When you’re a faith based fighter who grew up in the church, it’s as if you have an advantage because you never walk into the ring alone. For Golden Boy featherweight Kevin Rivers, Jr., whose trunks read, Phil 4:13, it’s comforting for him to know God is always in his corner.
“[My grandmother] got me a gift, it was a vase and it had the scripture on it. Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Of course, as I’m a boxer, that was very special and significant to me. I incorporated that with my everyday life as far as everything that I do, I think of that. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That’s a big deal to me. I believe that with God we can do all things,” Rivers said.
Since going 150-15 as an amateur fighter, Rivers has knocked out over 70% of his opponents in his professional career, while building an impressive record of 13-1 with 10 KOs. The lone blemish, at the hands of Alejandro Ochoa, who dropped Rivers twice in their fight last October.
Although Rivers was down, he wasn’t out; he got up, showed heart, and finished the fight. “I’m not gonna sit up here and make an excuse. I went into the fight and I was well prepared, I trained hard, there wasn’t nothing slacking . . . It just wasn’t my day when I got into the ring, I wasn’t there.”
From here on out I just plan on making statements the best that I can make.
Rivers didn’t have to wait long to atone for his loss. Last Saturday, in his first fight since the defeat, he scored a sixth round TKO of Angel Aispuro (6-4-2, 3 KOs). “That fight, the stoppage just came. The only statement I was trying to make was to redeem myself from October 3rd. That one loss was mentally disturbing because no one likes to lose, especially when it comes to professional boxing. You gotta win as much as possible. Although when you lose that doesn’t make you a bum or lesser than what you oughta be, it’s just no one likes to lose. I needed to get that victory,” said Rivers.
The loss last October was a learning experience and in his fight with Aispuro he showed the lessons sank in. “Originally, I’m a pure boxer and over the years I’ve turned into a boxer/puncher. My ability is to be a boxer and if I can just count on my boxing skills, because I do have power, I can just set people up off just boxing alone. It will make the fight much easier,” Rivers continued.
“I had a chip on my shoulder because I did lose. My plan is not to lose again. From here on out I just plan on making statements the best that I can make.” The statement Rivers made to the boxing world last Saturday was heard loud and clear by everyone. Especially Aispuro, whose ear was bleeding so badly from punches the fight had to be stopped.
Now that Rivers plans to rely on his boxing skills to setup his power shots, expect the knockouts to keep flowing. Rivers comes from a family with a rich boxing history and his innate ability to fight makes getting wins inside the distance commonplace.
“I got a lot of experience over the years. My father used to box and my Uncle Ricky used to box. He used to be a sparring partner with Sugar Ray Leonard. It wore off on me . . . I have no choice but to be a good fighter because that’s where I come from. All my life, even in the amateur days, I was stopping people – I got one of my first knockouts when I was like 80 pounds. [natural power] I think it’s something that I do have,” Rivers stated.
When you couple Rivers’ boxing lineage, with his savior providing him strength in the ring, you get a determined fighter who can surmount any obstacle.
The division is on notice.