After welterweight Brandon Rios was dominated and stopped in the ninth round while challenging titleholder Timothy Bradley on Nov. 7 in Las Vegas, he announced his retirement in the ring.
Then the 29-year-old Rios, a former lightweight world titleholder, came to the post-fight news conference and spoke at length about how he was done with boxing, had been in too many brutal wars and would absolutely never fight again.
Then, of course, to nobody’s surprise, Rios (33-3-1, 24 KOs) said maybe a month or so later that he planned to fight on.
What was a surprise, however, was what was revealed on Tuesday: that whatever form his comeback might take, it will be without longtime trainer Robert Garcia in his corner.
Garcia is one of boxing’s top trainers -- his Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California, is filled with talented young fighters. He announced the split on social media.
“Regarding my brother Brandon Rios, I am no longer training him,” Garcia said. “We talked and both came to an agreement that if anyone else should train him it should be his dad. Brandon is like a brother to me and this doesn’t change that. We talk every day and it’s rarely about boxing. My family and I are always Team Rios.
“With that being said, I had a great run with Brandon, [Marcos] Maidana, [Nonito] Donaire and others, but it’s time for the next wave of RGBA fighters to step into their spots. Right now my focus is my brother Mikey, Josesito Lopez, Evgeny Gradovich, [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr., Egidijus Kavaliauskas, [Oleksandr] Gvozdyk, Saul Rodriguez, Mikey Perez, a couple of names you will know about soon and many others that will have a great 2016, and are the future of the RGBA.”
When Rios will fight next has not been determined, but he is 2-3 in his last five bouts since 2013 with wins against Mike Alvarado (in their third fight) and Diego Chaves, and losses to Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and Alvarado (in their second fight).