At the age of 22, Jean is a four-year pro. A prospect at 126 pounds, he is one of the top young prospects from Puerto Rico. Before his debut, he was an amateur standout.
He stayed active with three fights in 2015, four in 2016, and four in 2017. He has had three fights scheduled for eight rounds and has gone the full eight-round distance one time.
Jean stepped up to 10-round status for the first time in his last fight on July 14 in New Orleans and won by first-round knockout against Angel Luna.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Puerto Rican featherweight prospect Jean Carlos Rivera, of Orlando, Florida, stormed past Angel Luna of the Dominican Republic, stopping him in just 82 seconds of their scheduled 10-rounder.
Rivera nailed Luna with a clean left hook in the opening seconds of the fight and he never recovered. Rivera continued to pound him until he went down under heavy fire and [the] referee waved it off. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Jean said, “The fight went way easier than I expected. I was prepared to fight 10 hard rounds if necessary.
“I’ve been training very hard and now I want to take on bigger challenges. I want to face world-ranked fighters. “I’m ready to step up my competition.”
In an earlier interview, Jean said, “I train at Lopez Boxing Gym here in Orlando, Florida. We’ve got a couple of pros in the gym around my weight class or a little heavier and we usually spar each other. We have other friends who are pro boxers and amateur boxers, and they come and help us out before fights.
“My style – I’m more of an old-style Puerto Rican fighter. I move and use angles, but I switch up if I have to – if the fight is toe-to-toe, I’ll fight toe-to-toe. I do whatever I have to do to win, but mostly I’m a boxer.”
Regarding his nickname, he said, “The first week that I was in the gym with my trainer, we were doing the mitts. He felt my power and just started calling me Chapito – Little Chapo.”
In an earlier interview, trainer Alex Lopez said, “I’ve trained Jean since he was 11 years old and my wife, Miriam, is his manager.
“We named him ‘Chapito.’ I grew up in the gym in Puerto Rico with Edwin Rosario, the lightweight champion of the world, and his nickname was ‘Chapo.’ I fought as an amateur and I used to train with Rosario in the gym. I also started training fighters at a young age, and I helped train Rosario when I was younger, too. I also trained with Wilfredo Vazquez, Juan Nazario – they were all world champions.
“Jean is similar to Rosario – he can box and he can crack with both hands. He’s a natural-born puncher, just like Chapo was, so we named him Chapito – Little Chapo.
“This kid was born to be great.”