WORCESTER, Mass. (June 16, 2005) – Former World Boxing Association welterweight champion Jose Antonio Rivera (37-4-1, 24 KOs) has announced that he has decided to move up from the 147-pound welterweight division to 154-pound junior middleweight.

Rivera, of Worcester (MA), recently signed a three-year promotional agreement with Don King Productions and he reportedly will fight on the Rahman-Barrett August 13 card in Chicago as a junior middleweight.

 “I walk around at 168-172 pounds and making 147 draws the life out of me,” Rivera explained his decision to move up to junior middleweight. “Losing 25 is becoming impossible. I would have loved to fight (Luis) Collazo in a rematch if we could have done it in July. But our rematch wouldn’t have happened until the fall and I can’t starve myself anymore. There are a lot of great fights for me at 154 and I’m confident that Mr. King will give me the opportunity to fight for a world title again.”

Rivera noted that, in the past as a welterweight, he was supposed to fight two of today’s top 154-pound contenders – Fernando Vargas (1998, Jose ruptured a tendon in his wrist) and Ricardo Mayorga (April, 2004 – Mayorga weighed 6½ pounds overweight). “I’d really love to fight Mayorga for a title in Worcester,” Rivera noted. “It’ll sellout as soon as it’s announced. I’ll fight any of the champions or big names – (Kassim) Ouma, (Daniel) Santos, (Alexandro) Garcia, (Cory) Spinks, (Travis) Simms or (Javier) Castillejo.”