Two fighters on the same Showtime bill call out Gervonta Davis

Michel Rivera Elvis Rodriguez Gervonta Davis

Esther Lin

BuGervonta Davis was the name on two fighters’ lips as Tim Tszyu and Terrell Gausha headlined on Showtime this weekend.

One of them was Muhammad Ali look-a-like, Michel Rivera.

In the co-main event to the Tszyu vs. Gaush clash, rising contender Rivera (23-0, 14 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten Joseph Adorno (14-1-2, 12 KOs) in their lightweight showdown.

He’d already called out Davis before the first bell rang.

The bout was tense throughout, with neither fighter could fully control the action or significantly hurting their opponent. Rivera’s jab was the key to his success, as he landed 72 to Adorno’s 30 across the ten rounds.

“That was four months of practicing in camp,” said Rivera. “I feel so good. I was looking for the knockout. But that undefeated guy is tough. I know him. He’s a power-puncher, but the aggression that ‘Ali’ has is too much. I have a good corner. A great trainer in Herman Caicedo and also Jukka Toivola. But I have talent, and I made the sacrifice.”

Adorno looked to load up on power hooks in hopes of slowing down Rivera but was unable to find the right punch to turn the tide in his favor fully. Rivera appeared to make a key adjustment during the fight, sliding close to Adorno as he loaded up for that hook, smothering the incoming assault and dulling its impact.

Rivera was consistent with the jab, throwing at least 30 in every round, on his way to a 104 to 67 overall edge in total punches landed. He also held Adorno to a 20% connect rate on his 330 punches and out-landed his opponent in all but one round. After ten rounds, all three judges saw the same fight, scoring the action 97-93 in favor of Rivera.

Before the victory, Rivera told Insider: “I want to fight Gervonta Davis,” he said Thursday in a statement sent to Insider.

“I’m number two for his WBA title, and I’m ready for my opportunity. My goal is to face all the champions in the division and be the last man standing.”

As for his upcoming assignment against Adorno, Rivera said he’s trained alongside a former “Tank” Davis opponent Mario Barrios in Las Vegas and is focused and ready for his upcoming match.

“He’s a good fighter with a good record … I feel great heading into this fight, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’m here to win. Everyone who has watched me knows that I bring many different skills to the ring.

“He’s a good guy with a good record, and he’s the kind of fighter I want on my record. I have to take advantage of the fights that are presented to me,” added Rivera.

“Everybody now knows me,” said Rivera. “I say that I am the reincarnation of Muhammad Ali because I work so hard. I’m definitely ready for a world title shot.”

ELVIS RODRIGUEZ

In the telecast opener, super lightweight contender Elvis Rodriguez (13-1-1, 12 KOs) scored a seventh-round knockout over Argentina’s Juan Velasco (23-3, 14 KOs),

After dropping him three times in the round to finish the fight, Rodriguez asked for Gervonta Davis next.

“I wasn’t surprised that I was able to dominate this fight,” said Rodriguez. “I was ready to demonstrate my skills with all of these fans here. But I trained really well because I knew that Velasco would be a tough opponent.”

After a knockout victory in November, Rodriguez returned to action Saturday night and controlled the pace from the outset, circling his opponent and peppering him with combos from the southpaw stance. As Velasco continued to push forward, Rodriguez was able to slow his opponent’s counters with a consistent body attack, landing 42 times to the body over the seven rounds.

The Dominican Rodriguez used a prolific output of power punches to open up a cut and swelling around Velasco’s left eye. Velasco told his corner was inhibiting his vision between rounds six and seven. Rodriguez landed 97 power punches at an impressive 63% connect rate in the fight.

“At the beginning of the fight, I started feinting, and I was moving around a lot,” said Rodriguez. “But when I started making the combinations, I saw that it was hurting him, so I kept with the power punches.”

Sensing his advantage, Rodriguez pressed forward early in round seven and put Velasco down hard early in the frame. He remained patient with his follow-up attack, eventually finding a spot for a sweeping right hook that scored him his second knockdown of the round. With one more flurry, and with Velasco unable to keep him at bay, Rodriguez delivered a left hand that put him down a third time, eventually prompting referee Gary Ritter to waive off the bout 2:49 into the round.

“The eye bothered me during the fight,” said Velasco. “The outcome was more because of fatigue than being hurt. I’ll talk to my family next before I decide what my future holds.”

“I thought the fight would be over after I first knocked him down,” said Rodriguez. “But he did surprise me because he came back in that round. I just covered myself well for the remainder of that round and tried to take him out. But I knew that he was having trouble with his eye. I could see that he was cut on the left eye and was also bleeding from his nose.

“I’m ready for anybody at 140 pounds. Gervonta Davis, Rolly Romero, whoever. I’m ready and prepared.”

Gervonta Davis beats Isaac Cruz
Ryan Hafey

GERVONTA DAVIS

Gervonta Davis is a popular choice. He first must avoid defeat against Rolando Romero on May 28th.

The winner of that fight will own the WBA lightweight belt.

However, Rivera and Rodriguez may have more chance of fighting each other than Tank.

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