Kevin Rivers Jr. is inspirational, God fearing, humble and undefeated!
By: Rehan Staton
Kevin Rivers Jr is one of the most highly decorated prospects in the fight game right now. In 2009, he was ranked No. 1 as amateur and represented the United States multiple times. He won almost every major amateur boxing tournament he was in, earning a highly impressive amateur record of 150 wins with 10 loses. Rivers turned pro in 2012 and is undefeated with a record of 12-0 with 9 wins coming by way of knock out. We had a chance to sit down with Rivers to ask him many questions about his career and aspirations.
What age did you start boxing?
I started boxing at 9 years old.
What outside influences inspired you to begin boxing?
Boxing is in my blood. I come from a boxing family, my father and my uncles; I have 3 uncles that box. I had no choice but to do it! It’s in the blood line. I also play football and basketball but boxing has always been number one and stood out to me. I was 9 years old when I started but I was 5 years old when I told my father I wanted to become champion of the world. It was always in me, it was always something I wanted to do.
Who is your favorite boxer?
Sugar Ray Leonard. That is my man, especially because he is from my home town Palmer Park, Maryland. He is a true fighter!
Your biggest inspiration as a boxer?
Becoming a World Champion has become my biggest inspiration. Because like I said, at 5 years old I understood that was something I wanted to do and I was like, I want that world title right there! At 5 years old that’s big for a kid. My father took it as a joke but I just kept telling him; that’s what I want. I want that world title! So that was just one of my biggest inspirations to get that world title.
What would you say would be your most memorable amateur fight?
My most memorable fight was in 2009, before the U.S. championships. I fought this guy, the dude was tough, he was knocking everybody out. I was losing at first and I was about to get disqualified, but something told me in the inside and said go get this dude. Second round I came out blazing, third round came out blazing and fourth round you know, I finished it off and got that decision. And of course the finals, I won that. But that has to be the most memorable fight, the guy was tough, great atmosphere and I had the fight down to get that money man.
So what was the name of that tournament?
The USA championship, that’s the biggest USA amateur tournament.
You won so many tournaments as an amateur which one was the most valuable for you?
The USA championship; that was my favorite one.
When did you know you wanted to go pro?
At the time when I said I wanted to be champion of the world I didn’t know what it would take to get there. But as I started boxing, when I started winning, but you know I had a couple of loses, but most of the time I won and as I got older. I realized the game of boxing, you can make money from it and you can get the more recognition from it and when you do turn pro, the belts and everyone gonna look at you like Mayweather and Pacquiao and I want that. At age 15 I knew that’s what I really wanted to do. At 22-23 that’s when I turned pro and I’ve been rolling ever since.
So, with that status now, do you have a most memorable pro fight?
My most memorable pro fight would be my first fight. I got a couple of headbutts, that’s my first time really getting headbutts and that stuff ain’t no joke. That was a learning experience. I had to fight through the adversity. Getting headbutted, that ain’t no joke, it can either make you tough or break you. It made me tough, it made me go down there and get that. That’s one pro fight I will mess with for a while, it was a tough fight. It was a unanimous decision. We went four rounds for 3 minutes, it was a good fight for me. A really good fight, and through all the people who thought it was a bad fight for me to take, I was able to take it and win victoriously. And that’s a memorable moment too.
How did it feel getting promoted by Golden Boy? Was that a dream come true for you?
It’s an awesome feeling, and at the same time it’s a humbling feeling because from what I worked for all my career, it’s showing that it’s finally paying off. Golden Boy will help get that title shot and so, they work for the best champions.
With you racking up so many wins in impressive fashion, when do you expect to step up in competition?
Each fight is a step up for me, it’s like I’m fighting guys who get picked off the streets. I’m fighting people who actually come to fight. They might have a couple of loses here and there but at the end of the day they come and they put in a couple of good shots.
Who’s your favorite fighter, fighting right now?
I like Triple G, but first I liked David Lemieux and Roman Gonzalez. And I do of course I like Mayweather he’s the best boxer out there right now and Andre Ward.
So I gotta ask since you said it, who do you got in the Triple G vs. Lemieux fight?
I gotta go with my boy Lemieux man. I love Lemieux man.
Is there anything you do outside of boxing for your free time?
I work from 9 to 5 and at night I go to the gym. And I gotta go condition but boxing is first, but then on my free time I like to spend time with my family. I’m not the type to go out in the club and party and turn up – I be turned down most of the time. I be chilling back and laying down with my little son. I got a son on the way and I be chilling with my girl. We just chilling man, lay back.
How has boxing impacted your life?
Boxing has impacted and saved my life. Boxing has impacted my life because without boxing, you know that’s all it is… boxing took over all the sports. Boxing helped me with discipline, it teaches you things like determination, dedication, and stuff that you need and how to treat people and how to talk to people and how to respect people. These are things boxing teaches you, and this is great, not for myself, but for many people. Just to stay in shape, it’s good for you. So you know, boxing is good for me because it got me to the place where I am at in my life right now. With all the people who come and go in my life it’s because of boxing.
One thing you want your fans to know about yourself?
Thank God first, and everything goes next. I live by the scripture and without God you’re nothing. That’s what I want my fans to know and I love y’all. I love everybody. And put God first and you’ll make it through.
So, the next one is October 3rd Carson, California?
Yea, I’m on the Lucas Matthysse undercard.
Thank you for speaking with me, it was a great honor.
No problem it was a blessing speaking with you, thank you.
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