The very first fight to be fought at the brand-new weight class, “bridgerweight” will take place on March 16 in Quebec, Canada. Oscar Rivas, last seeing action in a fight with Dillian Whyte back in May of 2019, has opted to move down to the new weight class – 200 to 224 pounds – and he is already ranked as the number-one WBC bridgerweight contender.
The fight, dubbed “The Homecoming,” will be scheduled for just eight rounds. Rivas, 26-1(18) defeated Louis, 8-5(4) when they met back in 2012, this via split decision over four rounds. The card will go out live on FITE PPV, the price $29.99.
Plenty of fight fans were aghast when yet another weight division was unleashed on a sport that already has far too many weight divisions, yet here we are, set for the inaugural fight at bridgerweight.
Whether the new weight division catches on and becomes universally accepted remains to be seen. Rivas, a good fighter who pushed Whyte pretty hard in losing the decision in a fight that contested the WBC interim heavyweight title, could have stayed where he was and campaigned for another big heavyweight fight, but instead, he has dropped down a few pounds.
In all honesty, though he may be battling ring-rust having been out for almost two full years, Rivas should have no real trouble defeating Louis. Louis has not fought since way back in September of 2016, when he was KO’d in a cruiserweight fight. Louis has been stopped four times in total.
The March 16 fight will see the man known as “Sly” move up a few pounds. Rivas is 33 years old and he needs to get his career moving again if he’s to have any real chance of winning a world title.
But even if Rivas did go on and win the WBC bridgerweight championship, how many fight fans would really and honesty care?
If there are no big names fighting at the new weight, where will the fan interest come from? Former WBC heavyweight ruler Deontay Wilder, looked at by many people as a relatively “small” heavyweight, in poundage, if not in height, has already said no thanks to the invite to fight at the new weight.
Rivas is one of the bigger, more recognisable names currently ranked at bridgerweight. Here is the current Top-10:
Champ – vacant.
1: Oscar Rivas
2: Kevin Lerena
3: Bryant Jennings
4: Dmitry Kudryashov
5: Evgeny Romanov
6: Artur Szpilka
7: Alen Babic
8: Shigabudin Aliev
9: Bilal Laggoune
10: Lukasz Rozanski
There is a fair to good chance a good number of fight fans will not have even heard of some of these fighters. A new weight class has to start somewhere and who knows, maybe the bridgerweight division will one day catch fire.
But there is a long, long way to go. One name that does interest this writer is Russian slugger Dmitriy Kudryashov, currently ranked at No.4.
Kudryashov is raw excitement each and every time he steps into the ring and even though the bearded banger has lost his biggest fights at cruiserweight (Yunier Dorticos taking him out in a couple of rounds in a WBA cruiserweight title fight, this back in 2017), he might be able to add some genuine excitement to the new weight division. Kudryashov, 24-3(23) gave us a thriller of a slugfest last time out, when he won a close one against Vaclav Pejsar in December of 2019.
It will be interesting to see who the 35 year old fights in his bridgerweight debut.