(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) Tonight’s “Mayhem” fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada has a number of the A-side fighters as huge, huge favorites to win starting with the headlining fight between WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr (46-0, 26 KOs) vs. Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs). Mayweather is a whopping 12-1 favorite to defeat Maidana, according to Fightnews. I don’t know about you but 8:1 odds are pretty steep.
The most troubling fight on this card is the clear mismatch in the co-feature bout between WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KOs) and the fringe contender that he’s being matched against from the bantamweight division named Manuel Roman (17-2-3, 6 KOs). Santa Cruz is a 50:1 favorite to defeat the #13 WBC Manuel Roman.
Why did Santa Cruz’s adviser Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions pick out a fringe contender from the bantamweight division for Santa Cruz to fight instead of the super bantamweight division? It makes no sense at all other than the fight being put together to showcase Santa Cruz for the casual boxing fans, who have no clue who Santa Cruz is.
If this is a fight that is being aimed at fans without any knowledge about Santa Cruz, then you can kind of understand the match-making for the fight. But other than that, it seems pointless for a fighter as good as Santa Cruz to be put in with a guy ranked as low as Manuel is in a division below Santa Cruz’s super bantamweight division. This fight reeks of Danny Garcia vs. Rod Salka type match-making, and it’s disappointing to say the least.
For big cards like Mayweather’s, you can expect a heck of a lot more for the co-feature than a straight up mismatch like the Santa Cruz vs. Roman fight. Roman is Santa Cruz’s former sparring partner. So, boxing fans get to see Santa Cruz beat up on his former sparring partner in the co-feature bout. You can make a strong argument that Santa Cruz vs. Roman belongs off television, because it’s just a bad, bad fight in my view.
In one of the more competitive fights on tonight’s “Mayhem” card, IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (34-3, 13 KOs) will be defending his title against Mayweather Promotions fighter Mickey Bey (20-1-1, 10 KOs). Vazquez is only a 3:1 favorite to win. Still, it’s hard to see Bey as being deserving of a title shot when he was knocked out recently by John Molina. If anyone deserves a title shot, its Molina, who is also fighting on this card against 34-old old veteran Humberto Soto (64-8-2, 35 KOs).
Bey gets knocked out by Molina but still gets a title shot, whereas Molina has to settle for an aging former two division world champion in Soto, who doesn’t look like he belongs at light welterweight. Soto was a good fighter in his day at super featherweight and lightweight, but he doesn’t look nearly the same fighter at 140. Molina is a 2:1 favorite to defeat Soto.
Coming off of 2 consecutive knockout losses, Alfredo Angulo (28-4, 18 KOs) is surprisingly a 4:1 favorite to defeat James De La Rosa (22-2, 13 KOs). Angulo looked weight drained for his last fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in their catch-weight fight at 155 pounds last March. But at Friday’s weigh-in, Angulo still looked drained. 155 to 162 really isn’t that big of a deal, and I won’t be surprised if Angulo is as listless tonight against De La Rosa in their catch-weight fight at 162 than he was at 155 against Canelo.