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 King‘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 in recess, whatever that is, “Tremendous” 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 Ricardo Mayorga couldn’t make weight when they were supposed to meet Thomas Damgaard fell out on short notice prior to their bout on April 2, 2005 followed but a tough split decision loss to up-and-coming Luis Collazo 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 “Terra” Garcia to claim the crown.

Travis Simms (24-0, 18 KOs), from Norwalk, Conn., also has a history with the aforementioned Terra 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.