History was made at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as Oscar Rivas became the first ever WBC bridgerweight champion in a clear points win over Ryan Rozicki.
The new weight class has been created by the WBC in an attempt to bridge the weight difference between light heavyweight and heavyweight, but it is unclear whether other governing bodies will follow suit. The new weight limit is 224 pounds. Rivas is best remembered for a July 2019 losing effort against Dillian Whyte, where he knocked ‘The Bodysnatcher’ down in the ninth, before losing on the cards.
The Columbian based in Canada returned in March this year, scoring a third round retirement win against Sylvera Louis. Unbeaten Rozicki came into this contest as the WBC International Silver cruiserweight champion, and was also coming off a win against Louis in his last outing, a sixth round stoppage win in April. Rivas weighed in for this one 19 pounds heavier than his opposition.
It was expected to be a mis-match, but Rozicki was spirited in his efforts, and turned the fight into what in large parts, was toe to toe action. Rivas was the quicker of the two, and landed the cleaner punches throughout the bout, but Rozicki met him at centre ring, and had his best moments when on the inside of the favourite, which was a dangerous and brutal place to be at times.
Power & size difference evident but a little more pop on his shots/combo’s, he might have made more headway. Jennings deffo has that “more pop” variable but heart, grit? Nah, Rozicki got that in spades. #RivasRozicki #boxing pic.twitter.com/9B1FljxI4E
— Sir Ruiz Hauser Fitzgerald (@SirRHFG) October 23, 2021
The championship rounds were where Rivas pulled away, as Rozicki understandably tired, allowing Rivas to create more space and land cleaner, more eye-catching punches to rubber stamp a historic win. As brave as Rozicki was, he hadn’t done enough should the contest go to the scorecards, which it duly did, even though Rivas was docked a point in the final frame.
Et le TOUT PREMIER champion du monde WBC des super lourds légers…
And FIRST EVER @WBCBoxing Bridgerweight Champion
— Yvon Michel (@yvonmichelGYM) October 23, 2021
A score of 116-111 and two tallies of 115-112 ensured that Rivas became the inaugural champion, who incidentally weighed a pound less than Oleksandr Usyk did in beating Anthony Joshua for various heavyweight titles last month.
Elsewhere, Terry Osias moved to 10-0, taking a six round decision win against Mexico’s Joaquin Murrieta at light heavyweight. Osias took all six rounds on all three scorecards.
🥊🇨🇦 Light Heavyweight Prospect Terry Osias 10-0 defeated Joaquin Murrieta in Montreal
— The13thRound Boxing Boxeo Boxen Boxe Boks TTR (@GifsBoxing) October 23, 2021
Four rounders filled the rest of the card, with all of the bouts going the distance. At super welterweight, Kevin Menoche improved his record to 5-0, but barely scraped past . Two scores of 39-38, and a third at 39-36 gave the Canadian the win. At heavyweight, Alexis Barriere made it four wins from four, but had to hear the final bell for the first time, winning all four rounds against Rafael Abdala Sanchez Rojas. Cruiserweight Francis Charbonneau was a points victor over Alexandre Roberge. Two scores of 39-36, and a third at 40-35, took Charbonneau’s record to 4-1, and improved the result of their original meeting, where he won via split decision.