Light heavyweight Kevin “The New England Bully” Cobbs (10-2, 4 KOs”, representing George Foreman III’s Everybody Fights gym in South Boston (MA), will be back in the ring after a relatively long hiatus, February 10th against undefeated Hartford (CT) prospect Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (5-0, 4 KOs), at The Palladium in Worcester.
Rivera vs. Cobbs will battle for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England light heavyweight title in the eight-round “New England’s Future 5” main event. “New England’;s Future 5″, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE)”, is the fifth installment of the popular “New England’s Future Series.”
“We are very excited to be able to have put together a fight of this caliber,” promoter Jose Antonio Rivera commented. “These is the kind of fight that boxing fans love to watch. Cobbs is a proven contender who has big fights experience. It’s good to see he is confident in his abilities to take on Rivera, an undefeated up-and-coming prospect with a very bright future.”
The 33-year-old Cobbs hasn’t fought in more than two years, since he was stopped in the second round by sensational David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs), the 21-year-old reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Middleweight World Champion.
“People thought that I had gotten out of boxing,” Cobbs explained. “”I never stopped training, I just didn’t have any fights since the Benavidez fight. I’m a personal trainer and now I’m back in boxing shape. I never left boxing! This fight is a great opportunity for me. It can open doors for whatever my camp decides. My job is to do what’s needed in the squared circle.”
Rivera has had only five pro fights and doesn’t have a rich amateur pedigree. He’s never been in the ring with anybody close to Benavidez. Cobbs has also sparred Winky Wright, Chad Dawson for both of his fights with Bernard Hopkins, Edwin Rodriguez, Peter Manfredo, Jr. and most of the top current New England boxers.
Many believe Cobbs has a decisive experience advantage over Rivera and question whether he’s ready to step up in class to fight Cobbs. “He’s only had five pro fights,” Cobbs answered when asked, “but I don’t know if he’s ready. I can’t answer that, only he can. but we’ll find out February 10th. I can tell you that I’m ready.”
Ironically, Cobbs is from Rivera’s hometown, Hartford. Cobbs explained that he got into some trouble on Hartford streets as a youth, which led to him resettling in Burlington, Vermont. He eventually opened a gym in Fall River (MA) and now works at Everybody Fights.
“I’m doing what I like to do,” Cobbs concluded. “I don’t have jitters like I did when I first started boxing Everything is easier now, I’m relaxed in the ring. I’m still learning on the job, but I’m more skilled than I was the last time I fought. I’m a boxing chameleon: I can box or bang to counter my opponent’s style.”
Worcester’s two-time national amateur champion Bobby “BH3” Harris, III (2-0) meets Brazilian super middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8-1) in the four-round co-featured event. Hartford super middleweight Jose “Rated R” Rivera (4-1, 3 KOs) faces Troy “Omar KO Artist” Artis (4-7-1 (3 KOs), of Danbury (CT) in a six-round bout.
Fighting on the undercard, all in four-round matches, are Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (3-0, 1 KO) vs. pro-debuting Nick Peralta, of Lawrence, unbeaten Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Puerto Rican Alexander “El Bravo” Picot (2-4-1), undefeated Springfield (MA) light heavyweight Ray “Bazooka” Graceski (5-0, 3 KOs). vs. Hartford’s pro-debuting Pawel Bansiak, Springfield welterweight Derrick “Bad Boy” Whitley (2-0) vs. Roger Blankenship (1-2), undefeated Puerto Rican super middleweight Jelame Garcia (6-0, 6 KOs) vs. Brazilian Rodrigo Almeida 1-7), Bridgeport’s (CT) pro-debuting welterweight Joseph Goss vs. Seth Basler (0-3), and Hartford junior lightweight vs. Bridgeport’s Carlos Marraro, III (0-1).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net or the Palladium box office (general admission only), or by contacting Jose Rivera (email@example.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout 7 p.m. ET.
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Luis Rosa, Jr. Scholarship Fund.