Jose Rivera wants everyone at 154

By Percy Crawford


Jose Rivera wants everyone at 154

By: Percy Crawford


PC: How has everything been going Jose?

JR: Everything is going good. Just waiting to hear from Don King on when im going to fight again.

PC: Do you think we’ll see you in the ring before the end of the year?

JR: They told me November or December. I am hoping that they’re true to their word.

PC: Although the Spinks fight with Mayweather fell through, his manager/trainer Kevin Cunningham said, “Both of you guys have mandatories to fight before you can talk unification.” With that being said, is Joachim Alcine going to be your next fight? 

JR: I don’t know if you know this, but the WBA just ordered for me to fight Travis Simms. Alcine is going to have to wait. He may have a beef with the WBA, but my next fight look like it’s going to be against Travis Simms. I just need a date and a location.

PC: How do you think a fight between you and Simms play out?

JR:  Well, he’s a crafty southpaw and he’s going to come and try and win and take my title like any challenger would. He’s gotta bring his A game. I just feel it’s impossible to take my title right now.

PC: How did you feel about Antonio Margarito’s response to your open letter to him?

JR: Aghh, his response just seemed orchestrated by someone else. It didn’t seem like it was written by him, but it didn’t matter. When it comes down to it, they didn’t even give me a call or look my way. They can respond all they want. Cory Spinks and Margarito can respond, but when it comes down to fight, neither want to sign. Talk is cheap.

PC: Congratulations on being inducted into “CES Promotions Ring of Honor.” Can you speak about that a bit?

JR: It’s an honor. Anytime you get recognition or an award for achieving something, it’s definitely an honor. I would like to thank Jimmy Burchfield for giving me this honor and I look forward to it September 23rd.

PC: When did you get the call that you were being inducted?

JR: My publicist called me. Bob Treiger called and told me the good news. He asked if I would be around for a show in Hartford, Connecticut on the 23rd to be honored, and I said most definitely. I have a couple of good friends fighting on that card anyway.

PC: Your trainer, John Scully, is also getting inducted on this night. Is that a showcase of you guys hard work together? 

JR: It’s definitely a showcase. John Scully is one of the most underrated trainers in the game right now. Scully is a very talented trainer and was a talented fighter as well. For him to get this recognition at the same time as me after what we’ve accomplished together is very special.

PC: How does it feel being inducted with greats like Mickey Ward, Vinny Pazienza, John Scully and Marlon Sterling at such a young age?

JR: It feels great to be mentioned with those guys you just mentioned. It’s kinda letting me know that I’ve accomplished something. Hard work pays off.

PC: What do you think of some of the up and coming talent that’s on the card on the 23rd?

JR: Matt Remillard is a good fighter. That kid has world championship potential. Matt Godfrey is one of those cruiserweights that will be making noise very soon. He’s a tough fighter that just needs time to mature. I feel the same way about Mike Oliver. This show is packed with great potential. This is going to be a great show. You got Israel Cardona former lightweight champion, now fighting at 147. I’ve been sparring with him and man he’s a strong fighter. They got a kid out of Worcester, named Enrique Palau, whose 4-0 with 4 knockouts. Jason Estrada, what can I say about him? He’s an Olympian. This is a great card for the fans.

PC: I know you’re not overlooking Simms, but if all goes well in that fight, could you give me your wish list of opponents? 

JR: Honestly, I’ve been saying this since day one. I just want big fights. There are a lot of big names out there and if any of them are willing to step up to the plate, I’m willing to fight them. Anybody! Oscar De La Hoya was my first choice, but everyone wants to fight Oscar. He only wants one more fight though and I respect that and I understand that. He wants to go out with a bang. The last person he wants to fight is a Jose Rivera. The big people don’t know who Jose Rivera is and that’s too big of a risk for him. It’s not a Floyd Mayweather fight, you know? I just hope he hurries up and moves out, so he could leave that title.

PC: Kassim Ouma has been a major player in the junior middleweight division for a couple years now……

JR: (cutting in) He’s still a major player. Kassim Ouma would be a great fight. That’s a fight that I would entertain and I would love. Im not hearing about fights like this from my promotional team. I called Kassim Ouma’s promoter myself. I heard he’s underrated and no one wants to fight him, so I called them myself. Obviously, they would have to talk to Don King to make it happen and I never heard anything else. It’s a tough game. Fans don’t understand this is a political game. Sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time and sometimes you just have to get lucky. Unfortunately, for me to be sitting here right now the WBA 154 pound champion and I don’t know when im fighting.

PC: That has to get frustrating? 

JR: It is frustrating, because I just want to fight. I gotta wait my turn, I guess.

PC: Your mandatory challenger Joachim Alcine’s camp has been saying their more than willing to fight you. What do you have to say in return?

JR: If nobody wants to fight me and Alcine is my next fight, then so be it. I want to fight. Whether it’s Alcine, Simms or Joe Blow from across the street, I don’t care. Get me the fight, get me a date and let’s do it. I wouldn’t know Alcine if I stepped on his toe by accident. Im not trying to dog him, I just don’t know who he is. I didn’t become champion by ducking anybody. I just want a big fight, that’s all.

PC: When do you think you’ll be sitting down with Don King to get the official word on the Simms fight?

JR: We don’t even have to sit down. Just give me a call with a date. You don’t have to fly me to Florida, unless he wants to. I will. It’s as simple as calling me with a date and im ready.

PC: I know your itching to get back in the ring. Do you have any closing thoughts for your fans!

JR: I just want to thank them for their continued support and just to let them know it’s not me. I am willing and able to fight anybody. I just hope someone steps up. Im caught up in the politics of boxing.


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