GI Boxer Ready for Golden Glove Nationals

By: Dan Koob Email
By: Dan Koob Email

"Yes, he can win Nationals. He can go up there and hurt somebody," said Frank Rodriquez.

At only 17, Oliver Rivera has already boxed his way to two National Championship competitions.

The Grand Island Junior went to the Golden Gloves Tournament last year after appearing in only five fights.

Now, armed with a year's worth of matches, he's also carrying 30 less pounds after fighting at 210lbs.

"After that I just started losing weight the whole summer, just because I knew that weight class was way to big. I was watching 178lb and thought 'yeah this would be better for me." he said.

The dedication has not gone unnoticed.

"Since I've seen him he's really improved, really gotten better. He's gonna go places, he's a good boxer," said Zach Ohlman, a fellow boxer at Frank's Gym on Elm Street.

"You'll see a more skillful fighter, he moves ahead, he pivots. You'll see an amazing fighter [at Nationals]," said Rodriquez, Rivera's trainer for the past year.

Oliver will go to Las Vegas for the Golden Gloves Championship on April 30th. When he does, he'll be looking to bring home a National Championship to Nebraska.

Talking to Rivera, you will not get much trash talk out of him. He'd rather let his fists do his jawing for him.

But what he will not say, his trainer will.

Including whether or not Rivera will win the tournament.

"Oh definitely, because he's a lot smoother, he's quicker. He's more of an upstairs fighter instead of being a brawler. He knows what he's doing."

What he's doing is going to Vegas with one goal in mind.
We're gonna do well," Rodriquez said. "We're gonna do very well, we're gonna take the boot to someone."

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