Lightweight rival Michel Rivera knows that there are no guarantees.
The Miami-based Dominica’s meeting with Frank Martin on Saturday at Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan is being billed as a WBA title knockout, meaning that if he wins he’ll have a chance to challenge the champion. undisputed rival Devin Haney or second owner Gervonta Davis.
Rivera doesn’t know for sure if he’ll get his next big chance but a win over respectable Martin will strengthen the argument that he deserves it.
“Maybe after this fight, maybe I will fight for the world title,” Rivera, 24, told Boxing Junkie. “And it’s a chance to show what I have [on a large stage]. Frank Martin is a good prospect, a great fighter, but I’m pretty sure I’ll win.”
Potential customers? Martin (16-0, 12 KOs) is ranked 10th by the WBA. However, Rivera believes his opponent is still one place below him.
Rivera (24-0, 14 KOs) was ranked by all four major sanctioning agencies, 2nd by the WBA.
“I was a contender for a year and a half, waiting for a title [shot]” he say. “He has 16 games, he has never fought in a knockout. So he’s a prospect, not a candidate. … [But] it’s a must fight right now. If I had to fight everyone to be mandatory, I would do it.
“That’s your right. One day it will come. I have to stay like this.
An additional source of motivation for Rivera is that he will be fighting in the main event on Showtime in the US
He remembers watching his heroes fight on the high end when he was a teenager. The fact that he will appear on Saturday night’s broadcast adds to the significance of the fight for him.
He said, “When I was 14 years old, I watched Showtime with my father. “I dreamed of fighting on Showtime. Life is crazy. I worked so hard to get this opportunity. Dreams happen. Right now is the time to show what I have.”
He believes that if he continues to win, everything else will fall into place.
“I really don’t know what will happen next,” he said. “I put it in the hands of God. … I just want to win this match, prove that I can win the title. And maybe I’ll have my chance.
“I just stay disciplined, listen to my coach, go for a run, work hard in the gym. I want to be the 135-pound world champion.”