Not content to let the WBC monopolize this week’s announcements, the WBA has ordered a lightweight final eliminator between #2 Michel Rivera and #3 Jorge Linares. As always, the two have 30 days to come to terms before a purse bid gets called, this one split 50/50.
They sit behind #1 Rolando Romero in the rankings, but the sanctioning body appears to be skipping over him for obvious reasons.
The Dominican Republic’s Rivera (22-0, 14 KO) definitely looks the goods at 22 years old. He entered 2021 sporting notable victories over Rene Tellez Giron and Ladarius Miller, and after starting the year with a stay-busy welterweight fight, he rose further by surviving a sixth-round knockdown to flatline Jon Fernandez and subsequently cruising past Jose Matias Romero last month.
Linares (47-6, 29 KO), a terrific pro for nearly 20 years, remains extremely dangerous despite his recent inability to topple the elites. He shook Devin Haney so badly in their May meeting that the young champion spent the last three rounds doing more holding than punching. This represents an excellent crossroads battle, and if Rivera isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, he could find himself in real trouble.