Michel Rivera is a rising star in the boxing world, with an impressive record of 22 wins and no losses. He is also known for his striking resemblance to the legendary Muhammad Ali, both in his appearance and his fighting style. But is Rivera really related to Ali, or is it just a coincidence? In this article, we will explore the truth behind the lookalike boxer and his connection to the greatest of all time.
The Physical Similarities
One of the first things that catches the eye when watching Rivera fight is his physical similarity to Ali. Rivera has a high-fade haircut, a slender build, and white shorts with black trim, just like Ali did in his prime. He also has a face that resembles Ali’s, with similar features and expressions. According to Insider1, Rivera said that people have pointed out his likeness to Ali since he was fighting in his home country, the Dominican Republic. However, he never saw an Ali fight film before the comparisons. He said that he started to watch videos of young Ali after his knockout win over Jon Fernandez in July 2021, and he was amazed by how much his style looked like him.
The Fighting Style
Rivera’s fighting style is also reminiscent of Ali’s, as he uses his speed, footwork, and jab to outbox his opponents. He also has a knack for delivering spectacular knockouts, as he did against Fernandez and Jerry Perez. Rivera said that he did not copy Ali’s style, but that it was his natural way of fighting. He told FanSided2 that he learned boxing from his father, who was also a boxer and taught him the basics. He said that he developed his own style by watching different fighters and adapting what worked for him.
Rivera’s nickname, “La Zarza Ali”, is another tribute to Ali. La Zarza is the name of the neighborhood where Rivera grew up in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He said that he chose the nickname to honor Ali and his legacy, as well as to represent his roots. He told Boxing Scene that he admired Ali not only for his boxing skills, but also for his courage, charisma, and humanitarian work. He said that he wanted to follow Ali’s footsteps and become a champion inside and outside the ring.
The Family Connection
Despite the physical and stylistic similarities, Rivera is not related to Ali by blood. He does not share any ancestry or lineage with the late champion, who had nine children from four marriages. However, Rivera does have a family connection to another boxing legend: Julian Jackson. Jackson is a former two-division world champion from the Virgin Islands, who is widely regarded as one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. He is also Rivera’s uncle, as he is married to Rivera’s aunt. Rivera said that he grew up watching Jackson’s fights and learned from him how to throw powerful punches.
Michel Rivera is a talented boxer who bears a remarkable resemblance to Muhammad Ali, both physically and stylistically. However, he is not related to Ali by blood, but rather by admiration and inspiration. He is also related to Julian Jackson by marriage, who is another boxing icon and mentor for him. Rivera is on the cusp of big things in boxing, as he is ranked among the top contenders in the lightweight division. He hopes to emulate Ali’s greatness and become a world champion soon.