Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) Rivera Entertainment Promotions (RPE) held a press conference this evening at Grille 57 in Worcester to formally announce a co-promotion, “Quest for 50.”
Three-time, two-division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera will fight at home for the final time on Friday night, June 14, when he competes in his 50th professional match, headlining “Quest For 50” against former WFC champion Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The 46-year-old Rivera (42-6-1, 25 KOs) came out of a seven-year retirement last August, in which he defeated journeyman Larry Smith by way of a seventh-round technical knockout, dropping 40 pounds during the process to fight as a middleweight.
Rivera, a full-time court officer in Worcester, announced that his eight-round, middleweight fight against Scott (19-5, 5 KOs) will be his last fight in Worcester, likely his final ring appearance, unless he receives a lucrative offer he can’t refuse.
“Once I fought last August after a seven-year retirement,” Rivera said, “I knew I was going to have one more for 50. I just didn’t know when. Like Chuck (Shearns, co-promoter) said, my opponent, Travis Scott speaks volumes. His last four opponents had a combined record of 49-0. He’s coming to Worcester to try and win. Let him try.
“I understand I’m 46, but age is the last thing on my mind. It’s more important for me to focus. The weigh in is in five weeks from today and I’m already 10 pounds off weight. It shows how hard I’ve been training. I’m training for this fight like I was training for my world title fights.”
The highlights of Rivera’s 26 ½-year pro boxing career was taking a 12-round majority decision victory in Germany over Michel Trabant in 2003 for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title, along with his 12-round unanimous decision win in 2006, in front of nearly 9,000 fans in Worcester, versus defending WBA junior middleweight champion Alejandro Garcia.
The six-round, co-featured event is an intra-Massachusetts, welterweight showdown between Khiry “TNT” Todd (8-1, 6 KOs), of Lynn, and New Bedford’s Ray Oliveira, Jr. (8-2, 1 KO), the son of New England boxing favorite “Sucra” Ray Oliveira.
Danbury, CT welterweight Omar “The Beast” Bordoy, Jr. (7-1, 2 KOs) will attempt to rebound from his only pro loss in a six-round bout versus Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (9-10-3, 7 KOs), fighting out of Neptune, New Jersey.
Two boxers with misleading records, Brooklyn’s Sidney “Keelo” Mccow (6-8, 3 KOs) and Augustine “Ruthless” Mauras (6-5-3, 3 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, throw-down in a six-rounder for the vacant New England junior welterweight title.
Seven-round bouts scheduled on the undercard include Worcester heavyweight Owen Minor (1-0, 1 KOs) vs. Alejandro Santiago (0-4), of Tampa; Worcester welterweight Eslih Owusu (1-0) vs. Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz (5-13-1, 2 KOs), of Springfield, MA; Bridgeport, CT welterweight Joseph Goss (1-0) vs. Peruvian Carlos Galindo (1-9), fighting out of Woburn, MA; East Providence, RI pro-debuting Elijah Peixoto vs. Bronx lightweight Danny Morales (0-8); Hartford, CT junior welterweight “The Special One” Sharad Collier (1-0-1, 1 KO), the 2-time N.E, Golden Gloves champion, vs. Anthony Everett (1-7), of Lawrence, MA; Worcester featherweight Philip Davis (1-1-1) vs. New Bedford’s Henry Garcia (0-2-1); and Methuen, MA lightweight Luka Lannuccilli will make his pro debut against opponents to be determined.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $70.00 (ringside), $55.00 (mezzanine) and $40.00 (general admission), are on
sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net, the Palladium box office, or by
contacting Jose Rivera (email@example.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(firstname.lastname@example.org/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout 7 p.m. ET.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Worcester Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
Event sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usana.com, Raindrop Liquor, Michelob Ultra, Bay State Savings Bank, Vocero Hispano, Massachusetts Pirates, Office Mac, Chieftain Liquors, realtor Pamela LaPorte, and Grille 57.
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Jose Antonio Rivera: “My mindset is I can train to perform and June 14th you will see for yourself. I’m excited! ‘Quest For 50’ started a long time ago and has been talked about a lot. I’m so excited about the undercard that I will be watching from my dressing room.”
A.J. Rivera, RPE President/matchmaker: “I thought my father was going through a mid-life crisis. He must have turned down 25 opponents until Chuck mentioned a tough fighter, Travis Scott, and he took that fight right away.
“The co-feature is one of the best fights I’ve ever made. I commend Khiry and Ray for taking the fight because, this early in their careers, most fighters won’t take a fight like this. But that’s their mentality.”
Jose Rivera, RPE Vice President: “Worcester’s own Jose Antonio Rivera – three-time world champion – will be fighting for the last time in his hometown. It’s going to be a great event with a tremendous undercard put together by my nephew, A.J. Rivera.”
Chuck Shearns, SBP promoter: “We’re happy to be working again with our friends from Rivera Promotions Entertainment and it’s a great opportunity for us to build on our last show. A.J. has built a good show, good fighters fighting good guys. Jose is driven by accomplishments. He wanted to be put in a good fight. I offered Travis Scott and he jumped at this fight. This kid can fight. His last four opponents had a combined record of 49-0. He’s not afraid to get in the ring with Jose. It’s going to be a compelling, entertaining fight. Owen Minor is the first real Massachusetts heavyweight in years.”
Khiary Todd: “Ray Oliveira is a tough opponent. He comes to fight and so do I. I’ve been here before. We want to move forward, taking good fights. I’m so happy to be on ‘Quest For 50’ with Jose.”
Ray Oliveira, Jr.: “I want to thank God for allowing me to fight after being 15 months off from the sport. I’m thankful to fight in Worcester for the first time and on a card with a legend. Worcester is a tough city that produces tough fighters. This is exactly what I wanted. I took a tough loss last February. I was distracted but I’m ready to come back. It’s all about this fight and I’m looking forward to being in this brawl.”
Owen Minor: “I’m not much of a public speaker, but this is a big show. Jose will be in his 50th fight and not many fighters today ever had 50. I’m thankful for this opportunity.”
Eslih Owusu: “I know my opponent has had a lot more fights than me. He’s tough and comes forward throwing punches. This is what I need to show I’m a great fighter. I will showcase my skills June 14th.”
Elijah Peixoto: “This has been a long time coming. I had an extensive amateur background that I’m taking to the pros. Thanks for this opportunity.”
Phil Davis: “Thanks for the opportunity to fight on ‘Quest For 50.’ It’s also for a new generation of Worcester fighters. Jose is done after this, but he’s giving us an opportunity. You don’t know me but June 14th you will.”