Lightweight contenders Michel Rivera and Frank Martin will square off in a title eliminator Saturday at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
MICHEL RIVERA (24-0, 14 KOs) vs. FRANK MARTIN (16-0, 12 KOs)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Division: Lightweight (135 pounds)
Weights: Martin 134.8, Rivera 134.4
At stake: No major titles
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Even (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Jose Uzcategui vs. Vladimir Shishkin, super middleweights; Nikolai Potapov vs. Vincent Astrolabio, bantamweights; Omar Jaurez vs. Austin Dulay, junior welterweights
Prediction: Rivera SD
Background: This is an unusual matchup of two gifted, undefeated young contenders. Rivera, 24, has been untouchable in his young professional career, which started in 2016. The Miami-based Dominican has demonstrating that he can outclass you with his skills or take you out with his power even as opposition has improved, although his last three opponents have taken him the distance. Rivera is coming off a one-sided eight-round decision over Jerry Perez in October. Martin is surrounded by good role models: He trains alongside Errol Spence Jr. and Jermell Charlo under mentor Derrick James. He, too, appears to be a complete fighter. He’s quick, skillful and powerful. The 27-year-old Indianapolis resident also hasn’t been seriously pushed since turning pro in 2017. He’s coming off a last-round knockout of capable Jackson Marinez this past July. The fight on Saturday is being billed as a WBA title eliminator. Rivera is ranked No. 2 by the sanctioning body, Martin No. 10. Rivera has expressed a desire to fight secondary beltholder Gervonta Davis. Devin Haney is the undisputed 135-pound champion.