WBC light welterweight world champion Oscar Rivas and the GYM Group have had a nasty trick played on them as they seek to present a title defense in Colombia in recent months. Story of a script for a bad movie.
Meet in a restaurant in Laval, Rivas (28-1, 19 K.-O.), his agent Stéphane Lépine and its promoter Yvon Michel have decided to recount the setbacks of their project, which has been canceled or postponed several times.
After winning his world title, Rivas cherished the dream of defending his belt in Colombia. However, the dream quickly turned into a nightmare within a few weeks.
Last summer, Yvon Michel organized a boxing card with a certain Juan Carlos Moreno. Everything was to be presented on August 13 at the Pascual-Guerrero Stadium. The opponent was to be the Polish Lukasz Rozanski who was the second contender in the WBC ranking.
“Initially, we concluded an agreement in March for a fight in June, said Yvon Michel. However, Oscar was injured during his fight against Ryan Rozicki and he had to undergo surgery.
“So we postponed the fight to August 13. During this period, Moreno had to make deposits with the World Boxing Council (WBC) to secure our agreement. Oscar was to receive the best scholarship of his career.”
From that point on, things got worse. Moreno made several promises to Michel and his boxer that he did not keep.
“Before we went to Colombia for the press conferences in Bogota and Cali in April, he sent us bank proof. We thought everything would be fine.
“We went to meet journalists and political authorities. We went to visit the stadium. Everything seemed normal at first glance.
“After a few weeks, we realized that the money had not been deposited in the WBC account. We were a month away from the fight.”
Rivas then became skeptical of the situation. He is aware of the long tradition of fraud and corruption in his country.
“I felt something was wrong when we went there,” Rivas said. It was strange at the hotel. It was cheap and we didn't have the transportation we needed.”
Afterwards, Moreno arranged to meet GYM vice-president Alexandra Croft and a representative of the WBC in Miami to rectify its situation. Again, he fails claiming that he was stuck in US customs due to COVID-19.
“We then cancel the gala of August 13, specifies Michel. He told me it was because of Jennifer Lopez who was scheduled to perform on the same night. We tell him we don't want to know anything more.”
A left-field investor
Moreno had not said his last word. He finds a very wealthy investor according to him. Oscar Rivas hires a lawyer to check on this mysterious businessman.
“Moreno is a fraudster and a manipulator, adds Michel. On the other hand, after our research, everything was in line with the businessman he brought into the project.
“We then tried to organize the duel in Barranquilla for November 5th. At the end of August, the businessman, who is a multimillionaire, is dissatisfied. Due to another postponement of the duel, he decided to withdraw from the adventure.
To date, Moreno has still not reimbursed the expenses of Rivas and the GYM Group as originally planned. We are talking about a few tens of thousands of dollars.
Despite all these ups and downs, the project is not dead. There is now talk of a fight in June 2023, but the WBC has to give its approval.
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128