Undercard bouts on major pay-per-view boxing cards are often derided because they more commonly serve the interests of the event’s controlling promoter than complement the evening’s principal fight. Whether it’s a weak world-title fight or a one-sided showcase for a touted prospect, a genuinely deep undercard is a rarity.
When Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights Robert Guerrero this Saturday in Las Vegas, hardcore fight fans can also look forward to an intriguing clash between prospect J’Leon Love and rugged contender Gabriel Rosado. Rosado-Love certainly warrants a spot on the paid portion of the card, and while Love is clearly the undefeated, hyped prospect, this fight is anything but a showcase bout for him.
In fact, it is fair to speculate that Love (15-0, 8 KO), at this juncture, has, perhaps, bitten off more than he can chew.
Before getting bludgeoned by Gennady Golovkin in a bid for the WBA and IBO middleweight titles, Rosado (21-6, 13 KO), a natural 154-pounder, was riding an impressive three-fight stoppage streak. In halting Jesus Soto Karass, Sechew Powell and Charles Whittaker, Rosado has emphatically proven himself against legitimate opposition.
The same, however, cannot be said for Love. It is clear that Love possesses tremendous boxing skills and natural ability. That said, other than a victory over Derrick Findley in his last outing, Love has quite literally not fought anyone of consequence. Furthermore, Findley is the highest-grade boxer one can be while still carrying the “opponent” label.
Rosado will prove to be the ultimate litmus test for Love. Whether Love is ready to skip several grades of opponents in one leap should be evident early, and how he handles the event’s magnitude will be essential.
Rosado, who has fought and headlined on NBC and HBO, has the skills and experience to defeat Love, though fighting again at middleweight could prove costly. Questions abound about Rosado-Love, and the fight promises compelling answers.