Lightweight contenders Michel Rivera and Frank Martin will meet live on Showtime in December.
The two square off from Las Vegas as part of a Premier Boxing Champions event. The card also features Jose Uzcategui and Vladimir Shishkin in an IBF title eliminator.
“Michel Rivera vs. Frank Martin is one of the best matchups that can be made in the stacked lightweight division and the fans watching on SHOWTIME and at The Cosmopolitan are surely in for a treat on December 17,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Each has shown immense skill and heart in earning their status as contenders, and they’ve proven that they’re ready to fight whoever it takes to become world champion. Adding in two closely matched bouts on the televised undercard makes this a night of drama that fight fans will not want to miss.”
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.
“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.
“There is going to be a lot of excitement, and a lot of hard shots are going to be dished out, so if you want to see a bang ’em fight, get ready to see two hungry, undefeated fighters go at it. Just remember: Every underdog had to go outside to an uncomfortable situation to become the top dog.”