Michael Rivera, Frank Martin preview big fight!

Top lightweight contenders Michel “La Zarza Ali” Rivera and Frank “The Ghost” Martin went face to face on Thursday before they meet in a scintillating WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator headlining action live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, December 17 in a Premier Boxing Champions event at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The press conference also featured fighters competing on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The action will see former world champion José Uzcátegui return to action against unbeaten former amateur standout Vladimir Shishkin in a 12-round IBF Title Eliminator, while bantamweight contenders face off as Vincent Astrolabio and Nikolai Potapov meet in a 12-round IBF Title Eliminator that kicks off the telecast.

Rivera vs. Martin will pit unbeaten top 135-pound contenders against each other in one of boxing’s most loaded divisions. The matchup is widely considered a step up for both fighters, as the Dominican Republic-native Rivera duels the Derrick James-trained Martin to determine who will be next in line for a world title shot.

Here is what Rivera and Martin had to say Thursday from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:


Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

“We know that Martin is a good boxer with abilities, but I’m the guy. I’m bigger and stronger. He’s strong and confident too, but I’m more confident. This is my time and I have to do everything to win this fight.

“This fight is everything. I believe that I’m more talented, but I like that he’s confident. For me, this is the best fight of the year. Nobody should miss this fight.

“I’ve really done a lot of work for this camp. This is my first main event and I have to make this my time. I’m dedicated and motivated. On Saturday, everyone will see a new superstar in the ring.

“It’s not normal for two undefeated guys to put their records on the line. I’m telling everyone, you can’t miss this fight. This is going to be amazing.

“He’s a southpaw, but that’s nothing new. I’ve been fighting with guys more experienced than him for a while. We know he’s got Errol Spence Jr. behind him, but that doesn’t mean anything in the ring. I’m one hundred percent confident that I’m winning this fight.

“Everyone knows I’m a confident fighter. That’s because of how hard I work in the gym with Herman Caicedo and my whole team. I’m not going to quit and I’m going to keep pushing and be ready for anything Martin brings.

“I’m so excited to be fighting again on SHOWTIME. I know that with a win on Saturday, I’m going to have the really big fights all set for me.

“Everyone knows me. I’m different. I’m the guy. I will win this fight. We’re going to talk in the ring.”


“We definitely believe in ‘Man Down’. Protect yourself at all times. Because I can get you up out of there at any moment in the fight.

“Come fight night, we’ll see who’s stronger and faster. He may have more length, but we’ll see who dominates and who hits the hardest on Saturday.

“I’m ready and I’m prepared. I put in all the hard work in the gym. Everything is done. Come fight night, I’m ready to put it all on the line. I know that I’m coming out with the victory because of all the overtime I put in while training.

“I’m coming to dominate. He’s a good fighter, but on Saturday night, I’m here to show him exactly what kind of fighter I am.

“This is the fight that’s going to get me to the next level. I’m not looking past Rivera, but my main thing is just to get in there and capitalize off the game plan and get the victory. Then we’ll keep going up from there.

“Rivera is a good, balanced fighter. He can punch, he can counter-punch, and he’s got some finesse to him.

“He’s got a game plan and so do we. We’re going to be ready to adjust. No matter what he comes with, we’re going to have something for him. We’ve got all the answers.

“This is gonna be an action-packed fight. We’re two undefeated fighters that are super hungry. You’re going to see a lot of hunger in that ring. We’re going to come out and do what we do.”

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