Lee Purdy vs Cosme Rivera Preview March 9
The IBF International Welterweight Title will be up for grabs at Wembley Arena in London, England on Saturday March 8 when current holder and British champion Lee Purdy takes on Cosme Rivera of Mexico. The 25-year-old Purdy has a record of 19-3-1 with 12 Kos while the 36-year-old veteran Rivera has a mark of 35-15-3 with 24 Kos.
Purdy has won his last three bouts after dropping two of his previous five. His last outing came on September 8 when he stopped Gumersindo Lucas Carrasco in the fourth round. He turned pro in 2006 and hasn’t fought outside of Britain. He’s never been stopped, losing his three bouts by decisions, but he hasn’t really taken on any noteworthy opponents as of yet. Rivera, although he’s in the twilight of his career, will arguably be his best opponent. He’s only 5-foot-7, which is relatively short for a welterweight, and has decent power.
Purdy likes to force the action and is quite an accurate puncher. His defensive skills are pretty good, but he sometimes gets too excited in the ring. Rivera is actually filling in here as a replacement for Carson Jones, who was scheduled to take on Purdy, but pulled out due to sickness. It’s hard to say what type of condition Rivera will be in since he didn’t have much time to prepare for the fight. Rivera may have lost 15 bouts, but he’s been stopped just twice and has fought some formidable foes since turning pro back in 1993.
He was stopped by former world champion Zab Judah in the third round of a world title fight in 2005 and hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo stopped him in the fifth round in 2009. He’s been around the pro game for 20 years now and Purdy comes nowhere near him experience-wise. He’s also been in the ring with Andre Berto, Antonio Pitalau, Hercules Kyvelos, Hector Quiroz, Ricky Quiles, Diosbelys Hurtado, Golden Johnson, Gilberto Reyes, Felix Flores, and Joel Julio. His last bout was a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas on Dec. 7. He’ll have a three-inch height advantage on Purdy as he stands 5-foot-7.
Rivera’s also got pretty good power and certainly has a sturdy chin. He’s fought in England before as he stopped the previously unbeaten James Hare for the WBF Welterweight crown in Huddersfield back in 2003 when he stopped him in the 10th round. This could be an exciting bout, depending on what Rivera’s condition is and if he’s going into the ring to win or just to fill in as an opponent and collect a paycheque.
If Rivera was 10 years younger he would have been the favourite for this bout. But that’s not the case. He’ll need to try and use his height advantage if possible and make sure the younger Purdy doesn’t outwork him round after round. Rivera has the power to hurt Purdy if he can catch him clean. If Rivera wasn’t a last-minute fill in, he could pull off a mild upset, but since he’s had just a few days notice, Purdy should be able to eke out a decision. However, this should be a close fight.