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Frank Martin prevails over rival Michel Rivera with statement win

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Frank Martin (right) landing a blow on Michel Rivera (left). (Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime)

In a battle between two undefeated Lightweight prospects, Frank Martin was the one who came out on top against Michel Rivera, winning soundly by unanimous decision in a win that firmly positioned him as a threat at 135 lbs. The Lightweight bout between the two prospects was held on Saturday 17, December at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in Las Vegas. The scorecards by the judges reflected a wide margin in favor of Martin with scores of 120-107, 117-110 and 118-109.

Wile the Lightweight bout between Martin (17-0, 12 KO’s) and Rivera (24-1, 14 KO’s) wasn’t for any championship, it was an important fight to determine a potential contender for one of the governing bodies’ world titles. As stated earlier, Martin came out on top, showing a technical side that seemed more than a match for Rivera’s own technical skills.

Styling himself as ‘La Zarza Ali’ after Muhammad Ali for his technical abilities in the ring, Rivera still found himself outclassed by Martin who spared no expense in showing he had a number of tricks up his pocket. Martin seemed to have Rivera’s number throughout the match, controlling the ring – and cutting it off when necessary, countering well and perhaps most notably taking away Rivera’s greatest weapon; his jab, by utilizing his own jab effectively. Rivera struggled to find an answer to Frank Martin’s intensity, strategic acumen and technical abilities and by the seventh round he was overwhelmed to the point of being knocked down.

That seventh round knockdown would not have done much to change the scores however. Frank Martin was practically in control the entire fight, and once Rivera couldn’t establish his jab, he was incapable of making an impact in another way. In comparison, Frank Martin seemed decisive and confident in every round which eventually culminated in a unanimous decision win for him.

The 135 lbs division has now gotten even more exciting following this match-up. Not only is the Lightweight division known for its many talented boxers such as George Kambosos Jr. (20-2, 10 KO’s), Gervonta Davis (27-0, 25 KO’s) and Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KO’s), it is also one of the few divisions to hold an undisputed champion in Devin Haney, who by virtue of having all the titles is considered to be the best. With competition as fierce as it is, and an unbeatable champion holding all the belts, 135 will arguably ne seeing a ‘golden age’ if the top competitors in the division continue to fight one another.

The event at Las Vegas also featured a co-main event between Jose Uzcategui (32-5, 27 KO’s) and Vladimir Shishkin (14-0, 8 KO’s). Shishkin defeated Uzcategui by unanimous decision after recently moving down to Super Middleweight from Light-Heavyweight, and has retained his unbeaten status as a result.

The fight card also featured an interesting bout between two Bantamweight contenders; Vincent Astrolabio (18-3, 13 KO’s) and Nikolai Potapov (23-3-1, 11 KO’s) for the WBO Inter-Continental Bantamweight title. Astrolabio won his fight through a sixth-round KO.

What are your thoughts on Frank Martin winning against Michel Rivera and establishing himself as a worthy contender to the available world titles? Give your thoughts below.