T&T's boxer Lorissa Rivas is set to clash with veteran Guyanese fighter Gwendoline O’Neil for the vacant WBC heavyweight title, September 28 at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Saith Park in Chaguanas.
Rivas, 37, who resides in the United States has been on the comeback trail lately and has had two victories last year to jumpstart her return. Her clash with O'Neil, who is also known as affectionately 'Big Red' will be the first WBC female heavyweight clash to take place on local soil.
At a press conference to announce Rivas' opponent for the fight, promoter Amanda Potts said O’Neil is no stranger to success, with a record of 19 wins, with seven by way of knock out, seven losses and two draws.
"She has won many World titles for her country and she has been well awarded. Her government gave her a house, land and $5 million as a reward for her achievements," the young Potts, who has been following in the footsteps of her father Boxu Potts, said.
She described O'Neil as a very dogged, in-your-face fighter, who will be a very formidable opponent, who has won many titles, such as WIBA Light Heavyweight World Title, WIBA Heavyweight World Title, GBU Heavyweight World Title and UBF heavyweight world title. She has also had the opportunity of fighting the likes of Laila Ali.
"She is re-writing history just as George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins, fighting late in their careers. We can also make mention of Diana Nyad, a 64-year-old woman who swam from Cuba to Florida. So we have to respect these athletes when they go through the rigours of preparing their body and attempting to get in a ring to make their country proud," the junior Potts explained.
Only recently Rivas and her team received the support of the office of the Prime Minister, through a handsome $75, 000. And Potts, so appreciative of the initiative, said she wants to repay with a win, however, he called on corporate T&T to come on board and make this historic victory happen.
The fight will be the featured bout of the card. it will also include a clash between Prince-Lee Isidore and Emmanuel Herrera for the RBO International lightweight title as the co-main bout.
Also on the card: Yuray Cisenero Precal will be up against Aron Williams: Kevon Diaz versus Leon Dover: Joel McRea facing Nigel 'Cow' Edwards and former T&T heavyweight champion Kertson Manswell up against Elvis de Jesus Garcia.
According to Potts "We are aware from Rivas’ camp that O’Neil is a more difficult opponent than Annie Mazerolle. We have to change our game plan, as she’s going to be a much more busy fighter, and she’s going to give more angles. It is our knowledge she
has been in training for the past year."