Brandon Rios broke hand in title bout
Brandon Rios, who claimed a lightweight title with a come-from-behind 10th-round knockout of Miguel Acosta on Saturday night at The Palms in Las Vegas, did so with a broken right hand that could keep him sidelined for several months.
Rios (27-0-1, 19 KOs) had lost the first four rounds on two judges' scorecards and three of the first four rounds on the third scorecard before rallying to score knockdowns in the sixth, eighth and 10th rounds to pull out the win in a sizzling action fight against Acosta.
However, in the eighth round, Rios broke his right hand, manager Cameron Dunkin told ESPN.com Sunday.
"He said he felt it crack and pop and he knew he had broken it but that he had to keep punching," Dunkin said.
That is exactly what Rios, 24, did. He never complained about his hand to trainer Robert Garcia between rounds and, during the fight-ending sequence in the 10th round, he landed at least three hard right hands to Acosta's head.
"He knew it was injured and he kept throwing it, that's how much he wanted the fight," Dunkin said.
Rios did not have the hand X-rayed until Sunday when he was back home in Oxnard, Calif., but they knew it was broken after the fight because "the bone was sticking up and his hand was swollen," Dunkin said.
"I said to Brandon, 'Do you want to go the hospital and get that checked out and they'll give you some painkillers," Dunkin said. "He said, no, that he just wanted to go up upstairs to take a hot shower and get in bed. It was a rough fight. I said, 'Your hand is broken.' He said, 'I'm alright, I just want to go to bed, I'm tired. I'll get it checked out [Sunday].'"
Dunkin said Rios saw the doctor and had his hand put in a cast on Sunday.
"He's going to be in a cast for awhile and I know how these things go," Dunkin said. "I don't see him fighting again for four to five months."
Acosta (28-4-2, 22 KOs), 32, of Venezuela, was making his first title defense.
When Rios returns to defend his title, Dunkin said one of the names mentioned by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum as a possible opponent was former three-division champion Marco Antonio Barrera, who is also with Top Rank. Barrera, one of the legends of the sport, is near the end of his career but would like to become the first Mexican fighter to win titles in four weight classes. Barrera has won titles at junior featherweight, featherweight and junior lightweight.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.