Showtime will feature lightweight contender Michel Rivera in the opener of its October 30 broadcast from Las Vegas.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the Dominican Republic’s Rivera will square off against Argentina’s Jose Matias Romero in a 10-rounder, the first of three bouts the premium cable network will televise that night from Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. The 23-year-old Rivera (21-0, 14 KOs) appears to be on the cusp of earning a 135-pound world title shot, but Matias Romero gave another lightweight contender, Isaac Cruz, a difficult fight in his most recent outing.
Mexico’s Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) fended off Matias Romero (24-1, 8 KOs) to win a 12-round unanimous decision seven months ago, but their competitive clash was close on two scorecards (118-109, 115-112, 114-113). Showtime also televised Cruz-Matias Romero on March 13 as part of a tripleheader from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Rivera, meanwhile, recovered from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out Spain’s Jon Fernandez (21-2, 18 KOs) in the eighth round of his last fight. Showtime aired Rivera’s victory over Fernandez as well as part of a three-bout broadcast July 3 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Showtime’s telecast October 30 will showcase welterweights in the main event and co-feature.
Minneapolis’ Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) will defend his WBA world welterweight title against Russia’s Radzhab Butaev (13-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC) in the 12-round main event. Butaev is owed a shot at James’ secondary WBA belt because countryman Alexander Besputin tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug after he beat Butaev by unanimous decision in their 12-round title fight in November 2019 in Monte Carlo.
Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs, 1 NC) and Puerto Rican veteran Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) are set to square off in the 12-round co-feature.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.