By Rich Quiñones (Ringside Commentator)
In what should be an entertaining main event feature Friday, undefeated featherweight prospect Kevin “K-Smoov” Rivers tangles with Karl Garcia-Rios in a six-round contest on a stacked card promoted by Keytsone Boxing at the Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Maryland.
The 24-year-old Rivers, has had a quiet 2014 campaign and this will mark just his second fight of the year.
He is coming off an impressive six-round unanimous decision win over Xavier Montelongo back in June. Going into the contest the native of Landover, Maryland knew that Montelongo was not going to be an easy bout, nor would he roll over.
“Xavier is a good oppoent,” said Rivers exclusively to On “Q” Sports Tuesday. “He fought the fight the way he was suppose to fight. When you have a figther like that who is in and out, instead of me going for the knockout, I went in there for the victory. I was not pressing for the KO and at the end of the day I just wanted to get in there and get the victory.”
It is rare for a young featherweight to have KO power, but Rivers’ possessions it. He has six ko’s in nine pro fights, with two have ended in the first round. He can not only box, but he can bang, but he fights like a veteran in the ring depsite not have a seen a ton of action this year.
Rivers has not spoken about why he was inactive in 2014, but he does believe he would have had four or five more fights added to his resume by now and believes consistency is the key to a young boxer’s growth.
“Yeah to an extant. I had long layoff, had it not been for that layoff I would be 12 or 13-0 right now. I would like to get two to three fights per year, not slow down.”
As for Friday’s opponent, Rivers respects him but does not have much of a scouting report on him.
“I do not know much about him, he is decent enough and I know he has trained hard for this fight. I have trained hard for this fight and I am ready to win. I am prepared to do what I need to do to excute my plan.”
Garcia-Rios (4-2-1 Ko) from Bayamon, Puerto Rico is coming off a split-decision win over Pedro Vicente back in March and in the process handed Vicente his first loss as a pro. Rios will also be making his entrance into the ring with one of the all-time greats in his corner and considered one of the best “little men” in boxing to lace them up in three-time World Champion Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon, who is a hero in his native of PR.
He is currently Rios’ head trainer and both men know they will be walking into a hostile enviroment when they stroll practically into River’s backyard, which the former national amateur champ knows will be to his advantage.
“I love it, I loved it in the ammys but fighting in front of the home crowd it is a beautiful thing,” he gushed.
At just 24, Rivers seems to be more mature than his age would indictate and perhaps the inactivity has given him a deeper perspective and understanding about boxing but more importantly himself.
“I am focused. From my amateur experience I have been fighting for 16 years, the older and more mature I get as a person I understand things. I can sit down and see things more through now. When you are young and you get in the ring, you just throw punches, but as you get older you are more focused on preparing yourself better and going out there and excuting. I am going in there and taking care of business as usual and come back home with the win.”
With that mentality and renewed focus, Rivers is poised to have a break out 2015, which is a scary thought to other hot prospects out there.
Rich Quiñones is an award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is the lead blow-by-blow Boxing voice for GFL.tv and Go Fight Live’s Boxing on Comcast. He has sat ringside calling the action with Monte Barrett, Brian Adams, Amir Mansour, Danny Garcia, James Kirkland, Mark Breland, Ronnie Shields, Teddy Atlas and Lou DiBella, while broadcasting over 200 bouts for GFL in 2013-2014.
He called the 87th Annual New York Daily News Golden Gloves Finals in April, 2014 for Broadway Boxing, and recently called the first ever all-female pro card in North American history in Canada.
Rich is also the lead blow-by-blow voice for Joe Hand’s “Tuesday Night Fights” Boxing series in Philadelphia and created “Against The Ropes” on his sponsored Youtube channel.
Rich is also a contributor to Ringnews24.com and Boxing Let’s Talk. He has also handled calling the action for “Take On” Muay Thai and is exclusive lead blow-by-blow voice for CFFC MMA.