Santa Cruz Ready To Unify After Rivera

On Saturday night, Leo Santa Cruz looks to start off his 2019 with a decisive defense of his WBA Featherweight championship against Rafael Rivera.

On Thursday, both fighters would meet a a press conference in Los Angeles, days away from their fight at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“We were getting ready for Miguel Flores,” Santa Cruz said on the change of opponents on Saturday Night. “But in the gym you have to always be ready for any kind of style. We had been already been working with sparring partners who brawl, and that’s what we expect from Rafael Rivera.

“I knew immediately that Rivera was a good opponent. He’s young and hungry and that makes him dangerous. He can take punches, so we’re ready for 12 rounds. We’re going to be smart in this fight because we know what Rivera can do.

Looking ahead if he secures a win against Rivera, Santa Cruz is looking to add more gold to his collection.

“If I can get this win, we want to unify the belts or make the third fight against Carl Frampton,” the popular fighter told reporters. “If not, we will go to 130 pounds and seek a title in a new weight class.”

For Rivera, this is not unfamiliar territory, “I’ve stepped in late before to a big fight. I’m always ready when it comes. Expect a surprise come Saturday night.”

“I know that I have everything it takes to bring this title back to Tijuana. We’ve trained hard and had these last four weeks to focus in on breaking Leo down.

While the last minute challenger is confident, the Tijuana fighter knows the difficulty of facing Santa Cruz. “I’m prepared for anything Leo brings into the ring,” said the challenger.” Everyone knows he’s very tough and throws a lot of punches, but I believe I am the faster fighter and I can hurt him with counters.

“This is the best opportunity I’ve had, going up against a great champion like Leo. I’m ready for fight and a great show for the fans.”

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