WORCESTER, Mass. (July 19, 2018) – Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) and
Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) hosted a press conference yesterday
at The Ballot Box in Worcester, Massachusetts, to make a major
announcement, as well as introduce local fighters on the August 17th pro
boxing card at The Palladium in Worcester.
Three-time, two-division world champion *”El Gallo” Jose Antonio
24 KOs) is making his return in the “Making History” main event, in large
part because he wanted to fight on the same card as his son, *A.J. Rivera*,
who was to become the first pro boxer who was born with Spina Bifida. A.J.,
who is a rising matchmaker in New England, was unable to get medically
cleared in time and he will not be fighting Aug. 17.
The event has been renamed, “Homecoming”, because six of the competing
fighters, including Jose Antonio Rivera, live in Worcester.
“Unfortunately,” announced promoter *Chuck Shearns*, who co-promotes
Granite Chin Promotions with *Chris Traietti*, “A.J. isn’t fighting on this
show because he couldn’t get medically cleared in time.”
“I trained hard and was within five or six pounds of my contract weight,” a
disappointed A.J. Rivera explained. “I passed all of the medical tests
except for the CATSCAN. I fought the doctor a little and said I wanted a
second opinion. Those results won’t be in time, so I can’t fight on this
“The reason I’m coming back was to make history with my son,” Jose Antonio
Rivera added. “We had talked about it a long time but, unfortunately, it
wasn’t meant to be for A.J. for this card. He’s already part of history
already as the only fighter born with Spina Bifida who fought as an
amateur. I feel bad, but everything happens for a reason and as a father,
my son’s safety always comes first. He will continue to be an important
part of our team to make our company a success. People are thrown
curveballs in life like this and we’ve regrouped to turn this into a
positive. We’re still fighting for the cause (Spina Bifida).”
Now 45 years old, Rivera has already lost more than 30 pounds, and he is
within eight of his contracted weight for his eight-round fight against *Ruben
“Modern Day Warrior” Galvan* (27-26-4, 10 KOs).
In 1997, Rivera captured the International Boxing Organization (IBO) World
welterweight title, stopping *Gilberto Flores* in the second round. Six
years later, he traveled to Germany to take on undefeated, hometown favorite
*Michel Trabant* (38-0) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA)
World Welterweight Championship, in which Rivera won a 12-round decision
and the belt.
Two fights later, in front of nearly 10,000 hometown fans in Worcester,
Rivera won a 12-round unanimous decision in 2006 over defending
Garcia* (25-1) for the WBA World super welterweight title.
Middleweight *Kendrick Ball, Jr*. (9-1-2, 6 KOs) and junior
Gray* (15-4, 11 KOs), both promoted by CES Boxing, will be making their pro
debuts at home in Worcester. Ball faces an opponent to be determined in the
six-round co-featured event, while Gray (15-4, 11 KOs) meets *Antonio
Chaves Fernandez* (9-33, 4 KOs), of Brockton, MA, also in a six rounder.
Undefeated light heavyweight prospect *Richard* *”Popeye The Sailor Man”
Rivera* (8-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Hartford, CT, is slated to fight in a
six-round bout vs. TBA, as well as his stable mate, two-time New England
Golden Gloves champion *”The Chosen One” Sharad Collier* (1-0, 1 KO), who
takes on his Mexican opponent, *Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez* (5-4, 4 KOs), in
a four-round match.
Also scheduled to fight on the undercard in four-round bouts are
Springfield, MA welterweight *Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz Jose Angel “KO”
1 KO) vs. Seth Basler (0-8) and pro-debuting featherweight *Joshua Orta *vs.
Worcester’s *Edwin Rosado* (1-7-1, 1 KO), Southbridge, MA welterweight
“El Sucaro” Pagan* (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester lightweight *Francisco
Irizarry* (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester’s pro-debuting lightweight *Eslih
Owusu*.vs. Mexican *Engelberto “Guarura” Valenzuela* (11-14 (3 KOs).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on
sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net
or the Palladium box office (general admission only), 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.