Cosme ‘Chino’ Rivera: “I’m 120% ready for Zab Judah!”
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (May 11, 2005)  
Photo © Mr.Will/
Hard hitting welterweight Cosme Rivera, 28-7-2 (20), is locked and loaded to face the ‘Super’ one Zab Judah, 33-2 (24), on May 14th on HBO PPV. The fight veteran is more than ready to prove he is the man of the hour, and a victory over the stinging southpaw would prove so. The twenty-eight year old Mexican fighter is ready to come out of the shadows and emerge into greatness and his team wants the boxing world to know that ‘Chino’ is going to knock Judah’s butt out!

In 1993 the sixteen year old Rivera set out to carry on a long standing tradition of proud Mexican fighters, but it was two years before he would find victory, banging out a draw in his debut and dropping his second bout to points. But the saying ‘the third time is a charm’ proved correct when he won by points to get his first win. Apparently he liked the taste of victory so the young Cosme went on to knockout his next six opponents, stopping four in the opening round. In 1996 the nineteen-year-old Rivera stepped in with the undefeated Luis Ugalde, 7-0 (5), for the Baja California State lightweight title and twelve rounds later he strapped on the belt.

Ten fights later Cosme successfully made his American debut challenging and then beating Hector Quiroz for his WBO NABO light welterweight title. After winning more battles and being avoided by the ‘BIG’ name fighters, Cosme traveled out to England to find some foothold and get recognition. Ten rounds later the former unbeaten James Hare was out and Cosme Rivera was in with the WBF welterweight title. Two knockout victories later Cosme finally gets what he wants, Zab Judah!

Cosme, who is known for his precise punching, has never been knocked out in 276 rounds of fighting. Longtime successful trainer Jimmy Montoya, who has trained numerous Mexican world champions, has a lot of faith in his fighter and believes he will stop Judah to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. Doghouse caught up with Jimmy Montoya and his highly touted welterweight sensation Cosme Rivera during a much deserved break from their training camp to give their thoughts on Judah, the past and certainly their future, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: First I want to say thank you for taking the time out of your training to discuss your upcoming fight for the Doghouse readers. For starters, give us your thoughts on your upcoming bout against Zab Judah.

Cosme Rivera:
Thank you for waiting for me, I’m not going to talk too much but I feel that I’m going to shut Judah up. This is a lifetime opportunity for me.

BH: How has your training been for this match-up?

I’m not a 100%, I’m 120% ready, and I’ve never trained this hard before and I am more prepared than ever.

BH: Is there anything that you and Cosme are working on special for this bout?

Jimmy Montoya:
Not necessarily, the guy is shorter that’s all. I’ve had fifteen world champions of my own including three left handers, so I know how to work with a southpaw so this isn’t a big thing, it is a very simple situation here.

BH: Zab has proven to be one tough customer through out his nine years as a pro fighter and has only lost twice out of thirty-six bouts, so do you see anything in Judah that you can use against him and capitalize on to give him three losses?

First of all I am a lot taller than Zab Judah, and the record they show is deceiving, my real record is 44-7. I got a lot of experience, I’m a very intelligent fighter inside, I can box, I can punch and I can get it on. It doesn’t make any difference what Judah wants to do, I will figure him out.

BH: All fighters have their strengths and weaknesses, so looking at Judah what would be the strengths in Judah’s style that you think could possibly give you the most trouble in this fight?

I know how to use the ring, I know how to get my opponents within in my reach and Judah has never fought a guy as tough as me. I’m not just any ordinary little Mexican coming, I can fight, either way I can do anything and I know I am stronger than Zab. I don’t think he has a hard enough punch to mess with me.

BH: Out of your thirty-seven bouts, which has been your toughest one?

The one against Gomez in Mexico City, I knocked him out and he had never lost a fight and I wasn’t even ready for that fight.

BH: Out of all your bouts which do you feel has been your best performance?

When I fought Hector Quiroz, I was very comfortable and I felt good and that was one of my best fights.

BH: Looking at yourself as a fighter, what do you feel is your best quality?

I got good qualities as a fighter because as you know a lot of fighters are the same way from rough areas. I feel great and I bang great. I just feel that I am too strong for Judah at this point.

BH: You have stated, and this was your exact quote, “I’m one of the greatest Mexican fighters of all-time, right there with Chavez and Carlos Palomino, and I’ll prove it against Judah.” In your opinion what makes you one of the top all time greatest Mexican fighters?

Because I can box, punch and fight, I have never been given the credit. There are a lot of people who will not fight me. If guys were #1, #2 or #3 they would back away from me. The promoters never wanted to give a chance. I had to earn this chance I went to England to fight, I didn’t get the chance I earned it. That proved to people that I could fight.

BH: Are you guys making any predictions for this bout?

Jimmy Montoya:
No, I wouldn’t even let him do that. As a trainer I am the kind of guy who won’t say anything until the first round on and then I will correct him, that is our strategy.

BH: Is there anything you guys would like to add to this interview, or let’s say if Judah was reading this what would you say?

I don’t want to say nothing, Judah talks a lot of crap and come May 14th let him speak in the ring and not speak with his mouth, but with his hands.

Jimmy Montoya: The only thing that I am going to say is we are knocking his ass out! I have never predicted anything, not even with Camacho. With this kid I am because I feel that way. I say that and people say come on man, this is Zab Judah, I say this kid may not be known but he can fight. I have had a lot of world champions and I am high on this kid because he can fight.

Cosme Rivera in the Rankings:
#10 WBC
#5 WBA
#1 IBF
#8 Ring Magazine
#8 IBA

Rivera’s Accomplishments: Former IBA Americas, WBF, WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion ex-WBO NABO, UBF International, Baja California State light welterweight champion.

Cosme is managed by Grant Elvis Phillips, trained by Jimmy Montoya and promoted by Guilty Boxing.

I want to thank Bob Trieger of for setting up another interview for the Doghouse, it is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Jimmy Montoya for his help in this interview and translation and a special thank you to Cosme Rivera for taking time out of his training to give his thoughts to the Doghouse.
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