Giovanni Marquez wants to close out what has been an active, successful 2023 with another knockout Friday night.

The unbeaten junior welterweight prospect will encounter a durable opponent, Joshua Rivera, who has only been stopped inside the distance once in 11 professional fights. DAZN will stream the six-round bout between Houston’s Marquez (7-0, 5 KOs) and Rivera (8-3, 3 KOs), of La Mesa, California, as part of “BOX FEST VI,” Red Owl Boxing’s prospect series, from Owl’s Nest in Houston.

“I’m expecting a game opponent,” Marquez told “I know he’s gonna be in shape. I know he’s gonna put pressure. I know he’s durable, but we’ve prepared very well for this opponent and we’re gonna go out there and make another statement. We’re gonna win in dominant fashion.”

The 22-year-old Marquez has put an emphasis in his recent fights on entertaining fans, something his father/trainer, former IBF junior middleweight champ Raul Marquez, has stressed to the 2021 national Golden Gloves champion. The results were second-round stoppages of Nicky Vitone (then 9-2-1) on August 11 and Donte Strayhorn (then 12-4-1) on October 14.

“Giovanni’s last few fights, you know, the matchmakers, the promoters, the managers and all that, they know about boxing,” Raul Marquez told “I know they expected the last two opponents – which was one on DAZN, Nicky Vitone, on the Overtime Boxing platform, and the other one was on the Top Rank platform when he fought here in Fort Bend [Texas], when he fought Donte Strayhorn – those last two guys, they expected for Gio to go rounds with those guys, maybe go the distance. But Gio, you know, he executed his game plan and everything he works on in the gym, and he won by knockout, in impressive fashion.”

The younger Marquez’s development has been aided by sparring against the likes of WBC super featherweight champ O’Shaquie Foster, undisputed lightweight champ Devin Haney and three-division champ Shakur Stevenson. Marquez’s plan for 2024 is to sign with a promoter and to fight five times within the calendar year.

“Giovanni knows that in boxing you’ve gotta entertain,” Raul Marquez said. “And I think in his last two, three fights, he has entertained. He looks for the knockout, and if he doesn’t get the knockout, he’ll beat up his opponent. … I think Giovanni has rose to the occasion every time they’ve put opponents on him that they thought would go more rounds, and Giovanni has got ‘em out of there. That’s what we’re hoping to do Friday with Joshua Rivera.”

Red Owl Boxing’s five-fight stream is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on Friday night. Welterweight prospect Jalil Hackett (7-0, 6 KOs), of Washington, D.C., is scheduled to square off against Adrian Gutierrez (12-1-1, 6 KOs), of Chula Vista, California, in the six-round main event.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.