Showtime Boxing analyst Al Bernstein dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss the biggest names in boxing, including this Saturday’s showdown between Danny Garcia (33-1-0) and Brandon Rios (34-3-1) in Las Vegas.
Rios, who started his career 31-0-1, has lost three of his last six fights.
“The onus is certainly on him,” Bernstein said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He is not the same Brandon Rios that we saw three or four years ago. He did have a break and is hoping that that rejuvenates him. The onus is on him to show he can handle Danny Garcia. There’s no question about that.”
Rios hasn’t fought since last June, while Garcia hasn’t fought since last March. Garcia began his career 33-0 before losing to Keith Thurman in a split decision at the Barclays Center. Now he returns to the ring following an 11-month layoff.
“That’s a difficult thing for him,” Bernstein said. “But no question Garcia is a big favorite in the fight. Rios (is) a very aggressive fighter and likes to bring the action. Hopefully what will happen is Rios will be able to do that and create a really exciting fight. Now whether he can stand up to that left hook of Garcia’s remains to be seen, but Garcia’s had a lot of close fights against (Mauricio) Herrera, against Lamont Peterson – fights that he won but were very, very close. Some people think maybe Rios can do the same.”
Bernstein is excited for the fight, but he’s even more excited for the undercard, which features 168-pounder David Benavidez – the youngest champion in boxing – squaring off against Ronald Gavril.
Gavril, 31, has 10 years on the 21-year-old.
“They fought last year and it was a Fight of the Year candidate,” Bernstein said. “Now they’re having a rematch.”