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Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera

Strong to Finish Because He Eats His Spinach

 Undefeated Hartford Light Heavyweight Prospect Headlines vs. Kevin Cobbs "New England's Future 5" February 10th in Worcester, MA!

(Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera -photo by @Bonesprostudio)

(January 8th) One of the most popular New England boxing prospects, undefeated Hartford (CT) light heavyweight Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (5-0, 4 KOs), will headline his third show Saturday night, February 10, at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.


In the fifth installment of the "New England's Future" series, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), the 27-year-old Rivera meets Kevin "KRAY 2 UNKL" Cobbs (10-2, 4 KOs), fighting out of Burlington (VT), for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England title in the eight-round main event.


Rivera, who was a 2016 Rocky Marciano Tournament champion, is coming off a sensational second-round knockout of 146-fight veteran Roberto Valenzuela this past December 9 in Hampton, New Hampshire.


"I am excited to have Richie boxing for the UBF New England title so early in his pro career,"" said promoter Jose Antonio Rivera, the retired 3-time, 2-division world champion. "This is the third time we've had the privilege of him fighting on one of our cards. He fought in the main event of our last show (Oct.) at the DCU Center. Rivera looks better and sharper every time I watch him fight. I see big things coming for him. He has the tools and discipline a trainer looks for and a boxer needs to become world champion. The sky is the limit for Richard and, for now, we're grateful to play a small part to help develop his professional career."


Rivera has successfully marketed his Popeye persona during his young pro boxing career, wearing a sailor's cap into the ring with a traditional Popeye-like pipe dangling in his mouth. "There are several reasons for my nickname, 'Popeye', but when I was very young," Rivera explained, "I had abnormally large forearms. It just stuck with me through the years, when people referred to me in the gym, so I've run with it. I'm bringing life back to Hartford with patience, all over New England, with patience, perseverance and style. I live in the moment."


Although he didn't win many major awards or tournaments as an amateur boxer, Rivera gained invaluable experience boxing many of the best amateurs in New England and in national events, as well as sparring with the likes of former world champions Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin, Chad Dawson and Joe Smith, Jr. He also learned from time spent in the ring with former title challengers Israel "Pito" Cardona and John Scully.


"I took my time turning pro because I didn't have a support system to get me to the next level," Rivera noted. "I was insecure. The positive feedback I received from fighters I sparred fed into my confidence. Now, in only my sixth pro fight, I will be headlining for the third time, and fighting for my first title. I can't thank the Riveras (Jose and his son, A.J.) enough for what they've done for me. They've believed in me."


At first, Rivera was somewhat reluctant to fight the more experienced Cobb but, after doing some research, he accepted the challenge. "I was a little nervous at first," he admitted. "Some were questioning if I was ready to step up to fight him. I did some research: he didn't have a bigger amateur career, or fought more six or eight rounds fights than me. And I was the sparring partner for the first pro to beat him, Tyron Burris (TKO2 in 2012). I'm ready! I'm 27 and need a fight like this."


Worcester's two-time national amateur champion Bobby "BH3" Harris, III meets Brazilian middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8-1) in the four-round co-featured event.


Fighting on the undercard in four-round bouts are Worcester featherweight Ranse Andino (1-0) vs. Alex Montes (1-2-1), of Lawrence (MA), Danbury (CT) welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Puerto Rican invader Alexander "El Bravo" Picot (2-4-1), Southbridge (MA) welterweight Wilfredo "El Sucaro" Pagan (3-0, 1 KO) vs. pro-debuting Nick Peralta, of Lawrence, undefeated Springfield (MA_ light heavyweight Ray "Bazooka" Graceski (5-0, 3 KOs). vs. Nathan Schulte (0-4), of Woburn (MA), Hartford junior middleweight Jose "Rated R" Rivera (4-1, 3 KOs) vs. Eean Chappell (0-1-1), Springfield welterweight Derrick "Double Impact" Whitley (2-0) vs. Roger Blankenship (1-2) and Worcester's two-time national amateur champion Bobby "BH3" Harris, III vs. Philadelphia middleweight Greg Tomas (1-10).


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 or the Palladium box office (general admission only), or by contacting Jose Rivera (, AJ Rivera ( or any of the fighters.


Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout 7 p.m. ET.


ABOUT RIVERA PROMOTION AND ENTERTAINMENT (RPE): Founded in 2017, Worcester, MA-based RPE is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion, RPE CEO/promoter Jose Antonio Rivera, and his son, RPE president/matchmaker Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera. RPE's philosophy is to give young, local fighters a platform to develop and showcase their boxing skills.

(December 26, 2017) -- The popular "New England's Future" series, promoted by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), returns with its fifth installment on Saturday night, February 10, at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Undefeated Hartford (CT) prospect Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (5-0, 4 KOs) takes on Kevin "KRAY 2 UNKL" Cobbs (10-2, 4 KOs) for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England title in the eight-round main event.


Rivera, 27, was a 2016 Rocky Marciano Tournament champion. The entertaining Rivera is coming off a sensational second-round knockout of 146-fight veteran Roberto Valenzuela this past Dec. 9 in Hampton, New Hampshire.


Fighting out of Burlington, VT, Cobbs hasn't fought since January 19, 2016, when he lost to rising star David Benavidez.


In the six-round co-featured event, New Haven (CT) super middleweight Elvis Figueroa (3-0, 1 KO) steps up to fight former New England super middleweight champion Vladine Biosse (15-7-3, 7 KOs).


The 21-year-old Figueroa is a three-time USA Boxing Nationals Championship gold medalist. The battle-tested Biosse, fighting out of Providence by way of Cape Verde, is a former college football player who has notable victories against Joey Spina and Santiago Samaniego, as well as an eight-round draw with Peter Manfredo, Jr. in his last fight on May 13, 2016.


"I am excited to have our second year is starting with a bang featuring these great up-and-coming boxers willing to be battle tested so early in their respective careers," promoter Jose Antonio Rivera said. "It shows they are serious about their careers and that they also have the right attitude needed to become world champion. I am also excited about our great undercard that is going to provide an action-packed night of boxing for fans."

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