One of New England’s most promising contenders and arguably the most charismatic boxer in the area, the undefeated Richie “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera returns on August 14 where it all began for him in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Rivera (19-0, 14 KOs) meets his Mexican opponent Ernesto “Gatti” Berrospe Rivas (11-17, 6 KOs) in the 8-round co-featured event on the “New England’s Future VII” card, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) partnered with Shearns Boxing Promotions in one of three planned title bouts at the famous Worcester Palladium. Rivera vs. Rivas battle it out for the vacant NBA Americas cruiserweight title.
Star Boxing-sponsored Rivera made his pro debut at an RPE event at the Worcester Palladium on January 19, 2017 and is returning to the fight against New England for the first time since December 13, 2019. This will be his fourth fight in Worcester, the third at The Palladium.
“Rivera Promotions and the Worcester fans have always treated me like family,” said Rivera. “You adopted me. I’m dying to fight in the ring again in Worcester; it’s pretty close to my home (Hartford, CT). I love to fight there! I’m so happy to be fighting there again, surrounded by my fans who all want me to do my best. I received so much love in Worcester, my home away from home. The crowd goes crazy when I step into the ring. It’s crazy!”
During the pandemic, Rivera moved to Orlando, Florida and stayed busy fighting in the Sunshine State and Mexico. “Popeye” has returned to Hartford with a new head coach in his corner, John “Iceman” Scully.
“I loved the Florida weather, but I’m on the verge of a breakthrough professionally,” said 30-year-old Rivera. “I’m back in Connecticut to take the next level. I feel strong physically and mentally, and old age doesn’t cross my mind because my soul is good. “I do yoga, stretch more, and work out hard in the gym. I’m really a light heavyweight going up to cruiserweight. I’ll fight there until a good light heavyweight payday comes along. I don’t mind falling behind or fighting as a cruiserweight. I am a fighter. Just give me a can of spinach and I’ll be done. “
Rivera has a solid relationship with RPE matchmaker AJ Rivera (no ties), who has won three title fights (including the NBA Americas on Aug. 14) for ‘Popeye’ who is a former UBF light heavyweight and ABF Continental Americas champion in the Cruiserweight is.
“RPE is honored to have ‘Popeye’ back in our New England’s Future 7 boxing event,” commented promoter Jose Antonio Rivera. “It was only a few years ago when he made his professional debut on our first show and now he’s at 19-0 preparing for his 20th professional fight. Richie is a great person and boxer, and we take great pride in his hard work and dedication to his craft. We imagine how ‘Popeye’ will soon be battling for a world title because of his hard work, dedication and talent. ‘Popeye’ has given us some great fights over the years and fans have seen some sensational wins and knockouts. We wish him all the best and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to develop in front of the fans. You can’t say that about every boxer, but he’s really great for boxing. ”
“Richard Rivera is a fun fighter both in and out of the ring,” added Rivera’s promoter Joe DeGuardia. “His ‘Popeye’ personality is adorable. We have big plans for him in the light heavyweight division and we look forward to his return to the northeast on August 14th. “
Former basketball star of the University of New Haven, New London (CT), undefeated heavyweight champion Cassius “COG” Chaney (20-0, 14 KOs), who is sponsored by Main Events, will face the 10-round Main Event against the former NABA heavyweight champion Shawdell Terell Winters (13-5, 12 KOs) fight.
2012 Puerto Rico Olympian Enrique Collazo (15-1-1, 10 KOs) will face TBA in an 8-round bout for the vacant NBA Americas Super Middleweight Championship.
Southbridge’s (MA) Wilfredo “Sucra” Pagan (6-1, 3 KOs) faces Carlos Marrero III (2-6-1), Connecticut, in a 6-round contest for the vacant New England junior welterweight title.
Also slated to fight in 4-round fights are Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels (5-1, 3 KOs), a two-time New England Golden Gloves champion, versus Corey Morey (1-4); Hartford Bantamweight and three-time New England Golden Gloves and two-time Ringside Nationals Champion Angel “Set It Off” Gonzalez (4-0, 3 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester Junior Middleweight Eslih Owuso (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Eean Chappell ( 0-1-1), Boca Raton, Florida junior middleweight Josniel “TG” Castro (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-8), Worcester cruiserweight and 3-time New England Golden Gloves Champion Demek ” Hightower “Edmonds (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA and former Team USA boxing member Bobby” BH3 “Harris III (2-0-1, 1 KO) vs. super middleweight Juan Celin Zapata (6- 18-2, 4 KO) ..