Ronny Rios determined to continue career-upswing when boxing resumes
If boxing had a jackpot for 2019, Ronny Rios would have thrown his name into the hat.
Three fights, three big wins by knockout, including one over a bitter rival.
COVID-19 remains undefeated, but that hasn’t stopped Rios from maintaining a positive attitude about his boxing future.
“It felt amazing to ride that huge wave of momentum to end last year,” Rios told The Ring. “Of course, I would have preferred to have fought at least one more time before all of this broke out, but I can’t complain too much.”
Rios (32-3, 16 knockouts), 30, who resides in Santa Ana, California, scored a career-best victory with his KO of Diego De La Hoya last July at the Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly known as the StubHub Center) in Carson, California.
“That was an unbelievable night,” Rios recalled. “I try to improve with every fight, and everything came together. Not only was I mentally focused for that fight, but our whole team motivated one another as well. I was inspired to give my best performance, and I think I showed what I am capable of.”
After dropping two of three fights, including a sixth-round knockout at the hands of Azat Hovhannisyan in March 2018, Rios has scored three wins in a row.
Rios has credited his training regimen for his change of fortune.
“I am always in shape, and we’re training hard to get ready for the next fight,” he added. “We haven’t stopped training despite what is going on with coronavirus, and now we’re sparring, too. I know for a fact that I will be back this year and I am ready to get more wins.”
Has social distancing requirements been a challenge for Rios?
“Not really,” he admitted. “When you’re in camp, and you’re training for a fight, social distancing is something we’re already accustomed to. When it is time for me to go to battle, I am only focused on that.
“As far as precautions are concerned, yes, we keep our gym really clean,” he continued. “We sanitize the whole gym, the punching bags, and mop the floors after every sparring session.”
With this kind of mental strength and discipline, Rios has the breadth of a future champion. Where does he see himself in five years?
“Of course, I see myself as a world champion,” he said. “I want to win a world title in at least two or three weight classes.”