In his last fight, Nov. 3, at the Washington Convention Center, fighting as a junior lightweight, Rivers scored a first round knockout against Bobby “The Prodigy” Wooten of Wilson, North Carolina, in just 31 seconds with a single punch.
“I trained hard for the fight, but Kevin caught me with a body shot, I underestimated Kevin, he’s a good power counter puncher,” Wooten told Skip Crumpler, a trainer from Wilson, North Carolina, after the fight.
Monday through Friday, Kevin runs, trains, spars, does sit-ups and jumps rope. He’s only been knocked down once. He said using steroids is not an option and that he has no weaknesses. “I know a lot about boxing and I keep a good mindset,” he said.
He said he appreciates his trainers, Bernard Roach, Roach’s brother and Dale Savoy, and he routinely studies tapes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather.
On March 2, Rivers will fight Antonio Sanchez. Rivers said that right now he knows little about Sanchez, whose record is 1-0-1, but “I want to make sure I’m ready.”
Aggressive in the ring, outside Rivers is a cool, but very ambitious guy. While his father was well-known in the streets, the younger Rivers prefers a lower profile and has developed a career plan. In two to three years, he anticipates being a top contender and, ultimately, a Hall of Fame inductee. After he retires from the game, Rivers said he wants to open a business and give back to the community.
He regularly hangs out with relatives and supports their efforts, recently attending a high school fashion show in which a family member participated.
He said his parents Cheryl Wallace and Kevin Rivers, Sr., are supportive of his efforts and he has sought to stay on the right path, becoming and remaining an honor roll student throughout school and he continues to focus on his Bible studies.
“Kevin knows right from wrong, I do not bother him, I give advice when needed, and I thank God for giving me the strength to be present,” said Kevin Sr., now a driver for Metro Access, the transit system’s service for the elderly and disabled.
The younger Rivers said he is honored to be a part of the Palmer Park tradition.
“It’s a great feeling to carry on the torch from Palmer Park and sign autographs.”