When Floyd Mayweather defends his WBC Welterweight Championship against Robert Guerrero on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, all eyes will be on the main event. The undercard features three exciting bouts as well; so boxing fans will be entertained throughout the night.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Leo Santa Cruz will take on Alexander Munoz in a junior featherweight fight, while middleweights J'Leon Love and Gabriel Rosado will do battle. Also, Daniel Ponce de Leon will defend his Featherweight Championship against Abner Mares.
Many fighters on the card have future main-event potential, and winning on the Mayweather vs. Guerrero undercard is the first step toward realizing that promise. Here are the three most talented fighters to keep your eyes on while watching the May 4 undercard from Las Vegas.
Leo Santa Cruz
Mexican-born Leo Santa Cruz is one of the most explosive young fighters in boxing. At just 24-years-of-age, he is still fairly inexperienced, but he has racked up 24 career fights and holds a 23-0-1 record. In search of bigger names and bigger paydays, Santa Cruz vacated his IBF Bantamweight Championship so he could move up to face Alexander Munoz.
The 34-year-old Munoz is no pushover either as he owns a 32-3 record and is a former WBA Super Flyweight Champion. Munoz has the advantage both in terms of overall experience and experience in fighting at this particular weight.
Santa Cruz is incredibly talented, though, and should be able to carry that talent over to any weight class.
The fights that take place on the undercards of big events are generally meant to build up one boxer in each bout. Santa Cruz is supposed to win this fight and move on to greater things, but the veteran Munoz won't go quietly. Munoz has to realize that a win would mean big fights for him in the future. At the same time, Santa Cruz could be a star in the junior flyweight division, and he should be able to prevail.
Although he just turned pro in 2010, J'Leon Love has already managed to make a lot of noise in the middleweight division. Love is 15-0 with eight knockouts, but he has yet to be truly tested. His bout with Gabriel Rosado on Saturday will truly prove where he is in his development, though.
Rosado isn't a big name as he has fought largely on the Pennsylvania state circuit, but he is 20-6 and possesses knockout power.
It would be a huge shock if Rosado defeated Love, but Love still has to be wary. He can't come into the fight overconfident, and he can't just assume that he is going to win on talent alone. As big of a fight as this is for Love, it is equally big for Rosado. Although Rosado isn't exactly a highly-touted prospect, he is only 27 and could potentially put himself on the map with a win.
Love is the guy who most fans expect, and want, to win as he has the ability to accomplish some big things. According to Rafael, Love is one of Mayweather's proteges and is signed to Mayweather Promotions. That means Mayweather has put him in a position that he believes he will thrive in, but Love still has to compete and come out on top before he can be anointed.
In a bout that could probably headline its own card, undefeated Abner Mares will challenge Daniel Ponce de Leon for his WBC Featherweight Championship. Mares received a huge boost from beating Eric Morel one year ago, and he has developed into one of the best young fighters in boxing.
At 27-years-of-age, Mares already holds a 24-0-1 record, and he will put it on the line against his toughest opponent to date in Ponce de Leon.
Who is the most talented fighter on the Mayweather vs. Guerrero undercard?
Mares made the decision to vacate his WBC Super Bantamweight Championship in order to challenge Ponce de Leon, so the stakes are incredibly high for him.
Ponce de Leon has been fighting at the featherweight level for a very long time and will undoubtedly be more comfortable than Mares. At the same time, Mares is the younger and hungrier fighter, so he will be a force to be reckoned with.
At 44-4, Ponce de Leon has been in many more fights than Mares, but he has taken a lot more abuse as well. Mares could very well be the present and the future of the featherweight division. Ponce de Leon won't go quietly, and he won't give up his title willingly; however, Mares is good enough to take it.
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