Michel Rivera will have to wait a while before embarking on the comeback trail. Jake Donovan revealed last month that “La Zarza Ali” tested positive for two banned diuretics around last December’s loss to Frank Martin, and though Rivera was quick to throw his team under the bus, Dan Rafael reports that he’ll serve a six-month suspension and be fined $15,000 of his $100,000 purse.
Rivera (24-1, 14 KO) versus Martin seemed like a well-matched fight on paper; Rivera had established himself as a lightweight prospect of note with solid wins over Jon Fernandez and Joseph Adorno and looked to be coming into his own. Instead, Rivera turned in a career-worst performance en route to losing what one judge and our own Scott Christ deemed a shutout.
Whether it was the drugs, a bad weight cut, an off night, or just hitting his ceiling, Rivera has a serious uphill battle in front of him if he wants to regain his luster. The talent is clearly there; now comes the part where we see what he’s made of.