Flores out, Rivera in against Santa Cruz

848381926.jpg.0 - Flores out, Rivera in against Santa Cruz

The fight takes place on February 16th in Los Angeles

Miguel Flores, set to challenge Leo Santa Cruz for the latter’s WBA featherweight title in a PBC main event on February 16th, has suffered an ankle injury and withdrawn from the bout. As a result, Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera will step in on three weeks’ notice.

I’m inclined to agree with Richard Schaefer calling this a better matchup; Flores got battered by Dat Nguyen three fights back and stopped on a cut by a past-it Chris Avalos five months later. Rivera (26-2-2, 17 KO) is also 1-2 in his last three, but those losses were a surprisingly competitive UD against JoJo Diaz and a split decision to undefeated Joet Gonzalez.

Admittedly, “better matchup” just means it’s a less criminal mismatch. Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KO) will still be heavily favored, as he would be against anyone at 126 not currently holding a belt. For my money, the real story of this card is the rebooked Omar Figueroa-John Molina Jr. clash, though less for the action potential and more for Figueroa’s trainwreck tendencies outside the ring.

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