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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Crucial Moment For Oscar Rivas

By Daniel Cloutier

VERONA, NY. — The Montrealer Colombian Oscar Rivas knows that he is living the most crucial moment of his pro boxing career. Friday evening in the ring of the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, Rivas (25-0-0) will face Bryant Jennings (26-2-0), from Philadelphia, in a WBO heavyweight elimination bout and in a NABO North American championship. The winner of this elimination bout will become the WBO second contender in the heavyweight division.

“No doubt, it’s the most important bout of my pro boxing career,” said Rivas.” And Jennings is certainly the most dangerous opponent I got so far in pro boxing. I will need to fight with concentration and intensity from the beginning to the end of the fight. Believe me, I will do it.”

When we asked Rivas what are the best qualities of his rival, Rivas smiled. “He is complete fighter who commits rarely a technical mistake,” said Rivas. “I studied him several times in watching videos, I will need to deliver a solid performance in the circumstances.”

When we asked him which strategy he is expecting to use against Jennings, Rivas hesitated before giving an answer. “Against a fighter like him, I got to be very patient and attack at the right moment,” said Rivas. “I know that the strategy will be a major factor in this bout.”

The winner of this bout will certainly get his chance in a world championship bout this year or next year. “It’s really my intention to dispute a world championship fight, but at this point, I am totally concentrate on Jennings. You know as me that I need absolutely to win this fight to stay in position for a world championship fight. It’s a big challenge, and I am ready to face it.”

Several people in the boxing circles criticized Rivas after his win by unanimous decision against the Brazilian Fabio Meldonado (26-1-0) December 1st at the Videotron Centre in Québec City. Some trainers said that Rivas got the worst performance of his pro boxing career.

“I really tried to win by KO, but like you saw it, Maldonado is extremely resistant,” said Rivas. “But this fight with Maldonado is not in my mind now. As I said, my focus is on Jennings.”

When we asked to the trainer Marc Ramsay to evaluate Jennings, he agrees with his fighter. “It’s true that Jennings is a complete fighter who rarely commits an error in defense,” said Ramsay. “But Oscar is perfectly prepared for this challenge, mentally, physically, technically and strategically, and I am expecting from him a great performance in Verona. I am sure that Oscar will give absolutely everything he has to win that bout.”

Ramsay believes that Rivas will get his chance in a world championship bout before the end of the year. “Rivas is never refusing an opponent, and if he got to face the British Anthony Joshua for the WBO world title this year, he will certainly accept the challenge. Joshua is a great fighter, but Oscar is ready to elevate in the boxing major leagues.”

Joshua has also a perfect record of 22-0-0 with 21 wins by KO or TKO. At his last world championship bout, Joshua beat the excellent Russian fighter Alexander Povetkin (34-2-0) by TKO in less than seven rounds.


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