PBC/Showtime Announce Compelling Rivera-Martin Clash
As we draw closer to the end of 2o22 PBC and Showtime made official Tuesday that a battle of up and coming lightweights, Michel Rivera and Frank Martin, will headline for them in mid-December.
Showtime had more here:
“Rising undefeated lightweight contenders Michel “La Zarza Ali” Rivera and Frank “The Ghost” Martin will clash in an intriguing 12-round WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator as they headline live on SHOWTIME Saturday, December 17 in a Premier Boxing Champions event at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also see former world champion José Uzcátegui return to action against unbeaten former amateur standout Vladimir Shishkin in a 12-round IBF Title Eliminator. Plus, bantamweight contenders face off as Vincent Astrolabio and Nikolai Potapov battle in a 12-round IBF Title Eliminator that kicks off the telecast.
Rivera has been rising prospect
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Fla., Rivera (24-0, 14 KOs) burst onto the scene in 2019, making his United States debut with a victory over Rene Tellez Giron. The 24-year-old continued his ascent with five more victories in 2020 and 2021, including knockouts of Jon Fernandez and Anthony Mercado. Most recently he outboxed Jerry Perez, earning a unanimous decision victory in October after dominating the previously unbeaten Joseph Adorno on his way to a unanimous decision in March.
“This is the type of fight that I’ve been asking for and I can’t wait to get into the ring,” said Rivera. “Martin is a strong opponent with a good record, but I’m ready to show that I am the future of the lightweight division. I’ve been training hard in Miami so that I’m ready for anything that Martin brings. Make sure you tune in to this fight!”
The 27-year-old Martin (16-0, 12 KOs) ascended the lightweight rankings in 2021 with a pair of impressive victories before delivering a New Year’s Day KO over veteran Romero Duno. In April 2021, Martin knocked out the previously unbeaten Jerry Perez in a dominating performance before earning a unanimous decision over Ryan Kielczweski in August.
He produced a methodical destruction of Jackson Mariñez in July when he stopped him in the 10th round, showing the skill set that has made him one of the most highly touted contenders at lightweight. Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., Martin now trains in the Dallas area under the guidance of Derrick James alongside his promoter and unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
Martin is equal to the challenge
“I’m excited to be able to go out there and prove to myself and prove to the fans how great I am,” said Martin. “Michel Rivera is a good fighter. He’s technically sound and seems to have a determined mentality which means he’s going to come out and give a good fight on December 17. I’m just a few steps ahead of Rivera as far as having speed, power and ring IQ. I feel I have more in the arsenal. This is going to be an action-packed fight.”
Rivera is also known as a distant relative of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, who often comes to the ring with the solid white trunks and white boxing boots that Ali utilized frequently in title bouts in the 1960s especially.
And, he now gets a chance to headline in a prominent slot for Showtime while aiming towards a possible title shot down the road. However, it will be real challenge against an equally talented prospect in Martin.