Heard of Power Slap? An Oahu native is emerging as its top star
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii has produced a number of star fighters over the years and now there’s another contender making a name for himself.
Russel Kainoa Rivero was born and raised in Ewa Beach and moved to Texas a couple of years ago to be closer to family. The 30-year-old is a longtime kickboxer, but found Power Slap through a friend.
It’s an emerging promotion led by Ultimate Fighting Championship head Dana White.
“The UFC made this, so I going try, see what happen ― was just for do ‘em and then ended up coming one big thing and blow up fast,” Rivero explained. “So was pretty awesome.”
The format is simple: Two competitors take turns trading haymakers until the other is knocked out or gives up.
Rivero’s strategy is all business.
“I trying knock you out with every swing,” Rivero said. “I not trying play with you. I trying connect one time and put you down.”
In a matter of months, Rivero’s become one of the promotion’s most popular strikers.
For him and most of his colleagues, this is only a side venture.
Rivero is a commercial electrician by trade.
“The hours I work right now is super crazy,” Rivero said. “I work 10-12 hour days like six days a week. When I get home, I lift weights fast kine maybe like hour, hour half. That’s it most of the time.”
Later this month, Rivero gets a crack at some hardware when he fights for the world light heavyweight championship. He prefers to train solo, but is fueled by an immense support system back in the islands.
“You from Hawaii, we all stick together,” Rivero said.
“That’s solid for know I get everybody standing behind me. Win, lose, or draw, we bang them all.”
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