Rivas, 31, vows to get better

FILIPINA fighter Carleans Rivas may have lost her first shot at a world title but she promised to bounce back stronger and work her way back up the minimumweight ladder.

“She is fine. She wasn’t hurt but she was behind on the scorecards and the ref thought she was getting hit with some solid punches so he stopped it. She wasn’t hurt. But obviously, she’s very disappointed. The Philippines should be very proud. I told her win some, lose some. It doesn’t matter, we will make the necessary adjustments for her to be a champion,” VSG Promotions’ Gary Connolly, who handles Rivas, told SunStar Cebu.

The 31-year-old Rivas suffered a sixth round technical knockout in the hands of defending International Boxing Federation (IBF) female minimumweight queen Yokasta Valle on Feb. 9, 2020 (PH time), at the Cuidad Deportiva Heiner Ugalde in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Valle smothered Rivas with an array of unanswered punches that forced referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. to stop the fight in the 1:20 mark.

Though Rivas was outclassed by Valle, Connolly is confident that she has what it takes to become a world champion, with the right training and strategy.

“She wants revenge. The plan is a short break and learn from this first attempt at a major world title. Make the necessary adjustments to her technique and training, then go after another world title. She is a great athlete so just a matter of the right support, training and time. She will be a world champ. We know what to do to make it happen,” he said.

Rivas dropped to 8-7-4 record, while the 27-year-old Valle, a native of San Jose, improved to 20-2 with nine knockouts.

“I think people should be proud to have Chay represent the country. She represents good values. Too many people get admired for winning even if they are not good people,” he said. “She is just the average person that most Filipinos can relate to—hard working, looks after her family and the community, goes to church and is humble and respectful. Plus she is a good example to keep chasing your dreams.” (EKA)