Ronny Rios will be fighting on Wednesday night with a heavy heart after the passing of his brother-in-law Juan Gutierrez. 

Featherweight Rios will break a near two-year layoff on ProBox TV’s Wednesday Night Fights against Nicolas Polanco in an 10-rounder at the ProBox TV Events Center in Plant City, Florida. 

Rios (33-4, 16 KOs) was close to walking away from boxing after his second world title loss to Murodjon Akhmadaliev. He got a job but went back to the boxing gym and then felt the desire to try for another world title.

However, tragedy struck and his brother-in-law passed away. 

“He had a heart attack at the age of 43,” Rios told BoxingScene. “He was on a trip with his family and it happened then. It has been very tough not just on my wife’s family – but myself, too. We were very close.

“He was such a great uncle. When we got the news, I remember it like it was yesterday. We were sleeping and then we got the news late at night.”

Rios admitted that it had been a tough couple of months. He has lost several family members over the past few years but he now enters the ring with extra motivation on Wednesday night. 

“I am going to honor his name, and take him with me,” said Rios, talking about his driving forces. “It is also because I have a family and I want to be able to tell my kids in the future you can do anything you can put your mind to.”

Rios is a family man, and at this point in his career he is no longer the young fighter we once saw in Indio, Calif. Instead he is a grown man, who brings with him his maturity of life to the ring. 

Lucas Ketelle is a proud member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and author of ‘Inside The Ropes of Boxing’ (available on Amazon). Contact him on X @LukieBoxing