Jose Antonio Rivera Speaks On Damgaard, Tszyu, Spinks and DLH

09.12.04 - By Umar ben-Ivan Lee: If there is greater example of an athlete in the sport of boxing at this time, who has not gotten the breaks or been justly compensated, than Jose Antonio Rivera, then I would like to know who that would be.

The welterweight contender holds down a full time job at the Worcester County Youth Detention Center in Massachusetts as a guard, which is a very challenging job (I should know as a graduate of the Juvenile Justice system) and trains full time.

Rivera, for his part, remains patient and dutiful to his family as the WBA interim 147 pound titlist waits for his next bout. Recently I had a chance to speak with Jose and asked him about his future plans.

Umar: How are things going Jose?

Rivera: Things are well; Iím just training hard and waiting for things to be finalized for my next bout.

Umar: I know that your mandatory fight is with Thomas Damgaard of Denmark; do you know when that fight will take place?

Rivera: We have had setbacks with injuries and other things but it looks like the fight will take place either on the undercard of the Cory Spinks-Zab Judah fight on February 5th or on the undercard of the Felix Trinidad fight which will be a little later on.

Umar: Do you have a preference?

Rivera: No, not really, obviously either one of them is great exposure being on HBO Pay-Per-View or on Showtime.

Umar: God willing, if you get by Damgaard what are your plans?

Rivera: Well I will be the mandatory for Cory Spinks (or Zab Judah if he wins) so that is who I will want to fight because that will mean a big check, an undisputed championship and TV exposure.

Umar: Kostya Tszyu is interested in coming up to the welterweight division and Oscar De La Hoya coming down, would those fights interest you?

Rivera: Tszyu, that would be more than interesting, and I would be more than happy to welcome De La Hoya back to the Welterweight division.

Umar: All the best in your upcoming endeavors.

Rivera: Thanks and I would like to take this time for my fans who have waited so patiently for these types of opportunities to present themselves.

Umar ben-Ivan Lee may be contacted at

Article posted on 09.12.2004

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