Oscar Rivas will return home to Colombia to defend his WBC bridgerweight title on Aug. 13 in Cali, facing unbeaten Polish fighter Lukasz Rozanski.
The fight was announced today in Bogota at a press conference.
Rivas (28-1, 19 KO) is sort of the ideal of what the “bridgerweight” division is meant to be, a six-foot tall heavyweight who can make that 224 lb maximum limit without much trouble, and was probably fighting heavy for years weighing in the mid-230s on the scales for heavyweight bouts.
The 34-year-old was a 2008 Olympian and is a good boxer, but his heavyweight ceiling was pretty low. His biggest win came in 2019 against former title challenger Bryant Jennings, before a loss six months later to Dillian Whyte in London, a fight where Rivas was competitive and dropped Whyte, but lost the majority of the bout.
“I have three dreams I want to realize before the end of my boxing career,” Rivas said. “I want to establish myself as the absolute best bridgerweight fighter, defend my title in Colombia, and become world heavyweight champion.”
“Bridgerweight” has yet to really gain a foothold, though, and it may never quite do so, particularly in the United States. Rivas won the first-ever title fight last October, beating late sub opponent Ryan Rozicki in Montreal. It was a good fight, and there’s no reason a division like this can’t churn out some good action, but there just was not actually any call for boxing to have yet another weight class.
Rozanski (14-0, 13 KO) is a 36-year-old fighter who has mostly fought at about the same weights Rivas did, has about the same dimensions in terms of height and reach, and faced countryman Artur Szpilka in May 2021 in a “bridgerweight” fight, stopping the faded Szpilka in the first round.
“I’m highly motivated and in the best shape of my life,” Rozanski said. “I have what it takes to win this fight.”
Rivas had previously been tied to a June fight against Evgeny Romanov (16-0, 11 KO), who was his mandatory challenger, and may still be, but apparently that’s not happening next. Romanov, 36, last beat Dmitry Kudryashov, also in May 2021, in a 224 lb max bout in Russia.