Miguel Flores out vs Leo Santa Cruz; Rafael Rivera steps in as the replacement
Leo Santa Cruz will be facing a different opponent than the one he originally signed to face when he steps into the ring on February 16. Instead of facing Miguel Flores, he’ll now face Rafael Rivera.
Flores suffered an ankle injury while training for Cruz and subsequently, had to announce his withdrawal from the fight. With Flores out, that left Cruz’s team on the search for a respectable replacement. They found that guy in Rafael Rivera.
Rivera (26-2-2, 17KOs) is a 5’7 orthodox fighter whose record indicates that he’s a solid puncher. He also has experience against quality competition, having shared the ring with top featherweight contender Joesph Diaz and former super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr; beating him by split decision in December of 2015.
It is unknown at the moment if this bout will be for Santa Cruz’s WBA super title as Rivera is currently not ranked by the sanctioning body.
While Cruz will remain the favorite even with the opponent change, Rivera is a guy who’s durable, having never been knocked out and experienced enough to cause problems.
Nevertheless, this should be an interesting and entertaining fight, come February 16.
By: Jerrell Fletcher