Corrals and Castillo.
BT: I think it's hard sometimes for fans to understand that. Sometimes, it's not always about having the best defense or the best technical skills. Some guys have to have that feeling of exchanging punches in the heat of the moment; that drives them.
BR: Exactly. Like I said man, that's what we love. We do have defense, but our defense is our best offense, you know? We do block punches; we do slip punches here and there, I do that. Some of the punches don't get in because I have a very tight defense, but I'm not all that flashy. I don't move my head a lot. I don't dance around and stuff like that, but I catch punches with my gloves. Every fighter gets hit once and awhile, you know, it's going to happen; it's boxing. You cannot avoid every punch. Mayweather gets hit once in a while, so it happens. It's just part of boxing.
BT: It's kind of ironic that you fight with such a come-forward, pressure type of style, and yet, you've got a pretty laid back approach to training. It seems like you're always having fun while training.
BR: When Brandon trains and Brandon is in the gym, you're going to have fun training. You're not just going to train and hate training. Nah, when Brandon's in the gym, you're going to train and you're going to have fun training, but you are going to train though, because when I train, I train hard and I also have fun at the same time when I'm training. So you're going to love to come into the gym when I'm training because you're going to have fun. Just be ready to get capped on. Get ready to experience a different part of boxing. When I'm in the gym, I love to have fun. That's what makes me today and that's why I've been undefeated. I train hard, but I love to train because I have that fun in the gym.
BT: It's like if you love what you do, it doesn't feel like a job.
BR: Exactly, and I love my fucking job. That's why I wake up everybody. It's not like, "Aw man, I gotta go to the gym. I'm fucking tired." Nah, I'm going to the gym, I'm ready, because I know I'm going to have fun.
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