Originally posted on Boxing Watchers  |  Last updated 4/14/12

First it was Erik Morales, now rising star lightweight Brandon Rios. What is happening to the time-honored boxing tradition of making weight for your fights?

Maybe I should say "lightweight," in quotes. Rios missed the 135-pound limitfor his Saturday night showdown with Richard Abril by two pounds. Incredibly, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that he weighed in even heavier on his second attempt.

It's a costly mistake for Rios in a number of ways. He'll forfeit part of his purse, the chance at a $50,000 bonus being offered to the winner of the fight, and an opportunity to win the WBA lightweight belt (Abril can still claim the bonus and the belt). Todd duBoef of Top Rank also told Iole that Rios' chance to fight Juan Manuel Marquez this summer is hanging in the balance.

Since Rios actually lost this same title on the scales before his last fight and seems to have outgrown the 135-pound division, it's hardly a shock that he came in heavy. What's troublesome is that like Morales, he didn't show any inclination to even try to drop the two pounds before he weighed in again. Dubious sanctioning bodies aside, why even bother having contracted weight classes if fighters aren't going to try to make weight? The financial penalties in place for missing obviously aren't strong enough to matter.

It's hard not to wonder if motivation was a factor. Rios was originally supposed to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa, who not only is a better boxer than Abril but also would have been coming up two divisions from his previous bout to fight Bam Bam. You'd figure that Rios would have wanted to stay light and nimble for that match-up, with his natural size advantage sufficient to keep his strength and power at high levels.

The reason hardly even matters, though. Rios can be a show-stopper, and if he goes out and blasts Abril out, it's likely all will be forgiven. That July date with JMM will probably happen, and it might even be at 140 so he doesn't need to worry about dropping the pounds so much during his next camp.

It still doesn't sit right. I'm not sure how the famous quote about three times being a trend is supposed to go (people don't always agree on three times), but we've already had Morales and Rios pull this stunt just a few weeks apart. One more and I'd say we've got ourselves a trend, and an unfortunate one at that. 

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