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Jose Antonio Rivera returns with a bang KO winner in his first fight in 7 years

WORCESTER, Mass. (August 19, 2018) – Seven years after his last fight, *”El
Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera* returned to the ring in grand fashion last
night (Saturday) to headline “Homecoming, presented by Granite Chin
Promotions in association with Rivera Promotions Entertainment, at The
Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 45-year-old Rivera (42-6-1, 25 KOs), 35 pounds lighter than he was in
February when he started training, packed the house in his hometown, fully
entertained his supportive fans. Three-time, two-division world champion
Rivera pressured *Larry “Slomoshun: Smith* (10-38-1, 7 KOs) from the
opening bell and he never let up.

It took a few rounds for Rivera to wear off the rust, but he fed Smith a
steady diet of body shots, gradually breaking down his opponent, as he won
round after round on points. Twice in the sixth round it looked like Smith
was done, but the tough Texan showed a lot of heart to survive.

Finally, Rivera closed the show in the seventh round, when Smith broke his
hand in the fifth round and was unable to continue, kneeling in his corner,
obviously in pain.

“I’ve always been tough,” Rivera said after the fight, “but I was a little
rusty. He tested me early but, once he saw I wasn’t going anywhere and knew
he was in for a fight. I started warming up in the fourth round. I was
always a 12-round fighter. I didn’t know he broke his hand until after the
fight. I feel great. We gave a good fight to the fans who have always
supported me.”

“I give myself a C+ tonight. I’m going to talk with my family, but I’m
thinking about one more fight, to make it 50 for his pro career).”