“Brandon Rios accused John Murry of having no balls yesterday, and yet, the guy can’t make the weight? So who has no balls now? I mean, he goes from 136.4 to 136.6? Who is he kidding?” said Gallagher.
“So listen, the fight’s on. Brandon’s got to be no more than 10 pounds over the weight tomorrow morning. This way, if Johns comes in on weight, that’s it.”
Stripped nude and standing behind a towel, Rios’ first weigh-in attempt was announced by Mighael Buffer at 136.4 pounds at around 5:10 p.m. Rios stepped off for a brief moment, and then, back on for an announced weight of 135.6.
“Just do the weight. We’ve made the weight, and he’s supposed to be the champion,” said Gallagher at the time. “His corner man is lifting him up and trying to get him to make the weight, and he’s still a pound and a half over.”
Rios was given 30 minutes from the first time. According to a source familiar with Rios’ attempts, between the first weigh-in and the second, the fighter was taken to the a fourth floor engineering room of Madison Square Garden which houses steam-powered equipment.
Rios was left in the room, with all of the steam and heat turned on, and allowed to work out in a sweat suit. When he returned, however, he stilled weighed the same 135.6.
Rios’ campmembers were baffled, and Gallagher, further angered.
“Rios weighed 136.4, and then 135.6, and he comes back at 135.6. But the first time, his cornerman was lifting his elbow up to make him make the weight,” said Gallagher. “And then he comes back the second time and he’s holding onto the towel to try to get his weight off the scale.”
Given until 6:15, Rios returned and stepped onto the scale for the final time at 136.6 pounds. The reason, according to a source, was that a crestfallen Rios, having weighed the earlier 135.6 on the second attempt, drank water after having been resigned to the notion he already had effectively vacated his belt.
“It is what it is,” said Rios at the time. When asked if he was going to fight, Rios responded, “I don’t want to talk about that s__t right now.”
At that point, Gallagher’s reaction was to pack up Murray’s things and take him home.
“So as of now, this fight is not on. He’s not made the weight,” said Gallagher. “If he doesn’t make the weight, there will be no fight. We’ve got nothing to prove. If we don’t get compensated, then we’re not going to fight.”
But after convening with Rios’ camp members, including manager Cameron Dunkin, and other Top Rank Inc., officials, an agreement was reached.
“As far as I’m concerned, he made no real attempt to make the weight,” said Murray, sipping from a large, cold bottled water. “It’s a great feeling to make weight, but we’ve trained for 12 weeks to fight Brandon Rios at his best. We’re going to go out there tomorrow as if he is going to be at his best, and confident that we can beat him.”
Rios had vowed to move on to bigger and better things after pursing his fourth straight knockout, his 11th win (10 of which were knockouts) against Murray, who is coming off the first loss of his career in July, an eighth-round knockout by Kevin Mitchell (32-1, 24 KOs).
Murray had won six of his previous seven victories by knockout before falling to Mitchell, and believes that he can right himself against Rios.
Rios already has begun to talk about his next bouts, however, including a potential clash with THE RING’s No. 1-rated featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs).
Like Rios, Murray will be fighting in New York for the first time in his career. Murray has fought three times in America — twice in Las Vegas and once in Florida.
“Whether or not he’s weakened from trying to make the weight, he might come out fast in the early rounds to maybe try to get me out of there. So maybe I’ll have to just weather the storm and let him blow himself out, and then I’ll come on strong,” said Murray.
“We said at the press conference yesterday that we thought Brandon Rios was taking us lightly, and for him to come in and not make weight and to not even attempt to make weight is just, again, a sign that we were right. So I’m going to expose him tomorrow and take him out.”
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org