Unbeaten Frank Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) took previously unbeaten Michel Rivera (24-1, 14 KOs) to school, defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision in a WBA lightweight title eliminator in a non-competitive headliner on Showtime at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Rivera was underpowered and didn’t have any answers to the technical skills and talent of the 27-year-old Martin.
In the seventh, Martin dropped Rivera and then cruised in the remaining rounds to win a surprisingly easy 12 round decision.
The scores were 117-110, 118-109, and 120-107.
In the chief support bout, Vladimir Shishkin (14-0, 8 KOs) outboxed José Uzcátegui (32-5, 27 KOs), beating him by a decisive 12 round unanimous decision in an IBF super middleweight title eliminator. The scores were:
Shishkin boxed well through the first ten rounds, neutralizing the power of Uzcategui. In the eleventh and twelfth rounds, Uzcategui landed many heavy shots in a late surge, but it wasn’t enough.
Bantamweight contender Vincent Astrolabio (18-3, 13 KOs) defeated Nikolai Potapov (23-3-1, 11 KOs) by a sixth round knockout, dropping him three times in an IBF 118-lb title eliminator. Potapov was down in rounds one, five, and six. The referee halted the contest at 1:26 of the sixth.
With undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue expected to vacate his four titles, Astrolabio will likely fight for the vacant IBF 118-lb title against the highest-ranked available contender.
Omar Juarez (14-1, 5 KOs) beat Austin Dulay (15-4, 11 KOs) by a 10-round decision in light welterweight action. Juarez’s aim was a tad bit off tonight, as he was docked points for low-blowing Dulay repeatedly during the contest.
The referee took points away from Juarez on three separate occasions, docking him twice in round two and once in the fourth. It’s anyone’s guess why he didn’t disqualify Juarez.
Middleweight Elijah Garcia (13-0, 11 KOs) defeated Cruse Stewart (8-2, 6 KOs) by a second-round knockout. The bout was halted at 1:33 of round two after Garcia landed a beautiful left hook.
Preview: Frank Martin, 27, has received most of the press in the build-up to tonight’s fight with Rivera.
That doesn’t mean that Martin is a lock to win, as he’s facing the Muhammad Ali lookalike Rivera, and there’s a good chance that he’ll lose.
“It doesn’t make me feel like I’ve got to show out. It just makes me work harder,” said Frank Martin to Showtime Boxing when asked what it’s like to train at the gym with Errol Spence Jr.
“They’re not showing off. They don’t have those types of personalities. They’re coming in, and they’re working. They’re coming in and putting in work and getting up out of there.
“He was still cool, still working and doing his strength & conditioning together. But he wasn’t taken down and getting off focus,” said Martin when asked what Spence’s reaction was when he learned that Terence Crawford had walked away from their negotiations recently.
“I know EJ wants that fight just for legacy. I hope he get it, I think he will get it. One thing I do know is I think he wants it. I knew that around the time he was supposed to fight Pacquiao. His determination,” said Martin about why he believes Errol will beat Crawford.
“Just seeing him, he’s determined. He ain’t got no quit in him. He doesn’t have no type of give up. If it’s something he lacks, he’s going to find a way. He’s determined to find a way to get good at it. He’s going to figure it out, and he’s going to show you.
“The day he came in, I was finishing up, and then he came in,” said Martin about Anthony Joshua coming to his gym to meet with his trainer Derrick James.
“He was cool, he was super down to earth. It was nice. He saw me train, and then he was asking me certain questions like how I move and stuff. People are surprised at how good Anthony Joshua can actually move,” said Martin.
Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin (16-0, 10 KOs) is facing the talented Ali-esque Michel Rivera (24-0, 14 KOs) in a toss-up fight tonight in the main event in their Showtime Boxing televised WBA light welterweight title eliminator at the Cosmopolitan Las Vega in Las Vegas.