07.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley, Photos by David M Warr / DKP: Daniel Santos of Puerto Rico stopped Jose Rivera on an eighth round TKO in a WBA junior middleweight title eliminator on the under card of the Samuel Peter – Jameel McCline main event at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.
Rivera of Worcester Massachusetts, whose previous two losses came against two top tier fighters in welterweight Luis Collazo and junior middleweight Travis Simms was facing yet another southpaw in Santos. Rivera had commented before the bout that he would be more aggressive in this fight but that game plan quickly fell right into the counter-punching Santos’ hands. Rivera pursued Santos from the opening bell but the quick, elusive Santos was blocking shots and making Rivera pay with a comprehensive attack..
By the fifth inning Rivera’s right eye began to swell badly and Santos began to ratchet up his attack after building up a comfortable lead on the judges scorecards. Every time Rivera drew close Santos made him pay dearly.
In the eighth round Santos connected with a right-left combination that staggered Rivera and may have broken his nose as blood began to flow freely from his beak. Rivera backed off as Santos charged firing another right-left combination that knocked Rivera through the ropes. Rivera made it back into the ring and beat referee Pete Santiago’s count. As Santiago was about to wave Santos on Rivera’s trainer John Scully waved the white towel, trying to get Santiago’s attention. Santiago stopped the bout at 2:50 of the eighth round.
A dejected Rivera 36-6-1 said after the bout, “He had a field day with me. Daniel fought a great fight.”
Rivera who hadn’t won a round on the judge’s scorecards will probably retire after now losing three of his last four fights.
With the victory Santos at 31-1-1 now becomes the mandatory challenger for WBA junior middleweight champion Joachim Alcine.
Article posted on 08.10.2007