Patience is the key for undefeated NABF champion Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard, who is preparing to defend his belt as well as fight for the vacant NABO title, Saturday night (May 22) against Carlos “El Rayo” Rivera at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Remillard, rated No. 8 by the World Boxing Council, understands the business of boxing and, at the tender age of 23, he realizes his time will come. “Hey, I’ll fight anybody, anytime,” the WBC’s No. 1 ranked American featherweight said. “I also know everything has to be right to put an undefeated fighter in a big fight — money and television. My opportunity is coming, hopefully within the next year, and I will be ready. I just need to be patient.
“My weight class is filled with action-packed fighters and for me to be rated No. 8 and the top American is an honor. I can’t wait to prove that I belong by fighting a top 10-rated fighter. I leave all that to my promoter (TKO Promotions) and manager (Bret Hallenbeck). If I just continue doing what I’m doing, I’m golden.”
The reigning WBA featherweight champion is Elio “The Kid” Rojas (21-1, 13 KOs) and No. 1 contender Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez (44-4, 32 KOs) faces rival Rafael Marquez for the fourth time May 22 in Los Angeles. The other top rated WBC featherweight contenders ranked ahead of Remillard are, in order, No. 2 Juan Carlos “Miniburgos” Burgos (24-0, 17 KOs), No. 3 Jhonny Gonzalez (43-7, 37 KOs), No. 4 Cholatarn O. Piriyapinyo (33-0, 19 KOs), No. 5 Justin “Le Malin” Savi (24-0, 16 KOs), No. 6 “Doctor” Oleg Yefimovych (18-1, 11 KOs), and No. 7 Daniel Ponce de Leon (39-2, 32 KOs).
Before Remillard gets his career-defining fight, he has to get past Rivera (16-4-2, 5 KOs), a crafty veteran from Florida. “Rivera’s fought some good fighters,” Remillard noted. “He’s tough and always comes to fight. I’m prepared to go all 10 rounds, if needed, and take home both title belts.”
Home, for Matt, is Manchester (CT), not very far from Mohegan Sun. “I’ve built-up a good fan-base fighting in New England and Mohegan Sun has become my second home,” Matt concluded. “It’s a beautiful venue with a great atmosphere and fans have been coming out to watch me and Peter (Manfredo, Jr. who fights Angel Hernandez in the May 22 main event, Remillard-Rivera is the co-feature) fight there. I’m looking forward to fighting there again May 22nd.”