Oscar Rivas Defeats Ryan Rozicki By UD; Earns WBC Bridgerweight Title

Oscar Rivas Becomes the Inaugural WBC World Bridgerweight Champion

Inaugural WBC bridgerweight champion Oscar Rivas at weigh-in for fight with Ryan Rozicki
Oscar Rivas

Oscar Rivas Becomes the Inaugural WBC World Bridgerweight Champion


At the Olympia Theatre, Montreal, Canada, history will be made as Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas faces Ryan “The Bruiser” Rozicki for the newly created WBC world bridgerweight title.

Many may ask, what is the bridgerweight? It’s a new division created by the WBC. It lies between the cruiserweight and heavyweight, with the division weight limit of 224 pounds.

Rivas made a name for himself when he stopped former world heavyweight title challenger Bryant Jennings in January 2019. Next up was a match against WBC interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte back in July 2019. Despite putting down Whyte in the ninth round, he ended up losing by unanimous decision. Since, the 34-year-old from Cali, Colombia has been plagued by inactivity. Ranked first by the WBC, this is his chance for world title glory.

He faces a Ryan Rozicki that is relatively unknown outside of his home country. The 26-year-old from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada is a natural cruiserweight. Ranked 15th by the WBC, his resume looks pretty thin, with no recognizable names on his pro resume. However, the one noticeable thing is that all of his previous wins have come by stoppage.

Rivas is the naturally bigger man who outweighed Rozicki by nearly 20 pounds at the weigh-in. An intriguing backdrop will come into play as far as who is the crowd’s favorite. While Rozicki is a native Canadian, Rivas has based his professional career in the Quebec province of Canada, with most of his fights happening in Montreal.

LOOKING FOR A FIGHT

Both men opened the fight in the center of the ring, blasting away. You would think the smaller Rozicki (13-1, 13 KOs) would be more apt to fight at a distance. However, he loves a good tear-up and rarely takes a backward step. He paid for his bravado as Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs) hurt him with a left hook/right-hand combination at the end of round one.

However, the second and third rounds saw Rozicki do an excellent job, drawing Rivas into his kind of fight. He was more active, forcing his naturally larger opponent to fight on the back foot. Along the way, he was tagging Rivas with big right-hands and left hooks to the head and body.

NON-STOP ACTION

This toe-to-toe battle continued into the middle rounds. Rivas continued to land power punches but less infrequently. What was surprising was his shots didn’t hurt Rozicki to the same degree as in the early rounds.

The Montreal crowd was on its feet in the championship rounds. Rivas adjusted by creating distance and letting Rozicki fall into his shots. However, the fighter from Nova Scotia continued to fight with determination and grit until the final bell.

In the end, all three judges scored the fight for Rivas (116-111, 115-112×2), who now becomes the inaugural WBC world bridgerweight champion. From this reporter’s vantage point, this contest was closer than the official scores indicated. That aside, it was a nip-and-tuck war that was surprisingly good and will go down as one of the better fights of 2021.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2037 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.