- Rivera vs Maldonado Jr goes Saturday, February 1st at 10:00 pm EST
- Can the undefeated prospect Rivera continue his impressive run?
- Mill Maldonado Jr again play the role of spoiler and put the first blemish on Rivera’s pro record?
Rivera vs Maldonado Jr goes down at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The card will be broadcast on FS1. This is an intriguing crossroads fight here in the lightweight ranks. Rivera is the unbeaten prospect looking for the kind of W to launch him to that next tier. He takes on the more tenured, veteran fighter in Maldonado Jr.
The vacant WBC continental Americas lightweight belt is up for grabs this weekend. This prizefight is a ten rounder. Check out the odds for this bout and my sweet science analysis below.
Rivera vs Maldonado Jr Odds
|Fidel Maldonado Jr||+800|
Odds taken Jan. 31
Rivera has yet to turn 22 and is a hotshot Cuban prospect. He has been moving beyond the Cuban club circuit and has been encroaching into the US market with two wins in America through his last two bouts. Maldonado Jr enters this fight on a three-fight win streak with a TKO victory in his last fight. The thing about Maldonado is that he has pieced up some veterans at both 135 lbs and 140 lbs but has fallen short when fighting at the contender level. Both men seem like they have a commensurate amount of respect for each other which lends itself to a fun fight unfurling.
Youthful Exuberance vs Veteran Savvy
Those in Rivera’s camp are purportedly grooming him for a major title shot down the line in 2020. This is Rivera’s first attempt at claiming any pro-boxing hardware. Maldonado Jr captured the WBC Latino silver lightweight title via KO in February 2013 over Jorge Romero. He also claimed the WBC youth silver lightweight title and the vacant WBC FECARBOX super lightweight title.
This bout has a prized belt on the line in its own right but it will also serve as a launching pad for future intercontinental title bouts. Perhaps the winner can get a future crack at a world lightweight title.
Michel Rivera returns Saturday, another of Sampson’s exciting young Dominican fighters.pic.twitter.com/3TH3CjdWRU
— Jevan (@jevan_bay) January 28, 2020
The young prospect doesn’t have the best KO rate overall but looking at Rivera’s last few fights provides some context. Rivera has four stoppage wins across his last five bouts. Maldonado Jr has almost gone the other roue. The bulk of his career KOs happened in the earlier years and in recent times, it seems like he’s more so focused on his ringcraft. Clean technique, defensive savvy, and higher fight IQ have become more prevalent in the veteran pugilist’s game in his last few outings.
Rivera vs Maldonado Jr Tale of the Tape
|Manuel Botis, Yankiel Leon, Rene Tellez Giron||Significant Wins||Pablo Cesar Cano, Luis Ramos Jr, Jorge Romero|
A key moment in both men’s careers for disparately different reasons. here’s a bit of a redemptive element in this fight for Maldonado Jr. This is not the first time that he has vied for this specific championship. Maldonado Jr lost to Amir Imam in January 2015 via TKO with the WBC continental Americas lightweight belt on the line. He has over a decade of experience in professional Boxing while Rivera hasn’t even been a pro for four years. 75 percent of Maldonado Jr’s losses are via some form of stoppage. I think Rivera secures the TKO victory inside of eight rounds.
Pick: Michel Rivera (-1600)