Rivera to face Barthelemy in tough weekend fight

·2 min read

EX-ORIENTAL and Pacific Boxing Federation light welterweight champion All Rivera faces the stiffest test of his career as he takes on two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a 10-round bout in the undercard of Premier Boxing Champions’ “Fight Night” on Jan. 31, 2021 (PH time) at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California.

The 27-year-old Rivera fought once last year, right before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. He outclassed veteran Rodel Wenceslao by unanimous decision in General Santos City on Feb. 29, 2020.

Rivera fought once in the US in 2019. He lost via a first round knockout in the hands of then unbeaten Malik Hawkins in Las Vegas.

Rivera’s biggest wins are his two knockout victories over former amateur standout Adones Cabalquinto, who he knocked out in the second round in both fights.

Barthelemy, on the other hand, is looking for his third division world title. In 2017, the 34-year-old Cuban fought Kiryl Relikh for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight belt but lost via a unanimous decision. He had another opportunity to win his third division belt in 2019, but he settled to a split draw with Robert Easter Jr. in their WBA and International Boxing Organization light welterweight clash.

Barthelemy won his first title in 2014 after dethroning then International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Algenis Mendez by unanimous decision in a rematch. He successfully defended it once before moving up a weight division.

Barthelemy became a two-weight world champion after a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov for the vacant IBF lightweight title in 2015.

Rivera is 21-4 with 18 knockouts, while Barthelemy is 27-1-1 with 14 knockouts.

The main event of “Fight Night” features an IBF super middleweight battle between defending titleholder Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) and challenger Caleb Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs). / EKA