Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Michel Rivera believes he’s ready for what Joseph Adorno brings to the ring

Fighters Network

Like any prizefighter, Michel Rivera aspires to be a world titleholder. No matter how long Rivera plans on fighting professionally, count on him attempting to get better after each outing.

Rivera is back in action Saturday night as he will face hard-hitting Joseph Adorno in a clash of unbeaten fighters at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bout between junior middleweight contenders Tim Tszyu and Terrell Gausha. 

Both fights will air live on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT). 

At Friday’s weigh-in, Rivera weighed 136.5 pounds. Adorno weighed in at 136.75 pounds. The contract weight for the fight was 137 pounds. 

Rivera (22-0, 14 knockouts), who is originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and now resides in Miami, Florida, last fought on October 30, defeating Argentina’s Jose Matias Romero by decision over 10 one-sided rounds. In his previous fight on July 3, Rivera overcame a knockdown in the sixth round to knock out Jon Fernandez of Spain in the eighth round. 

Because of the knockdown he suffered, some have questioned Rivera’s chin and whether he could take a punch. Adorno is a hard-hitting puncher who has had difficulty missing weight in recent fights, but Rivera respects his ability in the ring.

“I was never hurt by the knockdown in the Fernandez fight,” Rivera told The Ring Wednesday afternoon. “At the moment he landed the punch, I was off-balanced. I’m not disputing the knockdown, but I was not hurt at all. If anything, I was able to demonstrate I could overcome Fernandez and his style to come out on top.

“I know Joseph is going to come to fight. He hits hard and is going to be at his best on Saturday. He fights well on the inside. I’m going to have to be at my best and be ready for what he brings.”

Rivera has impressively passed each test thus far against above-average opposition. He is beginning to emerge as a contender after fighting a handful of times on ShoBox telecasts. 

The 24-year-old is considered by many boxing insiders a talented boxer-puncher with a bright future ahead, but Rivera is focused on improving his skill-set as much as possible. 

“I take this very seriously,” said Rivera, who is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz. “After each fight, I see what I need to improve on. Every day is a lesson in the gym and I work on improving as a fighter. The following year or in five years of now, I will always want to keep learning to become a better fighter.”

Rivera is knocking on the door to enter the upper echelon of a talent-rich lightweight division. An impressive victory over Adorno could land him a fight later this year against another top lightweight fighter. 

There are the obstacles as other lightweights are promoted by different promoters, but Rivera is open to face the best in the division. Lewkowicz has demonstrated he is willing to work with other promoters in boxing.

As Ring Magazine lightweight champion and unified titleholder George Kambosos, Jr. finalizes whether to face Devin Haney or another top lightweight in June, Rivera’s best bet could be to fight in a world title eliminator for one of the sanctioning bodies. A win or two away could be the difference in Rivera getting a world title shot.

“I believe I’m amongst the best in the division. I hope for an opportunity for a world title shot or fighting in an eliminator by the end of the year. I just want to show what I’m capable of in the ring.”

Opening the Showtime telecast will be a junior welterweight bout between Elvis Rodriguez (12-1-1, 11 KOs) and Juan Jose Velasco (22-2-1, 12 KOs). 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing


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