Floyd gave his orders to make sure these fights were part of this show and we were able to make it happen. I think boxing fans are going to be extremely pleased with what we have put together for them. – LEONARD ELLERBE, MAYWEATHER PROMOTIONS CEO
The past 24 hours have been a polarizing time for boxing fans regarding the announcement of the finalized pay-per-view card for May 3’s Mayweather vs. Maidana card. In many ways, this card has been in the making since September 2013, starting the second after Floyd Mayweather outclassed Canelo Alvarez. Since then, Floyd’s name has been attached to any and everyone that competes between 140-160 pounds. Having finally settled on Marcos Maidana last month, the attention turned anxiously to the undercard, where fans expected Golden Boy to build on the main event caliber co-feature they delivered in September with Lucas Matthysse vs. Danny Garcia.
No battle of that magnitude is present on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard. But does that mean this event isn’t worthy of your hard-earned dollars? Let’s analyze whether Leonard Ellerbe’s words are gospel truth, unadulterated spin, or a grey-tinged combination of both.
OPENING BOUT: J’LEON LOVE VS. MARCO ANTONIO PERIBAN, 10 ROUNDS, SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHTS
If you’ve watched any recent Mayweather pay-per-view, you know the “Money Team” group is always well-represented on his cards. In September, Mayweather fighters Ashley Theophane and Ishe Smith were featured on the televised portion. If they weren’t both soundly beaten in those, it’s probable we would be seeing them again next month. Before that, Love engaged a fun scrap against Gabriel Rosado, winning a controversial decision that was later overturned to a No-Contest due to Love being caught taking banned weight-loss supplements.
After doing whatever “penance” is required when you’re in the Mayweather fold, Love returns to ppv against contender Marco Antonio Periban. Viewed by most as a Top 10-15 guy at 168, Periban had a high-profile 2013 which saw him lose a competitive decision in his first title shot against Sakio Bika (and a ‘Round of the Year” candidate 12th), and battle to a draw with Badou Jack. Being that he’s ranked #3 by the WBC, some may see it as a “step-back” to face Love, who’s not in the Top15 of any sanctioning body. However, Periban knows there isn’t a high demand to see him rematch Bika, and #1 contender Julio Cesar Chavez will have first dibs should he get past Gennady Golovkin in July. Although there’s a risk of getting jobbed on the cards, facing the inexperienced Love at on such a big pay-per-view is worthwhile fiscal risk.
For Love, the benefits are even higher. Rosado was still growing into his middleweight frame when they fought last year, and most people (including me viewing from ringside), had Love losing that one. Coming back in December and knocking out Lajaun Simon, who hadn’t fought in three years, didn’t do much to build faith in his potential. Beating Periban would not only make Love a legit contender in 168, but it also puts him in line to gain a title shot before year’s end.
As a pay-per-view opener, this is a solid fight which will show how further both men can go for the remainder of their careers.
I had minor set back but I am back on May 3rd. Everybody needs to understand that I just took a loss. I haven’t lost it. I’m still “The Problem” and anyone can get it, whether you are African, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban or Mexican. – ADRIEN BRONER
ADRIEN BRONER VS. CARLOS MOLINA, 10 ROUNDS, JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT
Apparently, Broner forgot to add that even inactive fighters can get it to. After a brief back n’ forth Twitter squabble with Amir Khan about facing off on May 3, and later rumors about a fight with lightweight John Molina, Broner’s camp has settled on another Molina.
No, not that Carlos Molina.
This Carlos Molina is the light-hitting, scrappy opponent last seen fighting hard but being bloodied and ultimately stopped by Amir Khan back in December 2012. Molina was in over his head against Khan and will be again next month.
Even for a guy coming off a tough loss, this level of opponent is inexcusable. For one, a fight like this should not be on pay-per-view. These are exhibition mismatches we’re accustomed to seeing on Friday Night Fights or Golden Boy Live. There is nothing remotely interesting or competitive about this fight. And with Golden Boy virtually having the entire 140-147 tied up with signed fighters, the argument can’t be made that a better opponent couldn’t be found. No one was expecting Broner to take a Lucas Matthysse type opponent for his 140-pound debut, but we sure didn’t expect to see him drag out an inactive fighter, either.
GRADE – F
I’m looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas once again, and my intention on May 3 is to make a statement that I belong on this big stage. Luis Collazo might be coming off of a big win, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this challenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one of the best welterweights in the sport. – AMIR KHAN
AMIR KHAN VS. LUIS COLLAZO, 12 ROUNDS, WELTERWEIGHT
Thus far, Amir Khan has been the most talkative fighter of 2014. Whether it’s boasting about his Twitter followers, the ppv power of Muslim fans to sell a Mayweather fight, complaining about losing said Mayweather fight, or calling out Adrien Broner, Khan had been on a media rampage to score a big fight on May 3.
Enter Luis Collazo, who has conveniently been added into the WBC’s #15 ranking following his second round knockout of Victor Ortiz in January. To have an idea on how sketchy the WBC welterweight rankings are, Khan sits at #3 despite never having competed in the weight class.
Still, Collazo is at least a capable welterweight. And considering the fact Khan went life and death with Julio Diaz the last time we saw him, it’s not out of the question that Khan loses this one. Collazo is a good counter-puncher and despite Khan’s speed, the latter’s outright recklessness on offense will leave Collazo plenty of opportunities to land. And if these two needed any more incentive, the winner will be firmly in the running for the September 2014 Mayweather Sweepstakes.
This isn’t as enticing as Khan-Broner (which should be happening May 3), but it’s a good fight.
GRADE – B-
FLOYD MAYWEATHER VS. MARCOS MAIDANA, 12 ROUNDS, WBC WELTERWEIGHT TITLE
Out of all the fighters available at Golden Boy, Marcos Maidana was the most worthy opponent for Floyd Mayweather. Since losing badly to Devon Alexander, Maidana rebounded with two Fight of Year candidate bouts (and KO wins) over Jesus Soto Karass and Josesito Lopez before a signature “upset” win over Adrien Broner last December. That final win earned him the WBA welterweight crown, making the Floyd contest a unification bout.
With that said, the apathy among some fans is because Maidana’s chances are very slim. Going back to the Kotelnik fight, Maidana isn’t adept at handling technicians, and Mayweather is the supreme technician of the sport. The fight serves as more of an indictment of the “business politics of boxing” as opposed to the actual fighters, since it’s supposed “business politics” as to why Mayweather won’t be able to face the biggest challenges to his reign in Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao, who ironically will fight each other on April 12.
Again, Maidana deserves this opportunity, but we’ve seen too many times what Mayweather does to an opponent with his style.
GRADE – B
Now it’s your turn. Vote below and leave comments with your thoughts on this card.