Yankiel Rivera, the only boxer from Puerto Rico who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, has signed a professional deal with Matchroom Boxing, and will return to the ring on the Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz undercard on Feb. 4 at New York’s Hulu Theater.
Flyweight Rivera, 25, turned pro last September in Colombia with a first-round stoppage over veteran Jose Antonio Jimenez, and was back in November with a third-round TKO win over Ramon Velasquez in Puerto Rico.
Obviously, debuting him for Matchroom in New York City on an Amanda Serrano undercard is a no-brainer move for his new promoters, even if it is deep on the undercard.
It’s been a while since a Puerto Rican prospect has actually turned out to be a pro star, as there have been a series of them who have just not really reached the potential they were thought to have, and with their amateur program only turning out Rivera for the 2020 Olympics, it’s not hard to think maybe boxing in Puerto Rico has simply slipped.
But Rivera’s a real prospect, and while it’s hard to make a flyweight star, it’s certainly not impossible. We’ll see how he looks next weekend and then going forward.