- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions rounded out the televised undercard for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero Showtime PPV card on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, formally announcing Tuesday the addition of two fights: junior featherweight Leo Santa Cruz against Alexander Munoz, and middleweight J'Leon Love against Gabriel Rosado.
Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds and will be part of the pay-per-view telecast that also includes pound-for-pound king Mayweather in a defense of his welterweight title against interim titlist Guerrero, and featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon defending his belt against former junior featherweight titleholder Abner Mares, who recently vacated his title to move up in weight.
"We could not be more impressed or happy with the path that Leo Santa Cruz is on and can't wait for his skills to be tested further against Munoz in front of a worldwide audience," Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer said. "J'Leon Love has his toughest test to date when he faces Gabriel Rosado. I can't think of a better way to kick off this exciting night."
Mexico-born, Southern California-based Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KOs), 24, who recently vacated his bantamweight belt to move up in weight, was originally due to face former two-division champ Rafael Marquez. However, Marquez withdrew for medical reasons and was replaced by Munoz, 34, a former junior bantamweight titleholder from Venezuela.
"I'm so excited to be fighting on this card on the big Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend," Santa Cruz said. "I have been very fortunate to have fought on great events so far in my career, but this is the biggest stage yet. I plan to make my fans happy on May 4 and show the world that I am here to stay."
Munoz (36-4, 28 KOs) twice held versions of the junior bantamweight title but he has not had a world title since losing a split decision to Cristian Mijares in a 2008 unification bout. After that loss, Munoz won three fights in a row before losing a unanimous decision to Koki Kameda in Japan for a vacant bantamweight world title in December 2010. Munoz did not fight in 2011, but returned in November to stop Ever Garcia Hernandez in the sixth round.
"I am so looking forward to getting back in the ring on May 4 and taking the young Leo Santa Cruz to school," Munoz said. "My experience is going to trump his youth and I plan on handing him his first loss in front of the world on Showtime PPV."
Love (15-0, 8 KOs), a protégé of Mayweather's who is signed to his Mayweather Promotions, is taking a big step up in competition when he faces Rosado, a former title challenger from Philadelphia.
"This is what every fighter dreams of," said Love, 25, of Detroit. "Thanks to Floyd Mayweather, (Mayweather Promotions CEO) Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions I have been blessed with the opportunity to fight on Showtime PPV in front of the whole world and on the undercard of one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Gabriel Rosado is a big name in the sport and a very good fighter, but on May 4, I plan on making a big statement by beating him and letting the entire world know my name. This is it and I can't wait."
Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs) was a top junior middleweight contender but moved up to middleweight in January for a shot at titleholder Gennady Golovkin. Rosado, 27, put on a brave performance but was outclassed and eventually stopped on cuts in the seventh round at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York.
"I have had my ups and downs, but I am confident that May 4 is going to be my time to shine," Rosado said. "J'Leon Love is a tough, good fighter who has learned from some of the best. But I know what I am capable of. I am going to come out on top and show boxing fans across the country and around the world what I am made of."
Whatever happens, the fighters have a huge platform on which to make fight fans take notice.
"Fighting on a Floyd Mayweather undercard presents a platform unlike any other in the sport of boxing and we know that these rising stars will take full advantage of the opportunity," Ellerbe said.