Rivera defends against Travis Simms on Peter/Toney II undercard
WBA super welterweight champion Jose Antonio Rivera, who has struggled to get his promoter Don Kingâ€™s attention so that he, a fighter in his prime, can fight his fight, will finally make the first defense his crown against undefeated WBA super welterweight champ â€œin recess,â€? whatever that is, â€œTremendousâ€? Travis Simms on the undercard of Sam Peter/James Toney II at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. on January 6.
Rivera (38-4-1, 24 KOs), hailing from Worcester, Mass., became the WBA 147-pound champ when he beat German boxer Michael Trabant in Berlin in 2003, but a series of bad breaks â€“ Ricardo Mayorga couldnâ€™t make weight when they were supposed to meet â€“ Thomas Damgaard fell out on short notice prior to their bout on April 2, 2005 â€“ followed but a tough split decision loss to up-and-coming Luis Collazo â€“ left Rivera disillusioned with boxing and his state of his career.
After the bout with Collazo, Rivera tired of trying to make a weight he was no longer suited for and decided it was time to move up to 154 to challenge for the super welterweight title. On May 6 of this year Rivera won a lopsided unanimous decision against then-WBA super welterweight champion Alejandro â€œTerraâ€? Garcia to claim the crown.
Travis Simms (24-0, 18 KOs), from Norwalk, Conn., also has a history with the aforementioned â€œTerraâ€? Garcia: he gave him first loss to win the championship in 2003. Simms successfully defended his title against Bronco McKart in 2004, but has not fought since. Read more at the BLOG