Ronny Rios Stayed Ready
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (April 7, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Ronny Rios
Ronny Rios, who fights this Saturday night (Tonight) at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California as the featured performer on Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo,” had no idea who he was fighting till late last week. The 17-0 (8) featherweight prospect is on the verge of becoming a fringe contender, soon stepped up in terms of the level of competition he faces. Golden Boy Promotions finally tabbed Guillermo Sanchez to be Rios’ opponent this weekend.
Through it all, he just trained through the uncertainty. 
“You gotta take every fight as if it’s your last,” said Rios, who hails from Santa Ana. “Anything can happen in or out of the ring. So each fight we get ready for, we give it our all as if it’s your last fight. So it doesn’t matter who we fight. We can fight a guy who’s zero-and-11 or a world champion; it doesn’t matter. We’re going to get up for any kind of fighter.”
But he admitted, not knowing who he was facing, “throws you off a little bit. But either way, we’re getting ready to fight whoever. So we didn’t know who we were sparring, so we were sparring against southpaws and right-handers. We got really good work in this camp, not just the sparring but the strength-and-conditioning and the nutrition. Everything fell into place this camp.”
There was a litany of names thrown at Rios’ management for this date.
When asked to recall them, his manager, Frank Espinoza, chuckled and said, “If I could remember all the names, I know there’s quite a few. There was Jesus ‘Pollo’ Hernandez; he was one. Aaron Garcia from San Diego was two. The guy that fought Chris Martin that Gary Shaw has [Chris Avalos] and there was Alejandro Perez. He was also one of them and there were a few other ones. So it’s been a long process. About six or seven guys had fallen out.”
The manager wanted to begin the process of escalating Rios’ level of opposition going forward. “We want to step it up and we want to start getting tougher opponents and I think it’s going to make him a better fighter when he comes down to fight for a world title.” Sanchez has a record of 13-5-1 (5) and is on a three-fight losing streak. That said, in his last two fights, he has been competitive, losing a ten-round verdict to the 15-0 Mark Davis and a close decision to Edner Cherry in his most recent fight, flooring Cherry early before dropping an eight-rounder.
“A lot of managers don’t want to put their fighters in with Ronny because of his abilities but we’re going to keep moving along,” said Espinoza.
Sanchez is a southpaw, which can throw a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans. 
This doesn’t seem to faze Rios. “I actually have quite a lot of experience. As you know, my fellow comrade, Luis Ramos, is a southpaw and I’ve sparred with him countless rounds and I’ve sparred a lot  with ‘Joser,’ which is Jose Correa. He’s a southpaw too and I sparred many, many rounds with Daniel Ponce de Leon, not just this camp but several camps.” Rios admits he doesn’t know much about Sanchez; in fact, he’s never seen him box. “In all honesty, I don’t look at any tapes of anyone. Coach [Hector Lopez] does that. He does all the looking, all the spectating and he tells me what to do.”
There was a time when managers and promoters wouldn’t ever let their boxers in the ring with left-handers. Currently, it’s almost impossible and because of this, it’s prudent to get the experience against them. The reality is, you can’t avoid them forever.
“Nowadays, there’s so many lefties you gotta give [your orthodox fighters] a lefty early on in their career, so they can see them, a different style of lefty- not just a guy who’s going to be right there in front of them- someone who can box a little bit and move,” said Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez, who believes that Rios is on the verge of graduating to a “ShoBox” showcase and fighting for a minor title in the very near future. “One of the pound-for-pound guys is Manny Pacquiao. So nowadays, there’s more and more lefties.”
Back on February 4th at the Phoenix Club, Rios impressively halted Jeremy McLaurin in four.
“To be honest, it wasn’t all that,” said the tough-to-please self-critic Rios. “I wasn’t impressed with myself. I still think I had a few mistakes. We only took a week off, came back to work on the mistakes and that’s why it doesn’t bother me if it’s a right-hander or southpaw because, either way, we practice for any type of opponent.”
Main Events officially announced on Thursday that the June 16th edition of “Fight Night” on NBC Sports Network will feature a fascinating heavyweight contest between Tomasz Adamek and Eddie Chambers from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Getting this fight is not just a home run for this series and Main Events but a grand slam. Please, no more talk of being worried about this being an exclusive output deal; to her credit, Kathy Duva isn’t just putting money in her purse but acting in a manner that suggests she wants to build something that lasts for the long haul. She’s kept her promise of competitive and interesting fights, placed in the appropriate settings (and from what I’m told, the ratings have been strong for the first two editions of “Fight Night”).
Main Events was entrusted with a great responsibility in getting this series. Boxing needs as many outlets as possible and has too many times bungled its opportunities (Tye Fields, anyone?). Thus far, Duva and Company are more than keeping up their end of the bargain.
I spoke to Chambers for a few minutes on Thursday. He is very excited about this opportunity to get back into the mix in the heavyweight division. I jokingly said to him- since I will be flying in for this fight (Newark, here I come!)- that if he has to put himself together with Super Glue and duct tape to get to this fight, it’s something he should seriously consider.
He responded, “Hey, don’t worry about it. I can’t afford to drop out of another fight.”
So there you have it; see you at “The Rock.”
Anyone else get an uneasy feeling seeing Muhammad Ali trotted out by the Miami Marlins during their opening day? Honestly, I hate to see him in this state and at this point, I’m starting to think that those using him for these purposes are just exploiting him (and yes, I know he gets paid for these appearances). Personally, I have a certain image of “The Greatest.” I’d rather not see him like this.
I’ve felt for awhile that Ali’s contribution to the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta was the pinnacle. From that point on, it’s been downhill and the public has borne witness to his physical decline.
When is enough enough?
I don’t know about you guys but “Face Off with Max Kellerman” has always felt a bit uncomfortable and contrived (especially that ominous music) and I haven’t watched that many of them but the most recent installment featuring Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto was probably its low point. It’s another failed Ross Greenburg boxing creation. At least Miguel Cotto learned about the point spread...Yeah, and those who say they like fighters playing “mind games”, uh, get real. That stuff rarely- if ever- comes into play...Is it just me or does Dwight Howard come off like a schmuck more and then some? And you thought Andrew Bynum and Mike Brown had problems...

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