|Jose Antonio Rivera: “Sometimes you just have to pay for running your mouth!”
By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Jan 4, 2007)
This Saturday night January 6th 10:00 PM ET/PT from the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Miami, FL only on Showtime, two combatants square off to prove who is the best 154-pound fighter today when the reigning champ Jose Antonio Rivera 38-4-1 (24) puts his WBA light middleweight strap on the line against the undefeated Travis Simms 24-0 (18) in a scheduled twelve round clash.
We last saw Rivera, a former welterweight champion, last May on Showtime defeating the hard hitting and then once-beaten Alejandro Garcia, dropping the tough one four times en route to a unanimous decision victory. The workhorse
Rivera who holds down a full time job and raises his family knows what price he has to pay to continue to dominate his foes: discipline, determination and dedication. He has portrayed that in the past and will have to be at his best come fight night to continue his supremacy.
His opponent Travis Simms, although coming off a two year layoff, is one tough cookie, and the undefeated southpaw for has the power, skill and the confidence to make this battle royal a very interesting one.
The reigning champ took the time out of his New Year to give his thoughts on his upcoming match against Simms, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Give the readers your thoughts on your fight coming up this weekend against Travis Simms.
Jose Antonio Rivera: It is exciting you know, I have a few days to go before this fight and this week is just to maintain and make weight on Friday and showcase my skills on Saturday and I can’t wait man I wish it were tomorrow but I have to wait a couple more days.
BH: What are your thoughts on Simms, I mean he is undefeated, and is a very talented fighter.
JAR: He’s slick he’s fast he is a good fighter and I am not going to take anything away from him. But, him being a good fighter helps me to prepare myself to raise my game to another level because I know that I have to be at my best to beat him.
BH: Are there any weaknesses that you feel you can capitalize on or that you can tell us about, or anything you see that you can expose?
JAR: I just feel that it is going to be in my best interest to make him fight my fight. I can’t let him get comfortable and dictate the pace. I am going to go at my pace for twelve rounds.
BH: How would you describe or define your career up to this point?
JAR: I guess I’d say it has been pretty good, as far as boxing is concerned I was able to reach my goals so I would consider that pretty good. I am now defending in another world championship fight on Showtime, I am happy so far but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot of things that I still want to accomplish, but now it is good.
BH: You know you work a full time job and raise a family and still make time to fight, do you feel you appreciate it more than some would who come in the game and get handed everything right off that bat?
JAR: Absolutely, I appreciate everything that I have, every single thing that God has given me I appreciate because like you said it wasn’t easy, it definitely wasn’t given to me. I had to work for it and earn it the hard way so I definitely appreciate it a lot more; it helps me not to take things for granted.
BH: If you had anything you would like to say to your opponent before the fight what exactly would it be?
JAR: I really don’t have anything to say to him but I know he is prepared, and I hope he is prepared because this is going to be a fight. He is thinking he is going to go in there and walk through me, and that to me, that is laughable. But you know that is good that he has that kind of confidence, so just be prepared January 6th.
BH: So you feel disrespected in a way that he could possibly be thinking that he is going to walk through you, maybe overlooking you a bit?
JAR: I don’t think that he is overlooking me. I would doubt that, but he just can’t contain himself, he has always been the type of guy that has to run his mouth and say ridiculous things so sometimes you just have to pay for that.
BH: Is there anything you would like to say in closing of this interview?
JAR: I thank God for giving me the ability to be able to do the things that I do in life, and for making a difference in my life, to basically be in the position that I am in life today.
I’d like to thank Jose Antonio Rivera for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing.
Ticket Info: Tickets priced at $500, $300, $150, $100 and $50* are on sale now at the Hard Rock Live Box Office (open daily from noon until 7 p.m. ET), all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: Miami-Dade (305) 358-5885, Broward (954) 523-3309 and Palm Beach (561) 966-3309. *Additional fees and/or service charges may apply.
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