New Faces: Jean Carlos Rivera
JEAN CARLOS RIVERA
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Weight class: Featherweight
Height/ Reach: 5-feet-6 (168 cm) / 67? (170cm)
Amateur record: 78-6
Turned pro: 2014
Pro record: 11-0 (6 knockouts)
Trainer: Alex Lopez
Manager: Miriam Lopez
Promoter: Top Rank
Best night of pro career: At this juncture Rivera is pleased with how all his fights have gone.
“I don’t have any best performance,” Rivera told RingTV.com. “For me, all my performances are just work, I just come to do my job. I believe my best performance is yet to come. I believe in my ability and skills to match up with anybody in the world.”
Worst night of pro career: Rivera doesn’t feel he’s had a bad night so far.
“I don’t have any performance that I’m least pleased with,” he said. “As of yet I can’t remember in any fight losing a round. So I’m very grateful on all my performances.”
Next fight: Rivera will face Juan Carlos Benavides in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday.
Benavides (7-9-1, 4 KOs) is a solid journeyman who has never been stopped in 21 bouts. The 27-year-old from Ciudad Obregon should provide “Chapito” with quality rounds. A stoppage would be impressive.
Why he’s a prospect: He was a solid amateur but the unpaid ranks was more about honing Rivera’s skills and getting him ready for the pros where his style is more suited.
“We didn’t fight in amateur tournaments as an amateur,” he said. “Our goals were never to win amateur tournaments but to win a world title.
“Amateur tournaments have nothing in common with the pros. (In amateur tournaments) you have to fight one day, not able to eat after the fight to fight the next day. All we did was fight in regular amateur events.”
Rivera has sparred with a few world champions and top contenders but is modest about those experiences.
“That has helped me in my growth as a fighter,” he explained. “However, it is not something that we go around boosting about, because sparring is not fighting.”
He says it is difficult to single out one area are his strength: “It is a combination of things, speed, power, boxing skills and the ability to take a punch.”
Rivera and his team have a good working relationship with Top Rank Matchmaker’s Bruce Trampler and Brad Goodman. They are widely seen as the best in the business having worked with countless top talents, having their guidance is very important.
Why he’s a suspect: Rivera is still young and very much in the infancy of his pro journey and as such aside natural ability we still don’t know how he will react to adversity or how he takes a punch and if he can continue to improve to reach the sort of levels that he aspires too.
When asked what he personally feels he needs to address he said, “to continue to be patient in the ring and work behind a strong jab.”
Storylines: Rivera grew up in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. His family enjoyed boxing and collectively watched the sport.
When he was around 7 or 8 years old he first became interested in boxing and dreamed of one day being able to go to a boxing gym and become a fighter.
He currently resides in Florida where he trains with Alex Lopez.
Although he doesn’t have a particular boxing hero there is one man he hopes to emulate.
“I want to one day be loved in Puerto Rico like they love Felix Trinidad,” he said proudly. “And bring many victories to Puerto Rico.”
Like any fighter who steps into the ring he hopes to one day become a world champion, his goal doesn’t end there: “More importantly to make Puerto Rico proud of me and that is what I fight for.”
Away from boxing he likes to spend time on the beach, play basketball, he also enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.
“I’m a young man, only 21 years old,” he stated. “I take my career very seriously. I sort of feel that I have an obligation to fulfill greatness and be an inspiration of when you believe in something and you have good people behind you, your can reach any heights.”
April 21 – Jesus Xavier Pacheco – UD 8
Feb. 3 – Roberto Rodriguez Corea – TKO 4
Nov. 18 – Pedro Melo – UD 6
Sept. 23 – Raul Chirino – RTD 1
June 11 – Heriberto Delgado – TKO 6
April 16 – Harold Reyes – UD 6
Dec. 11 – Josue Declet – TKO 4
Oct. 31 – Jovany Fuentes – UD 6
Aug. 15 – Jose Roman – KO 1
June 28 – Jean Carlos Molina – KO 1
March 22 – Kevin Vazquez – UD 4
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright