Former three-time, two-division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera (42-6-1, 25 KOs) will fight for the fifty and final time, in the main event, this Friday against former WFC titleholder Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott (19-5, 5 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round middleweight bout.
“This will be my final bout of my career unless a world title bout or a significant bout presents itself, which at this point in time appears unlikely,” said Rivera. “Training camp consumes a lot of time, especially considering that I work full-time and have four children, so in order for me to fight again, it would have to be a fight worthwhile for me to take in order to offset the sacrifices that I will have to make while I am away from my family.”
This fight card, “Quest For 50” is co-promoted by Shearns Boxing Promotions and Rivera Promotions Entertainment, the boxing promotional company that he co-owns with son AJ. A portion of the proceeds from this fight card will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, which played an important part in Rivera’s life.
“Carlos Garcia, the director of boxing at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester was like a father figure to me since my mother passed away when I was ten-years-old and my father was not around. He kept me out of trouble, as he did for many other children that went to the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester over the years,” said Rivera. “He also trained me and made me the boxer that I am today. So, my donation is a way for me to give back to the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester since they helped me out so much.”
Instead of fighting an easy opponent for his last fight, Rivera will battle Scott, a tough, slick boxer whose record is a lot better than it indicates. Scott’s last four opponents have a combined record of 49-0.
“I have had a great training camp and I am very excited for this upcoming fight,” said Rivera, who has won his last four professional bouts dating back to 2008. “Scott is taller fighter than me, so I need to take away his reach and fight him on the inside. I also need to stay busy and implement everything that we worked on in training camp and if I do that I should prevail.”
Last August, Rivera ended a seven and a half year retirement as he defeated Larry Smith via a seventh-round technical knockout. He came out of retirement so that he and AJ, who was born with Spina bifida and was looking to make his professional debut, could fight on the same boxing card. Unfortunately, AJ could not get medically cleared to fight.
Rivera vs. Scott will be held at The Worcester Palladium in what is expected to be a sold-out show. It will mark Rivera’s final bout in his hometown city of Worcester, which has played an integral part in his boxing career. He has fought in Worcester sixteen times (14-1-1) including two world title bouts. Rivera came up short in an extremely debatable twelve-round split decision loss to former world titleholder Luis Collazo in 2005, in his first title defense of his WBA world welterweight title. In his next bout the following year, he scored the most dominating performance of his career with a twelve-round unanimous decision over defending champion Alejandro Garcia, who he dropped five times, for the WBA super welterweight title (his third world title).
“The city of Worcester means everything to me. It has been my home for the last thirty years and where I have raised all my children,” said Rivera. “I have been extremely blessed to have boxed in front of the world’s best boxing fans and I am very excited to fight here one last time.”
After Rivera hangs up his boxing gloves, he will continue to work full-time as a court officer at the Worcester Trial Court and promote boxing fights with AJ. Over the next couple of years, they want to expand Rivera Promotions Entertainment to other parts of New England, showcase bouts in bigger arenas, obtain television coverage for their fights, and start signing boxers.
For more information on Rivera and Rivera Promotions Entertainment and the latest updates on their upcoming bouts, friend them on Facebook at RiveraPromotionsEntertainment and add them on Twitter @RiveraPromoEnt, @joseriverachamp, and @KingRivera_ .
Rivera became the IBO welterweight world champion when he stopped Gilberto Flores via second-round technical knockout in 1997. Six years later, he went to Germany and beat undefeated, hometown favorite Michael Trabant for the vacant WBA welterweight world title by a twelve-round majority decision. He is the only Massachusetts fighter to have won a world title in two weight classes (welterweight and super welterweight).
“Overall, I was extremely pleased with the way my career turned out,” said Rivera. “Yes, it could have been better, but to win three world titles in two divisions is something that not a lot of boxers get to accomplish and for me to achieve that despite my humble beginning is something that I am extremely proud of.”