Tag Archives: Richie Rivera

New boxing chapter to start for former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga

October 28 in Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (October 19, 2017) – The next chapter of former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga starts October 28th when he makes his professional boxing debut fighting on the “New England Future 4” card, the fourth and final 2017 installment of the popular professional boxing series, “New England’s Future”, to be held at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 4” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
The 38-year-old Gonzaga teaches Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) in Worcester and lives nearby in Ludlow (MA). An imposing physical fighter, the 6′ 2″, 260-pound Gonzaga (17-11-0, 7 KOs, 9 SUBs, 1 DEC), holds 4th degree black belt in BJJ. The highlight of his MMA career was at the 2007 UFC 70, held in Manchester, United Kingdom, in which he knocked out K-1, Pride and Rizen champion Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick in the opening round, positioning Gonzaga for his unsuccessful challenge of UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture in his next fight.
Gonzaga, who retired from MMA 1 ½ years ago, also defeated Ben Rothwell, Shawn Jordan and Chris Tuchscherer, among the more notable UFC fighters he faced in the Octagon.
(L-R) – Rocky Gonzalez & Gabriel Gonzaga
Gonzago has a new opponent for his four-round bout, Tampa’s pro-debuting Alejandro Esquilin Santiago, who also has a pro MMA background.
“I like challenges in my life,” Gonzaga explained why he’s making his pro debut. “I set new goals because I like to be competitive in sports. I have a good boxing coach who told me I should try. I was a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) world champion and UFC title contender. I have good boxing skills and plan to put on a good show. I do have one-punch power and hit hard.
“I started boxing in 2001 and worked at it every day for two years to learn, but then I was competing in MMA. Now, I’m focused on boxing. I think boxing is the hardest part of MMA.   I know you can’t make mistakes in boxing and there’s no time to relax. In MMA, I could relax a little at times in clinches, but the referee won’t allow that in boxing. I’ll probably fight more than once but not too many because of my age and I’m not really at the high-level of boxing like I was in MMA.”
Gonzaga’s head boxing trainer, Rocky Gonzalez, has been working with several MMA fighters, including Gonzaga, for more than a decade to help them improve their striking skills. Gonzalez freely admits that Gonzaga knew how to box before he started working with him, crediting Gonzaga’s Muay Thai coach, and that boxing came naturally to the big Brazilian who has made an easy adjustment from the Octagon to the ring. Gonzalez also feels that leg positioning differences for MMA fighters switching to boxing, in terms of throwing proper punches, is somewhat overrated.
“In boxing,” Gonzalez said, “fighters need their hands like their legs and elbows in MMA. Distance and timing is more important than where their legs and feet are positioned. Gabriel doesn’t like sparring with headgear, so, his sparring is more like real fighting. He’s been hot with some real shots but he’s responded well. He’s always going to have a puncher’s chance and he’s deceptive because he doesn’t look as fast as he is.
“We didn’t really plan anything but he got this good opportunity. He’s always wanted to turn pro as a boxer and go from there. Gabriel is a good listener who keeps working hard to get better. When he first brought up boxing, he was contracted by the UFC, but we started talking about him boxing after the UFC released him. He knew Jose from him teaching boxing. Gabriel isn’t doing this for the money. He’s a competitive guy who wanted to try boxing.”
Former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion, Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), will take on Bolivian heavyweight champion Saul “El Fenjx Asesino” Faraff (64-23-3, 56 KOs) in the eight-round main event.
Hartford’s (CT) popular Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (3-0, 2 KOs) meets Hansen Castillo (0-2) in the four-round, co-featured event to be contested at a 180-pound catchweight.
Many of New England’s best and most popular N.E. fighters will be in action, including 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (4-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Lawrence (MA), vs. veteran Norwalk (CT) welterweight Shakha Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round match.
Also fighting on the undercard in four-round fights include 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champio, Anthony Laureano (5-0, 3 KOs), of East Hartford (CT) vs. Bruno Dias (0-3), of Woburn (MA), New Haven (CT) Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-6). of Lawrence, at a 150-pound catchweight, three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO), of New Haven (CT), vs. pro-debuting Brazilian native Rene Nazare, Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) vs. Patrick Leal (0-3), of Woburn (MA), at a 150-pound catchweight, Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Schenectady (NY) veteranBryan “The Brick” Abraham (6-30, 6 KOs), and Timmy Ramos (4-0-1, 4 KOs), of Framingham (MA) vs. Seth Basler (0-2), of Illinois.
                                                            
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 the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (elgallojar@gmail.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(anthoneerivera@gmail.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.
Sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usna.com, and American Pyramids.
Part of the proceeds will go to Worcester Latino Dollars For Scholars.
INFORMATION:
Facebook.com/RiveraPromotionsEntertainment
Twitter: @RiveraPromoEnt @joseriverachamp @KingRivera_

Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita boxes in his own unique way

October 28 in Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (October 12, 2017) – Once-beaten Vinnie “American Dream” Carita is preparing in an entirely different way than all other fighters on the October 28th “New England Future 4” card, the fourth and final 2017 installment of the popular professional boxing series, “New England’s Future”, to be held at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 4” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
“I am happy to have a dedicated, hard-working boxer like Vinnie Carita headlining our boxing event on Saturday, October 28th at the DCU Center,” promoter Jose Antonio Rivera said. “He is a perfect example of why my son, A.J., and I started RPE. We want to be able to help boxers grow their careers and create a platform for them to get bigger and better opportunities.”
A former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion,Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs) will take on Bolivian heavyweight champion Saul “El Fenjx Asesino” Faraff (64-23-3, 56 KOs) in the eight-round main event.
Carita, fighting out of Pembroke (MA), will move up in weight once again to fight another foreign opponent.  In the world of boxing, not only does Carita fight, he’s his own promoter, manager, trainer and matchmaker.  Outside of the ring, Carita is a fulltime court officer in Brockton (MA), as well as a part-time security contractor for the Department of Defense (DOD).
Although his incredibly busy schedule leaves little, if any, downtown to relax, Carita thrives because he’s so dedicated, disciplined and driven.  He starts each day at 4 a.m., running or doing cardio exercising, works his day job, and hits the gym to train between 9-10 p.m. on a regular basis for a scheduled fight.  When he’s had some free time to travel, Vinne has gone to New York, Philadelphia and even Montreal for quality sparring.
He started boxing at seven, when he first walked into a gym, and captured a Southeast Regionals Golden Glove title but, at 14, only boxed sporadically, until he turned pro at 20.  “I definitely have a passion for boxing,” the 32-year-old confessed.  “I’m a boxing fanatic.  If I’m not training, I’m watching fights, live or on television. It’s my love.  Boxing will always be part of me and when I finally hang up my gloves, I want to be a referee, so I can still be in the ring, and have the best seat.  I don’t want to judge.  Bigger guys last longer than smaller fighters.  I want to continue doing this until by late thirties, maybe early forties.
“I fell in love with the cruiserweight division when I saw the (Vassily) Jirov-(James) Toney fight (at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut).  The cruiserweight division is hot right now with the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).  (Oleksandr) Usyk could win the tournament, unifying all four major belts, and then move up to heavyweight.  That could be good for me if I was one of the eight fighting for one of the four vacant (major) titles.  I’ll look for the right fights until then, against guys who’ve been around and maybe competed for world or regional titles, like my next opponent (Faraff), who is the WBC Latino heavyweight champion.”
Carita, who occasionally is forced to fight as a heavyweight as he will against Faraff, will still weigh in around 200-205 pounds.  He walks around at 208 and usually weighs in at 194-196 for his cruiserweight fights.  “I have no plans to compete as a heavyweight,” he said. “I’ve fought some heavyweights and it looks better for me to go the distance, or stop, guys much bigger than me.  I try and pick the right guys to advance my career.”
Why has Carita fought so many opponents from countries all over the world?  Networking.  His job with the DOD, before he started working as a court officer, found him traveling around the world.  Wherever he went – South Africa, Dubai, Northern Ireland, etc. – he worked out at boxing gyms and made invaluable connections, establishing working relationships with many managers and matchmakers who he’s remained in contact with throughout his pro boxing career.
Because he trains himself, Carita only has one regular person working his corner, Pittsfield (MA) court officer John Felix, who he first met when they were drill instructors at the academy.  Carita adds a cut-man for his fight but he tends to keep things lean and mean, even in his corner.
Nobody knows better or appreciates more what promoter Jose Antonio Rivera accomplished when he was world champion working full-time as a court officer in Worcester.
“To work full-time, raise children, train to be a world-class fighter and become world champion three times speaks volumes about Jose,” Carita commented. “Now, he’s promoting and putting guys like me on his shows.”
“I understand perfectly how hard and demanding his schedule is working a fulltime job as a court officer and training to try to achieve his goals of fighting for and winning world championship,” Rivera added.  “I am glad Vinnie has chosen to give RPE an opportunity to be able to help him get closer to achieving his dream.”
In the co-featured event, Hartford’s (CT) popular Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (3-0, 2 KOs) meets Hansen Castillo (0-2) in the four-round bout to be contested at a 180-pounds catch-weight.
The “New England’s Future 4” undercard features many of the best and most popular N.E. fighters, unbeaten East Hartford (CT) welterweight and 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champion, Anthony Laureano (5-0, 3 KOs), who meets welterweight Clifton Rashad Thames (3-2-1), of Oklahoma City, in a six-round fight.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga makes his pro boxing debut in a four-round bout versus Washington D.C. heavyweight Alando Pugh (1-10-1, 1 KO).
Other undercard fights, all four-rounders, include two-time national champion and hometown favorite, Bobby “BH3” Harris III (1-0), vs. Troy “Omar KO Artist” Artis (3-7-1, 2 KOs), 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (4-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Lawrence (MA), vs. veteran Norwalk (CT) welterweight Shakha Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs), New Haven (CT) Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-6). of Lawrence, at a 150-pounds catch-weight, three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO), of New Haven (CT), vs. Anthony Bowman (11-63-2, 3 KOs). Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) vs. Oscar Diaz (0-12), of Hartford, and Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Alan Beeman (0-15), of Providence.
                                                              
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 the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (elgallojar@gmail.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(anthoneerivera@gmail.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.
Sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usna.com, and American Pyramids.
Part of the proceeds will go to Worcester Latino Dollars For Scholars.
INFORMATION:
Facebook.com/RiveraPromotionsEntertainment
Twitter: @RiveraPromoEnt @joseriverachamp @KingRivera_

Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga to make pro boxing debut On “New England’s Future 4” card

October 28 in Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (September 13, 2017) – Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga will make his professional boxing debutSaturday night, October 26, on the “New England’s Future 4” card, promoted by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 4” (NEF4) is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
Former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), rated No. 6 by the North American Boxing Organization (NABO), headlines against an opponent to be determined in the eight-round main event.
“RPE is excited to have an athlete of Gonzaga’s caliber making his pro debut on our NEF4 boxing event,” promoter Jose Antonio Rivera said. “We are happy that boxers and MMA athletes trust us in terms of what we are trying to do to help them build their careers.”
The 38-year-old Gonzaga teaches Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) in Worcester and lives nearby in Ludlow. Now retired from mixed-martial-arts competition (17-11-0, 7 KOs, 9 SUBs, 1 DEC), the 6′ 2″, 260-pound Gonzaga holds 4th degree black belt in BJJ. The highlight of his MMA career was at the 2007 UFC 70 held in Manchester, United Kingdom, in which he knocked out K-1, Pride and Rizen champion Mirko Cro Copwith a head kick in the opening round, positioning Gonzaga for his unsuccessful challenge of UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture in his next fight.
Gonzaga also defeated Ben Rothwell, Shawn Jordan and Chris Tuchscherer, among the more notable UFC fighters he faced in the Octagon.
“When I first saw Gabriel sparring,” Gonzaga’s trainer Rocky Gonzalez said, “I knew he had potential to beat a lot of heavyweights around. He had a lot going on at that time and he was still under contract with the UFC. Now, it’s a great opportunity for him.”
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (elgallojar@gmail.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(anthoneerivera@gmail.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.
Sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usna.com, and American Pyramids.
Part of the proceeds will go to Worcester Latino Dollars For Scholars.
INFORMATION:
Facebook.com/RiveraPromotionsEntertainment
Twitter: @RiveraPromoEnt @joseriverachamp @KingRivera_

Cruiserweight Vinnie Carita to headline “New England’s Future 4”  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger
Gabriel Gonzaga to make pro boxing debut
October 28 in Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (September 13, 2017) – Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) has formally announced that the fourth and final 2017 installment of its popular professional boxing series, “New England’s Future”, will be held Saturday night,October 28, at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 4” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
Pro boxing returned to the DCU Center this past June for the first time in 11 years, since promoter Rivera defeated Alejandro Garcia, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) World super welterweight title.
Former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), will face an opponent to soon be determined in the eight-round main event. Carita, like promoter Rivera, is a Massachusetts court officer: Carita in the City of Champions, Brockton, and Rivera at home in Worcester.
Fast-rising Worcester fighter Bryan Daniels (5-0, 3 KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against upset-minded Tracey Johnson (4-5-4) in the six-round co-featured event, to be contested at a 206-pound catch-weight.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga will make his pro boxing debut in a four-round match against Washington D.C. heavyweight Alando Pugh (1-10-1, 1 KO). Brazil-born Gonzaga, who lives in and teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Worcester, defeated UFC stars such as Mirko Cro Cop, Ben Rothwell and Chris Tuchscherer during his outstanding mixed-martial-arts career. In 2007, Gonzaga lost his UFC title shot to Hall of Famer Randy Couture in Las Vegas at UFC 74 by way of a third-round technical knockout.
“I am excited with the talent we have been able to put together for our last boxing event of 2017,” promoter Jose Antonio Rivera said. “We are proud to have been able to make our dream of bringing professional boxing back to Worcester. We are working on a few things to make 2018 even bigger and better for RPE. We are grateful to all the boxers who have trusted us to help them progress in their careers. It has been a pleasure working with them and their teams. It has also been a pleasure for us to work with some of the businesses in our City of Worcester that have supported our vision, also helping us raise money for some charities in our community.”
The “New England’s Future 4” undercard features many of the best and most popular N.E. fighters, including 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (4-0, 2 KOs), a promising welterweight from East Hartford (CT). Laureano will be in a six-round match against TBA.
Other undercard fights, all four-rounders, include 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (4-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Lawrence (MA), vs. veteran Norwalk (CT) welterweight Shakha Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs), New Haven (CT) Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-6). of Lawrence, at a 150-pounds catch-weight, Worcester’s Bobby Harris III (1-0) vs. Troy “Omar KO Artist” Artis (3-7-1, 2 KOs) at a 164-pounds catch-weight, three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO), of New Haven (CT), vs. Anthony Bowman (11-63-2, 3 KOs).Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (2-0, 1 KO), of Hartford (CT), vs. Hansen Castillo (0-2), at a 180-pounds catch-weight, Southbridge (MA) junior welterweightvWilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) vs. Oscar Diaz (0-12), of Hartford, and Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Alan Beeman (0-15), of Providence.
                                                            
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 the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (elgallojar@gmail.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(anthoneerivera@gmail.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.
Sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usna.com, and American Pyramids.
Part of the proceeds will go to Worcester Latino Dollars For Scholars.
INFORMATION:
Facebook.com/RiveraPromotionsEntertainment
Twitter: @RiveraPromoEnt @joseriverachamp @KingRivera_