Thursday, August 28, 2014
Love looks to continue rise
By Dan Rafael
Super middleweight J'Leon Love, right, headlines Friday's Mayweather Promotions show in Las Vegas.
There's yet another boxing card in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, on Saturday night, this one at the Palms Casino Resort. But it probably has more special meaning to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. than usual.
It's the first card his company, Mayweather Promotions, is doing on its own since securing a promotional license in Nevada on July 30.
Although Mayweather, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, is training for his rematch with Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13, he will be at the show to watch the card filled with fighters he promotes and often trains with.
"It's great to be putting on another great card with Mayweather Promotions stars from top to bottom," Mayweather said. "Even though we will be two weeks away from my rematch against Maidana, there is no way I would miss this. These guys all live by the motto of 'hard work, dedication,' and I look forward to seeing that hard work pay off on [Friday]."
The "ShoBox: The New Generation" card (10 p.m. ET/PT) was originally supposed to be a quadrupleheader, but when junior middleweight prospect Chris Pearson (11-0, 9 KOs) suffered an injury, his undercard fight with Steve Martinez (15-1, 12 KOs) was called off.
The card is headlined by super middleweight J'Leon Love (18-0, 10 KOs) taking on Rogelio Medina (32-6, 26 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Super middleweight Badou Jack (16-1-1, 11 KOs), looking to bounce back from a first-round knockout loss to unheralded Derek Edwards in February, faces Jason Escalera (15-2-1, 12 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature with super middleweight Ronald Gavril (9-0, 7 KOs) squaring off with Thomas Falowo (12-2, 8 KOs) in the scheduled eight-round opener.
Love is coming off his biggest victory, a 10-round unanimous decision against former title challenger Marco Antonio Periban, who lost a decision battling for a vacant belt against Sakio Bika in June 2013 and then fought to a draw with Jack in his next fight last September.
"My last fight was definitely a learning experience," Love said. "Periban was a title contender and a very experienced fighter. I faced some adversity and I was able to bounce back and come through with a win."
Love's win against Periban came on the Showtime PPV undercard of Mayweather's first fight with Maidana on May 3, his second time fighting on one of Mayweather's events.
"Every fight is a learning experience, but this one was under the big lights," Love said. "It shows I have the heart and determination to win. I know where I want to go with this and I know a world championship is on the horizon. I think I have maybe two more fights before I fight for a belt.
"I'm still growing as a fighter, but I've graduated from prospect to contender and I'm just a few wins away from graduating to world champion. Saturday night is just another step. I think I'm almost there."