Rival Blog

May 31, 2013

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What lies ahead for The Cobra?

Carl “The Cobra” Froch (31-2, 22KOs) was able to avenge one of only two career losses this past weekend, as he won a thrilling unanimous decision over “The Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler. The hotly contested bout between the two warriors was enhanced by a raucous partisan crowd cheering the hometown favorite Froch at the O2 arena in London, England. With the win, Froch cemented his spot as not only the best Super Middleweight in the world not named Andre Ward, but also as one of the best fighters Pound-For-Pound in the sport. Naturally, the boxing universe is now speculating as to who might be next in line for the 35 year old. We decided to take a stab at it ourselves; Here’s a list of potential opponents who may be crossing paths with Froch in the very near future:

 

Mikkel Kessler (46-3, 35KOs): Trilogies this day in age are a rare occurrence in boxing but one between Froch & Kessler would be welcomed almost unanimously by fans of the sweet science. The first two matchups proved to be extremely close with Kessler of course winning the 1st bout by UD in his home country of Denmark back in 2010. Many felt going into last weekend’s rematch that Froch had surpassed Kessler since their first contest and based on last Saturday’s result in London, you would have to think Froch would be a considerable favorite if they were to meet for a 3rd showdown. The fact that the 34year old Kessler has hinted at retirement plus the difficulty in finding a neutral site for a possible 3rd bout might make the prospect of a trilogy taking place more difficult than anticipated…

 

Andre Ward (26-0, 14KOs): The only non-avenged loss on Froch’s record, Ward is widely recognized as the Super Middleweight Champion of the world and as the best fighter P4P not named Floyd Mayweather. The rematch possibility is intriguing even if Ward won their first fight convincingly. That Super Six Finale back in 2011 took place in Atlantic City and conventional thinking would lead to believe a rematch would have to take place in the United Kingdom in order to entice TV network executives and fans alike. Ward hasn’t fought since September 2012 and probably isn’t willing to go up against Froch in his first fight back from shoulder surgery. Although Ward has not dismissed the idea of traveling to the UK to face Froch, many are skeptical that he’ll agree to it unless the money offered to him is in the high 7 figures… 

 

Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KOs): The 48year old legendary light-heavyweight titlist Hopkins has emerged as a dark horse candidate for Froch’s next foe. Provided Hopkins wins and escapes unscathed against Karo Murat July 13th, a fight with Carl Froch would make sense on several levels; for one, Hopkins has expressed interest in challenging the offensive minded Froch and would consider going to the UK for the fight (where it would generate more money). Hopkins has showed time and time again throughout his career against the likes of Trinadad, Pavlik and more recently Cloud that he still is the master at neutralizing aggressive-come-forward fighters which is what Froch has been labeled as for most of his career. Froch has displayed better boxing ability of late and many would favor him to stop the defensive wizard Hopkins but the wily veteran would certainly do all in his power to prove doubters wrong once more. The fight would most likely have to be contested at a catch weight of 172lbs or so as Froch does not appear to be willing to move up to 175lbs…

 

Other potential opponents include a few UK fighters: light-heavyweight titlelist Nathan Cleverly, Super middleweight contenders George Groves and James DeGale... 

 

Matt Casavant

Congratulations Carl Froch.

Congratulations Carl Froch! Great win! 

Jean Pascal Full Training For Lucian Bute

Jean in Vegas !!!! Training at 50 cents gym.

With Jean Pascal in Las Vegas and Anthonin Decarie in Argentina

Just returned from a two week stay in Vegas with former world light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal as he primes for his upcoming confrontation with former world super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute.

 

In what is promising to be the greatest fight in Canadian boxing history, both Pascal and Bute are preparing hard for their meeting on May 25th here at the Bell Centre in Montreal. While Jean has chosen Las Vegas as his training camp base, Bute has opted for the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.

 

It has been a great camp so far with Jean as he prepares with the help of the great Roy Jones Jr, Luc Vincent Ouellet and Angel Heredia. We spent a lot of time working on skills, conditioning, strategy and biomechanics. Jean has answered remarkably well.

 

Marc Ramsey and I will rejoin the camp upon our return from Argentina on Monday. As you may know we will be in Argentina for this Saturdays card featuring Sergio Martinez as he defends his title against Andrew Murray of the UK. Marc and I will be in the corner of Antonin Decarie as he is the co-feature this weekend on HBO as he takes on Argentina’s power punching Luis Carlos Abregu for the WBC Silver Championship.  Both fights will of course be available in Canada on HBO Canada.

 

Here is hoping for a great performance by Decarie, who rises to the occasion, and here’s looking forward to a continued great camp for Jean Pascal.

A historic moment

This past Saturday marked a historic moment for us here at Rival.

 

The beautiful city of Liverpool, England was the backdrop for the WBC Light-Heavyweight Elimination bout between number 1 ranked Tony “Bomber” Bellew and the number 3 ranked contender the “Wildcat”, Isaac Chilemba.

 

For the first time in our short history, and for the first time on international soil, two boxers faced each other wearing complete Rival attire and the brand new Rival pro fight gloves. As both fighters entered the ring, it was a proud moment for us as the clothes and the gloves looked wonderful.

 

Bellew kitted out in beautiful blue in honor of his favorite football (soccer) team Everton, and Chilemba in his traditional red and gold looked every bit the world class boxers they are as they prepared for the hostilities.

 

It was clear that both fighters took pride in what they wore and we were happy and proud to be able to make it happen for them.

 

Next week, I will be heading south to Las Vegas in order to attend training camp with former light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal as he prepares for his ultimate and massive showdown May 25th against former super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute.

 

At the time of this writing over 15,000 tickets have been sold for this event, which promises to be the biggest showdown in Canadian boxing history.

March 20, 2013

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Reinventing the industry...again

Unbelievably, it has been ten years since Rival emerged as a labour of love.

Driven by a passion for excellence, a commitment to quality, and a love for boxing, Rival made a promise to “reinvent the industry”. Little did we realize how much of an impact we would actually have!

It didn’t take long for Rival’s reputation to shake the industry to its core. One after the other, companies began redesigning their line and their look, in an effort to emulate what we here at Rival were doing. It was becoming crystal clear that our short existence was having a far more powerful impact than we first thought possible.

From our early humble beginnings to now our 10th Anniversary, we are proud of the advancements in equipment that we have attained, and forever grateful to our loyal and knowledgeable customer base. Without you driving us, motivating us and pushing us to get better and better, we would not be saying Happy 10th Anniversary.

The introduction of “d3o” into our boxing gear has made the RB10 Intelli-Shock bag gloves and the RHG10 headgear, two of the most radical pieces of equipment in the world. These two items are unRIVALed in the boxing world!

The introduction of the RHGFS1 headgear has also proven to be more popular than we imagined. A fully protective headgear designed for the rigorous use of world championship level boxing. The full frontal protection headgear is rapidly gaining in popularity for boxers of all levels.

As well, last year we brought you what we believe was the most complete and finest selection of “heavy bags” possible. Once again we strayed from tradition to introduce T.A.R.P. Technology to our heavy bags. Again, the popularity and performance of these bags have far exceeded the response we expected from our customers. From 55 lb. to 250 lb. and including our Universal and Pro Angle bags along with our Muay Thai Banana Bag, Rival heavy bags are in line with our commitment to the highest quality possible and maximum professional performance. Built to last, we defy you to “wear-out” these bags.

Many of you have surely noticed more and more world champions and contenders wearing the improved Rival Guerrero Pro Fight glove. Keeping in mind the desire for horsehair padding in a fight glove, we took a great product and made it even better. We re-worked the design and fit to give you what has been described by some as “the best glove I’ve ever put on”. Fighters like former world champion Jean Pascal, World ranked contenders like Edwin Rodriguez and power punching Keith Thurman, and World Champions like Leo Santa Cruz and Yuriorkis Gamboa have trusted their hands to the new Rival Guerrero Pro Fight glove. Recognized by all as a “Punchers Glove” this piece of equipment continues to be the “Crown Jewel” in our line.

Finally, what is becoming recognized as THE leader in the industry, is Rival’s custom made boxing apparel. From Sergio Martinez to 4 round beginners, Rival apparel has captured the eye and imagination of the boxing world. What started off as a “once in a while” production of clothing has grown into a full time effort and worldwide demand. You can see our amazing and original designs right here, or on our Facebook page. Not only do we take pride in our equipment, but we are even prouder to say that we have the best tailor in the world, bar none!

Finally, these last 10 years would never have been possible without the BEST group of people I could possibly have working to see to your needs day in and day out. More impressively, the staff which started RIVAL a decade ago, is still in place today and still performing beyond expectations. From Julia and Stephanie in customer service to Jocelyn in the design department, the entire RIVAL team is even better than our equipment!

These are just a few examples of the innovations and advancements that we have brought forward in the last ten years, and God-willing we will be bringing many more in the next decade as well.



Russ Anber, President