The Moment – Big Fight Preview: Mayweather’s mindset, Khan’s toughest clash and Broner getting back to basics
Probably three of the top ten draws in boxing right now, today’s event featuring Adrien Broner, Floyd Mayweather and Amir Khan is one to relish.
Granted, real boxing fans know that the headline clash between Mayweather and Marcos Maidana is about as one-sided a bout as ‘Money’ has been in for a long time. However, a chance to also witness Broner back to his spectacular best and Khan in a real 50/50 bout makes this a special card.
Also featuring will be some of Mayweather Promotions’ best prospects as well as another UK Olympic medalist that Golden Boy Promotions are hoping to turn into the next Amir Khan. With such a stacked show it can be hard to get your head around all that is on offer, so here is a breakdown of all the goings on involved in The Moment.
The Brits on the Undercard
Two English fighters, both at very different stages of their careers, will be fighting on the undercard prior to the big show starting.
Ashley Theophane (33-6) is a Londoner that has been training at the Mayweather gym for approximately three years now. Having originally gone to simply experience the Mayweather gym and possibly spar with the champ, Theophane ended up befriending Floyd and now fights under his promotional banner. A former British title holder, Theophane has boxed in America before and once even took Danny Garcia a full 10 rounds before losing a split-decision. With two losses in his last four fights Theophane is looking to build a winning streak against Mexican journeyman Angino Perez (15-4) in the hope of landing some bigger paydays.
EXPECT…Theophane to grind out a points win.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Anthony Ogogo (5-0), the Olympic bronze medalist who will face another Mexican journeyman in Jonel Tapia (8-4). UK residents may recall Ogogo from TV shows including Big Brother, Splash, Subway adverts or even from starring in the London Olympics in 2012. For his good-looks, charisma and potential, Ogogo was sought by nearly every major promotional company in the world when he wanted to turn professional, but Golden Boy Promotions, headed by Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, succeeded in getting him to sign.
EXPECT…Ogogo to slug his way to a stoppage win.
Mayweather Promotion’s Big Hope
Starting of the big show is J’Leon Love (17-0), a super-middleweight boxer that Mayweather is grooming for stardom. However, it seems Mayweather is not as good at grooming as he is at boxing, with previous Mayweather Promotions’ prospects such as Jessie Vargas and Mickey Bey not reaching the level he may have hoped thus far.
Love has had his issues too, with a very controversial points win against Gabriel Rosado (a fight he clearly lost) being changed to a no-contest after Love tested positive for a banned substance. Although he clearly has some skill, Love is far from the finished product. Facing Mexican Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1) he will be in for a very tough time.
EXPECT…Love to either be knocked out or get be gifted a victory by the judges.
Broner is Back
“The Problem” showed he had lost none of his crass since taking a beating from Marcos Maidana, stating in press conferences anyone that thinks he would now be more humble can “shove it up their ass”.
It is easy for Broner (27-1) to be confident knowing he is taking on a smaller man that has not fought since 2012. His opponent Carlos Molina (17-1) is a natural lightweight. When Broner fought at lightweight we saw he was way too powerful for all comers. He could not take or dish out punishment in the same way at welterweight, so this fight at light-welterweight is an easing back into the water for him before he looks for another huge fight.
EXPECT…Broner to be just as cocky as ever whilst scoring a stunning knockout.
The Real Fight – Khan vs Collazo
Amir Khan (28-3) is so desperate to fight Mayweather that he unnecessarily has agreed to take on one of the trickiest opponents possible in Luis Collazo (35-5) to prove he is worthy. The Puerto-Rican New Yorker is an ultra-tough, well schooled and underrated south-paw (left handed fighter) that could now be a superstar, were he a little more popular.
This is not to say the fight is not very winnable for Khan, as Collazo cannot match Khan’s speed or work-rate. But Collazo is the bigger man and Khan has not yet faced a true welterweight, so there may be some adjusting needed in-between rounds. Pundits are calling for Khan to box intelligently to win but that is something Khan has hardly shown an ability to do. Khan is not a fighter that has ever fought at a slow tempo and picked shots. Instead he usually just flurries opponents from range before skipping off. Doing this against a bigger man for a full 12 rounds (Collazo has never been stopped) is going to be tough for Khan. Although Collazo is not known as a knockout artist, he is powerful and will be very driven. Khan will need to gain his respect with hurtful punches from the start. They have both been in with big names, in big fights, but questions remain about both and they will be answered in this contest. In this fight, the man with the better stamina may just come out on top.
EXPECT…anything in what will be an exciting clash.
The Main Event – How Focused can Mayweather be?
Put simply, Marcos Maidana (35-3) is a fighter most would agree is tailor made for Floyd Mayweather (45-0). A slow, plodding fighter that loads up on punches, Maidana is even naturally smaller than Floyd and only two years ago lost every round on the way to losing against Devon Alexander.
But Maidana is on a run and has undeniably looked better since joining Robert Garcia’s exceptional camp, training with half a dozen or so other world-class fighters in Oxnard, California. Having beaten the pants of Broner in his last fight, Maidana is the hottest available opponent for Mayweather (discounting Manny Pacquaio). However, the fact that Khan and Broner are taking a big slice of Mayweather’s money on this card is not for no reason, as nearly everyone knows this is one of Floyd’s easiest fights for years. He needed them two to bolster the pay-per-view sales.
So what – if anything – could make this not such a walk in the park for ‘Money’?
Firstly, his mindset. Remarkably, just days before his fight, Mayweather has decided to air a lot of his dirty laundry in public regarding his relationship with Shantel Jackson, his ex-girlfriend, ever since she was scene going out with rapper Nelly. From posting up pictures of medical documents showing she aborted his twins, to pictures proving she has had a lot of plastic surgery, to detailing figures of money he has paid to both her and her mother, Floyd has done more talking about this issue than the fight over the last few days. Of course, Floyd is the epitome of a professional in regards to his lifestyle and work ethic, but if anything can ruin this focus it is a female. Could we see a Tiger Woods style drop in performance?
The second thing that could make this fight tough for Mayweather is Maidana is a bit of a wild man and in this bout he has nothing to lose. Whereas the likes of Saul Alvarez and Miguel Cotto were looking to set up shots to breach Mayweather’s defence, Maidana will simply look to bludgeon through. While Robert Guerrero was looking to out-work Mayweather, Maidana knows he will have to severely hurt Mayweather at some point to even make this close. A loss does nothing bad for Maidana, as he will still be right in the mix with the rest of the pack. Other fighters were working on the back of good reputations as potential great fighters so they had something to protect, which is why many of them end up freezing and accepting a points loss against Mayweather. It is very doubtful we will see this from Maidana, who is in a unique Rocky style situation of having somehow gained the ultimate shot from nothing.
The combination of these two factors may hopefully give us a better fight than this realistically should be.
EXPECT…Mayweather to be rocked at some point but to come back and win in emphatic style.