Michel Rivera

Michel Rivera

“La Zarza Ali”

RECORD

22 - 0 - 0

KOs

14

Weight 135 lbs (61.36 kg)

Age 23

Home Miami, Florida, USA 

Complete Stats

Michel Rivera of the Dominican Republic is an undefeated lightweight contender closing in on a world title shot. Read Bio

Last Fight

win vs Jose Matias Romero

Oct 30, 2021 / Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Michel Rivera remains undefeated with a UD victory over Jose Matias Romero in their featured pay-per-view attraction.

Latest News

Michel Rivera News
Radzhab ButaevPBC Boxing Video
Oct 31, 2021 / James vs Butaev, Jamal James, Radzhab Butaev, Jaron Ennis, Thomas Dulorme, Michel Rivera

Radzhab Butaev shocks Jamal James in Nine

The undefeated slugger dethrones James to capture a welterweight belt while Jaron Ennis and Michel Rivera show their class in dominant performances Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.

Fights

Michel Rivera Fights

Win vs Jose Matias Romero 24-1-0

Oct 30, 2021 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Jose Matias Romero by UD in Round 10 of 10

Win vs Jon Fernandez 21-1-0

Jul 03, 2021 Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California

Michel Rivera WINS against Jon Fernandez by KO in Round 8 of 12

Win vs Anthony Mercado Raices 13-4-0

Feb 27, 2021 Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Anthony Mercado Raices by KO in Round 8 of 8

Win vs Ladarius Miller 21-2-0

Oct 31, 2020 Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Ladarius Miller by UD in Round 10 of 10

Win vs Fidel Maldonado Jr 27-4-1

Feb 01, 2020 Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Fidel Maldonado Jr by TKO in Round 10 of 10

Win vs Jose Gallegos 20-12-0

Sep 21, 2019 Rabobank Theater, Bakersfield, California, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Jose Gallegos by RTD in Round 5 of 8

Win vs Juan Rene Tellez 13-0-0

Jun 21, 2019 WinnaVegas Casino & Resort, Sloan, Iowa, USA

Michel Rivera WINS against Juan Rene Tellez by UD in Round 8 of 8

Win vs Carlos Daniel Cordoba 10-4-0

Jan 26, 2019 Radisson Victoria Plaza, Montevideo, Uruguay

Michel Rivera WINS against Carlos Daniel Cordoba by TKO in Round 2 of 8

Win vs Yankiel Leon 12-0-0

Jul 16, 2018 Hotel Jaragua, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Yankiel Leon by TKO in Round 8 of 10

Win vs Jampier Oses 12-1-1

Feb 24, 2018 Club Mauricio Baez, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Jampier Oses by TKO in Round 7 of 8

Win vs Manuel Botis 23-1-1

Dec 22, 2017 Los Prados Social Club, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Manuel Botis by UD in Round 8 of 8

Win vs Luis Ernesto Jose 33-21-2

Sep 14, 2017 Hotel Jaragua, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Luis Ernesto Jose by TKO in Round 2 of 8

Win vs Luis Rosa 9-9-0

Jun 24, 2017 Hotel Jaragua, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Luis Rosa by TKO in Round 1 of 6

Win vs Marco Acevedo 10-0-0

May 22, 2017 Club el Millon, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Marco Acevedo by UD in Round 10 of 10

Win vs Luis Nino 7-4-0

Dec 16, 2016 Maunoloa Night Club y Casino, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Luis Nino by TKO in Round 4 of 8

Win vs Juan Rafael Polanco 4-2-0

Sep 23, 2016 Salon de Eventos P. C. Sambil, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Juan Rafael Polanco by UD in Round 6 of 6

Win vs Juan Carlos Contreras 2-37-2

Jun 11, 2016 Coliseo Pedro Julio Nolasco, La Romana, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Juan Carlos Contreras by UD in Round 4 of 4

Win vs Aneurys Mesa Rodriguez 5-42-1

May 26, 2016 Parque del Este, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Aneurys Mesa Rodriguez by TKO in Round 1 of 6

Win vs Dionisio Rodriguez 0-39-0

Apr 17, 2016 Gimnasio Pedro Cruz, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Dionisio Rodriguez by TKO in Round 2 of 4

Win vs Jose Vidal Sanchez 4-40-0

Apr 09, 2016 Club Maquiteria, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Jose Vidal Sanchez by UD in Round 4 of 4

Win vs Eduardo Juan 0-9-0

Apr 02, 2016 Club el Millon, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Eduardo Juan by TKO in Round 2 of 4

Win vs Gregory Estevez 0-19-0

Mar 19, 2016 Gimnasio Pedro Cruz, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Michel Rivera WINS against Gregory Estevez by TKO in Round 3 of 4

Stats

Michel Rivera “La Zarza Ali”

  • WINS 22
  • LOSSES 0
  • DRAWS 0
  • KOs 14

Weight 135 lbs (61.36 kg)

Height 5'8" (1.73 m)

Reach 71" (180 cm)

  • Born

    March 10, 1998
  • Age

    23
  • Country

    Dominican Republic
  • Born in

    Santo Domingo
  • Trains in

    Miami, FL
  • Stance

    Orthodox
  • Rounds Boxed

    123
  • KO Percentage

    63.64%
  • Boxing Hero

Fighter data provided by BoxRec Ltd. View disclaimer

Bio

Michel Rivera Bio

Undefeated lightweight Michel Rivera is the latest boxer from the Dominican Republic to make waves in the sport. The smooth-boxing Rivera carries the nickname "La Zarza Ali" due to his slick style and uncanny resemblance to Muhammad Ali.

Baseball’s Loss Is Boxing’s Gain

Michel Rivera was born in Santo Domingo of The Dominican Republic, which, after the United States, has the second-highest number of players in Major League Baseball. 

Rivera’s God-fearing parents, Miguel and Miguelina, sought that sport for their son, hoping to divert their teenager’s attention from the lure and influence of street-fighting neighborhood friends.

But an overweight Rivera despised baseball, preferring the pugilistic violence of the Sweet Science even as the squared circle defied his family’s Christian faith.

“My mom and dad let me box, and I hated baseball anyway,” said Rivera, who first entered the ring as a 14-year-old. “I’ve loved boxing ever since I had that first fight in the street. I believe I was born ready to box, and you can say baseball’s loss is boxing’s gain.”

 Rivera went 20-3 (17 knockouts) as an amateur and felt as if he was actually undefeated given his trio of controversial losses. 

“Michel is a centered young man whose parents deserve credit for raising him right,” said trainer Herman Caicedo, whose eight-dormitory Sports Training Center in Miami, Florida, allows him to monitor Rivera and other fighters. “Michel believes it was political why he lost three times as an amateur because he wasn’t training with the popular coaches and chose a not so well-known outsider to work with.”

An 18-year-old Rivera made his professional debut in March 2016, his third-round TKO of Gregory Estevez being his first of eight consecutive victories (five knockouts) that year between 130- and 137- pounds. 

Rivera fought thrice in April, squeezing a four-round unanimous decision between a pair of second-round TKOs, the latter halting Dionisio Rodriguez for his fourth win. Rivera’s fifth and swiftest triumph was May’s 95-second stoppage of Aneudy Mesa, and his seventh and longest was September’s six-round unanimous decision over Juan Rafael Polanco.

“Michel’s a throwback who is very calm in the ring. He had no problems with the frequency of his first eight fights,” said Caicedo. “Michel is listed at 5-foot-8, but he’s actually closer to 6-foot and can fight in the future at junior welter or at welterweight. I have no doubt he’ll be a world champion once he gets an opportunity.” 

Rivera went 4-0 (2 KOs) in 2017, sandwiching first- and second-round TKOs in June and September between 10- and eight-round unanimous decisions over Marcos Acevedo (May) and Manuel Botis (December). 

Rivera continued to overcome solid opposition in 2018 with seventh- and eighth-round TKOs over Jampier Oses (February) and Yankiel Leon (July). Oses entered at 12-1-1 (10 KOs), and  Leon at 12-0 (9 KOs).

“I feel good every time I’m fighting, and Acevedo and Botis were very tough opponents. But I knew I’d have to go the distance at some point, so it was good for me to do it against guys with records like that,” said Rivera. 

“Obviously winning is always great, but I’m always working for a satisfying knockout. So it felt great to get back to that against Oses and Leon, using my skills to adjust to what they brought to the table and demonstrating that I’m not a one-dimensional fighter.” 

Rivera vs. Fernandez: July 3, 2021 (PBC on SHOWTIME)

Closing In

In 2019, Rivera went 3-0 (2 KOs) comprising January’s second-round TKO of Carlos Daniel Cordoba, June’s eight-round unanimous decision over then-unbeaten René Téllez Girón (13-0, 7 KOs coming in) in his U.S. debut in Sloan, Iowa, and September’s fifth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Gallegos.

Rivera vanquished a pair of more experienced southpaws in 2020 with February’s 10th-round stoppage of Fidel Maldonado Jr. and October’s 10-round unanimous decision over Ladarius Miller. Rivera’s lone fight of 2020 was February’s eighth-round knockout of hard-hitting Raíces, who entered at 13-4 (11 KOs) with a two-fight winning streak.

Rivera sized up Maldanado (27-5-1, 20 KOs) with a flicking jab and pinpoint shots to the head and body. An overhand right flush on Maldonado’s jaw buckled and dropped him before he rose to absorb a follow-up volley that forced the referee’s stoppage.

Busier overall in his next bout against Miller (21-2, 6 KOs), Rivera alternately landed hard body shots on the way to winning a toe-to-toe clash and the previously vacant 135-pound USBA lightweight title.

“Maldonado and Miller were two good victories,” said Rivera. “Miller was the bigger win because of how slick he was with only one loss.”

Rivera is inching closer to a world title shot. On July 3, 2021, he took another step up in class when he faced veteran Jon Fernandez at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Fernandez entered the bout with a 21-1 record, with 18 of those victories by knockout. He flashed that power in the sixth when, well-behind the cards, he scored a flash knockdown on Rivera. 

Rivera bounced back to show his own prodigious power. A beautiful right hand in the eighth round put Fernandez away for good. 

“I’m so excited and beyond happy to get this win,” said Rivera afterward. “Fernández was a strong, experienced opponent that forced me to change the game plan I had going in.”

Rivera followed up that impressive win with another, easily outpointing the tough Jose Matias Ramiro over 10 rounds on October 30, 2021, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. All three judges had Rivera winning every round.

Rivera has earned the nickname “La Zarza Ali” for his uncanny resemblance to the great Muhammad Ali and his smooth-boxing style.