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Ronny Rios Fighting For Final Chapter In Boxing Career

PhilBoxing.com





Ronny Rios has already had a full boxing career - and then he retired.

Rios returns on ProBox TV’s Wednesday Night Fights, on April 24th against Nicholas Polanco in a ten-round featherweight contest that he hopes catapults him to the title contention - taking place from the ProBox TV Events Center in Plant City, Florida.

Rios is no longer a junior featherweight - he is now a featherweight. He is with a new team - and he is trained by his former stablemate and now coach, Jesus Gutierrez, and Frank Barajas. Rios reflected that he has known Gutierrez for over twenty years. He is treating every fight like his last - because it might be.

Rios will be coming off a near two-year layoff. During that time, Rios thought his days as a prize fighter might have been numbered.

“Honestly, I had retired and I had walked away from the sport,” reflected Rios. “I had given up on the sport. I fought for the world title twice and I came up short - I thought you know what - maybe it is time to move on.”

Rios did what most do after boxing - he got a job. Rios is also like a lot of Americans; he has a wife and two kids. Then he started to notice he didn’t like the way he looked - he was putting on extra weight - that he didn’t have in his fighting days. He started going back to the boxing gym - and lost twenty pounds.

Then, the itch, the fire, the passion to fight came back to him. He wanted one last shot at a world title.

“This fight means everything,” noted Rios. “Coming off the longest lay-off of my career - and it is not just this fight - but every fight from this point on - I want to solidify my legacy and it is going to start on April 24th.”

Rios remarked that every fight from now is a step in the direction of defining the way his career will be defined - facing the veteran Polanco (21-5-1, 12 KOs) is no exception.

“I don’t want to come back just to come back,” Rios furthered. “At the end of the day, I want to go out there and win a belt.”

The change Rios is eager to show - an improvement in defense.

Rios remarked that a lot of the best fighters in today’s era are very good defensively. He honestly reflected that he had tried to be the best he could be offensively, but he has not always been that focused on his defense - his record reflects that. Three of his four losses have come by way of knockout. His last loss was June 6th, 2022 to at-the-time unified WBA and IBF junior featherweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Rios was stopped in the twelfth and final round.

Rios was a decorated amateur - yet a world title has escaped him thus far in his career. Rios reflected that there is a huge difference between the two - as being behind headgear fighting in three rounds is a lot different than a grueling ten-round fight in front of cameras and reporters.

“It isn’t about the fame or the money,” said Rios. “What is happiness - to me it isn’t money - to me it is peace. When I was an amateur I used to win national after national and I always wanted more - and I still do, but that’s not my priority. I want more because I want to be able to say I won these belts.”

Rios is getting his close friends together and making the last charge for a world title. His journey to that goal starts Wednesday.




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