After Losing To Frank Martin, Michel Rivera Is Searching For Answers
By Vince Dwriter: Lightweight contender Michel Rivera is very confident in his ability as a boxer, and on Saturday, December 17, at The Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Rivera had the expectation of walking away with the biggest win of his career, but unfortunately for Rivera, the tenth-ranked WBA contender Frank Martin earned the pivotal victory.
Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) set the tone immediately by using his footwork, getting into proper range, neutralizing Rivera’s jab, and consistently landing effective combinations. Martin produced a dominant performance, as he was able to control the bout with Rivera from start to finish.
The night didn’t go as planned for Rivera as he couldn’t get into a rhythm, and as a result, he suffered his first career loss by way of a unanimous decision.
In a perfect world, Rivera would have beaten Martin and then continued his pursuit of landing a match with WBA (regular) champion Gervonta Davis, but since he came up short against Martin, the disappointed Dominican boxer is currently in a state of confusion.
In regards to the path of his boxing career, Michel Rivera (24-1, 14 KOs) doesn’t know which direction to travel next due to the fact that he wasn’t expecting to lose the fight on December 17. During a recent interview with the voice of Dominican boxing ‘Broadway Joel,’ a humbled Rivera spoke about his encounter with losing a professional fight.
“I don’t know what to tell you, man. I lost,” said Rivera. “I wasn’t expecting this, and it’s a bad experience. I don’t want to get like… with a bad experience; you feel comfortable with this. I don’t want to feel comfortable with any loss. I really worked hard. I feel mad with myself.”
When asked if Frank Martin’s skill set and footwork gave him trouble, Rivera responded by stating he’s fought boxers who have better footwork than Martin. He went on to imply that the fight was difficult not because of what Martin was doing but it became rather challenging for him because of the things he was physically incapable of executing.
“I was finishing the one fight one month and a half, and my body was too big. I had a hard time making weight. My corner knows how difficult it was for me. I was trying to do the plan, but you have to be fast to do the plan,” said Rivera.
Rivera referenced the fact that he may have placed too much stress on his body because he fought Jerry Perez on October 15, and then he fought Frank Martin two months later. Despite having advanced knowledge of the quick turnaround, Rivera decided to take the fight anyway because it was too big of an opportunity to pass on.
Rivera thought if he was successful against Frank Martin, it would have led to bigger opportunities for him in the lightweight division. He admitted to having trouble making 135, but he was non-committal when asked about moving up to 140.
Michel Rivera is a talented boxer who is a very competitive person, and he doesn’t like losing in any way, shape, or form. Coping with defeat is new for the 24-year-old, as he has always been focused on his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. At the moment, Michel Rivera’s mind is preoccupied with the loss, and it’s currently flooded with unanswered questions.
Rivera’s thoughts are clouded by the defeat as he is unsure of his next career move. In addition to being extremely physical, the sport of boxing is also a mental game. Michel Rivera must now deal with the mental process of taking time off, finding a way to overcome the pain of losing, going back to the gym, and starting his journey on the road to redemption.
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