Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Puerto Rican amateur Jan Paul Rivera signs managerial deal, will turn pro after World Championships


Amateur standout Jan Paul Rivera will be turning professional after signing with veteran manager Tim VanNewhouse.

Rivera, a 20-year-old featherweight from Salinas, Puerto Rico, is expected to make his professional debut next year after competing in the AIBA World Championships, which are scheduled to begin on October 24 in Belgrade, Serbia. Rivera will be part of a 6-member Puerto Rican team that includes Yankiel Rivera, Caleb Tirado, Jaycob Bradley Gomez, Armani Almestica and Bryan Perez.

I hope to be the next face of boxing and the next champion of Puerto Rico and the world,” said Rivera.

“I can’t wait for all of boxing to know my talent and see why I deserve to be among the best in the sport. I promise to give the best of myself,  to Puerto Rico, to the world and to serve as an example for new talents.”

Rivera’s amateur credentials include winning two straight Puerto Rico Elite National Championships in 2020 and 2021, plus the Puerto Rico Youth National Championships in 2018 and 2019, in a career that spanned over 200 bouts. He’s competed abroad as well, winning gold medals at the 2021 Boxer International tournament in Spain, the 2019 Pacific Cup Youth Tournament in Ecuador and the 2018 AMBC Youth Continental Championships in Colorado Springs.

Rivera first connected with VanNewhouse in 2018, after he won a silver medal at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“Jan Paul is an extremely gifted young fighter who’s spent the majority of his life aspiring to become a world champion someday. He’s always the first person to the gym and the last to leave,” said VanNewhouse, whose stable also includes Najee Lopez and Tommy Wu.

“He has all the fundamentals and ability I look for in young pros,” added VanNewhouse. “He’s the finest amateur in Puerto Rico with the most international experience. This will favor him well in the professional ranks.”

Working with Rivera in the corner and the gym is Joe Santiago, who is best known for his work as the trainer of Miguel Cotto. Santiago is also the head trainer for unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Omar Rosario (5-0, 2 knockouts), who is signed by Top Rank.


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