Brandon Rios moved up in weight to challenge Manny Pacquiao partly for the money, but also because he was having trouble making weight at 135 and 140 pounds, weight divisions in which he caused mass destruction. It appears he was also having trouble getting down to the welterweight limit against Pacquiao, as post-fight drug tests revealed a substance typically associated with diuretics, according to ESPN. The substance was on the VADA's banned list, and Rios will be suspended by the commission in Macau.
It's not a bad test like other recent suspensions in the sport, like Andre Berto or Lamont Peterson testing positive for steroids, but it's still another bruise on a beaten image. Red flags are abundant in a sport ever-tightening in circles, from questionable scoring decisions that have, in part, allowed Rios to elevate to the platform he's on now. The decision to give him a victory over Ricardo Abril in 2012 was such a disgrace they gave Abril his belt back.
Now it appears Rios wasn't on track to make weight, forcing an urgent and illegal action. It didn't really matter in the ring, as he was easily outclassed by Pacquiao. Still, losing weight properly is a part of the sport, and anything Rios did to lose weight quickly will have drained his body of needed energy.
Promoter Bob Arum was quick to blame Alex Ariza, saying a fighter just eats and takes what he's told. Ariza says everything was discussed. His trainer, Robert Garcia, said he was focusing on Marcos Maidana's fight, which he won against Adrien Broner. As usual, the boxer most in need of help was let down by everyone surrounding him, all of whom are now pointing fingers or moving on.
It's a quick fall from the top to the bottom, especially in boxing. Let's hope Rios has a soft landing.