Frank Martin vs. Michel Rivera 

Frank Martin defeated fellow lightweight contender Michel Rivera by a unanimous decision in Las Vegas. Martin made the most of the most significant opportunity of his five-year pro career. Undefeated top contender “The Ghost” Martin dominated from start to finish in winning over Michel Rivera in a WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator.  

What did Martin say about this bout? 

Martin, who won by scores of 120-107, 118-109, and 117-110, stated, “This is just what I do, I felt good tonight. I saw some things that I didn’t capitalize on, but we went there and got the job done. My corner told me to stay outside, watch for the right hand and work the game plan. I was using my legs and I could have done it a lot more. It worked for us tonight, but there is a lot of room for improvement, and we will keep working.” 

Performance of Martin

Martin did not throw a lot of punches, but he made sure to land explosive combinations to the head and body of his opponent. He has such elusive anticipation, along with superb footwork. As this fight was a WBA eliminator, so Martin would be in line for one of the belts currently held by Devin Haney. 

Martin (17-0 12 KOs) has picked up some good momentum this year, beating Romero Duno, Jackson Marinez, and Michel Rivera. Martin was too quick and much too slick for the unbeaten Rivera, who was outclassed by a better fighter from beginning to end. 

The 27-year-old Martin controlled the action while showing superior speed and boxing acumen. He closed down the reach advantage held by Rivera. 

Unified welterweight champion Errol Spencer Jr. Promoted Martin, and top trainer Derrick James coached him. Martin put himself into position in the star-studded 135-pound division.

Performance of Michel Rivera

Rivera always tried but had no physical tool ability and enough ring understanding to deal with a pro like Martin. Rivera struggled with Martin’s southpaw attack, especially in his early rounds. However, Rivera got the moments where his length allowed him to land straight, solid right hands, and his footwork allowed him to avoid further damage. 

Michel Rivera says he is mad at himself about his loss to Frank Martin in Las Vegas. He stated, “I went there for a win, I didn’t come here to lose. I was feeling pretty good today, but by round four or five, I think I started to feel the effects of the weight cut. I don’t make excuses, but I’m a big guy for the division.”

He added, “I’m pretty fast, but you have to be faster to fight a guy like this. I was too slow tonight. I tried to use my jab to keep him off me. He was the better guy today. I won’t take anything away from him. I don’t want to learn how to lose. I’m just going to work hard to win again. I don’t want losing to feel normal. I work to win.” 

Highlights of Frank Martin vs. Michel Rivera 

The skillful, strong southpaw Martin knocked Rivera to the canvas in the seventh-round while constantly landing harder punches while displaying elusiveness defensively. 

In round seven, Martin delivered his signature moment by putting Rivera down hard with a straight left-right hook combination. Martin kept the attack coming, mixing in even more body shots on his tired opponent. The Dominican Republic’s Rivera got caught slipping, and he went down. 

24-year-old Rivera says that he should not have taken the fight against the southpaw Martin. He admitted that he should have listened to his body instead of the people around him, who felt he was ready to fight with Martin. 

Martin missed with a left uppercut early in the 11th round, which made Rivera drill him with the straight right hand. The aggressive Martin attempted to close the show with a knockout in the 12th round, and Rivera took his best shot and made it to the final. 

Martin controlled the action throughout the 10th round without even landing stinging punches on Rivera compared to previous games. Martin nailed Rivera with a straight left that moved Rivera into the ropes in the ninth round. However, Martin defended himself well throughout the competition while making Rivera more frustrated. 

Frank Martin landed a left hand on his body barely a minute into the eighth round. He drilled with a left hand, took Rivera’s legs out from under him, and sent him to the canvas. Martin rocked Rivera with a counter left hand in the seventh round for about 55 seconds. Rivera slipped many of Martin’s punches during the sixth round as it was trouble to catch the elusive Martin. 

In the fifth round, their left hand by Martin knocked Rivera into the ropes. In the fourth round, Martin’s straight left backed up Rivera with just over 30 seconds on the clock, and about 20 seconds later, Martin’s left uppercut caught Rivera. The third round, a straight left by Martin landed as Rivera moved straight back. While earlier in this round, Martin landed a left to the body. In the second round, there are two left-right combinations by Martin, while in the opening round, Martin hits Rivera with a right hook while allowing the action to continue. 

A concluded note

Rivera entered the ring ranked No.2 among the WBA’s lightweight contenders. He also ranked sixth by the IBF, ninth by the WBC, and 10th by the WBO. On the other hand, they ranked Boxing pro Martin at number 10 by the WBA. However, he is not among the top 15 by the IBF, WBC, or WBO. 

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