You can't claim Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions aren't giving fans their money's worth with the undercard for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana pay-per-view on May 3.
When crafting the undercard for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley event, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum opted to select fights that wouldn't fare well in the Q score but might seem more appealing to die-hard boxing fans who follow the sport closely.
Arum argued that most people don't buy a PPV based on the undercard, but rather the headline bout. So why build up a stacked undercard when the casual fan doesn't even care?
Mayweather-Maidana presents the other side of the argument, throwing Adrien Broner, Amir Khan and Luis Collazo on the Mayweather-Maidana card.
Khan-Collazo is the kind of fight that could easily headline its own major show and easily boost the overall show by itself. Seeing Broner on the undercard is kind of a big deal, too, even if he's fighting Carlos Molina. J'Leon Love vs. Marco Antonio Periban is more of a throwaway, but some folks might be intrigued to watch Love.
ESPN's Dan Rafael gave the overall card a favorable grade:
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix was also a fan of the PPV lineup and wrote that stacking the undercard can provide added benefits that aren't related to buys:
Fans do buy the top of the ticket. But there are other, less quantifiable ways that putting high profile fights on an undercard brings. Media exposure, for starters. (Danny) Garcia-(Lucas) Matthysse was one of the most anticipated fights of 2013. The fight had its own press tour and generated significant press interest, which added another layer to the promotion. Similarly, Khan-Collazo is a crossroads fight between two welterweight contenders. The winner will take a big step forward, possibly into a fight against Mayweather in the fall.
There is also exposure. Pacquiao and Mayweather draw in the largest mainstream audience of pay per view buyers in boxing. That audience may not be as familiar with HBO’s or Showtime’s other fighters.
Looking at the three huge fights to come before the main event, it's hard not to come down on the side of throwing everything into one PPV.
|Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana Undercard|
|J'Leon Love (-135, 20-27)||Marco Antonio Periban (+105, 21-20)||Love, UD|
|Adrien Broner (-2500, 1-25)||Carlos Molina (+1000, 10-1)||Broner, KO in 6th|
|Amir Khan (-250, 2-5)||Luis Collazo (+195, 39-20)||Collazo, KO in 7th|
|Odds via OddsShark.com|
Note: Odds via OddsShark.com on Friday, May 2 at 2:50 P.M. ET
J'Leon Love vs. Marco Antonio Periban
This looks to be a fight between two guys who will never become anything more than peripheral contenders in their division.
J'Leon Love is 17-0-0 (10 KOs), but that record is rather deceiving. Love hasn't beaten anyone of note, and his win over Gabriel Rosado came in questionable circumstances. Not only did many fans feel Rosado should've won, but Love also tested positive for a banned substance after the fight, which resulted in it being a no-decision.
Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs) enters the PPV on a poor run. He had a 10-round draw with Badou Jack back in September, and before that, he lost a majority decision to Sakio Bika in June 2013.
Love should be able to maintain his perfect record, but a win will do little to brand him a contender in the super middleweight division.
Adrien Broner vs. Carlos Molina
Of the three fights on the PPV undercard, this is by far the most underwhelming. Broner has built a reputation as a flat-track bully, and fighting Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) will do nothing to change that. Broner (27-1-0, 22 KOs) is far and away the better fighter and shouldn't even have to break a sweat dispatching his opponent.
Arum put it best when he said, per Mannix, "Broner-Molina is dreadful. Putting that fight on, you're trying to delude morons."
Golden Boy Promotions can claim that there's a chance Broner gets knocked out, loses, whatever. There's a chance that my fingers will mysteriously contract gangrene, and my fingers will fall off as I type this sentence, but that's probably not going to happen.
Broner gains nothing from a win here. Sure, he moves on from his loss to Maidana last December, but boxing fans will still view him as a star propped up by his handpicked opponents.
Amir Khan vs. Luis Collazo
As Mannix wrote above, either Khan or Collazo could parlay a win on May 3 into a bout with Mayweather down the line. Both of these guys are top contenders in the welterweight division. With so much on the line, they could easily put on the best fight of the night:
Khan (28-3-0, 19 KOs) arguably needs the win a little more. His last fight came in April of last year—a unanimous-decision victory over Julio Diaz. Thinking a fight with Mayweather was on the offing, he opted out of a chance against then-IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander.
As long as Khan can avoid a huge counterpunch, he should be able to win this fight. He's arguably a better boxer than Collazo (35-5-0, 18 KOs), and his long layoff shouldn't prove a decisive factor in the outcome.
However, if Collazo can connect with a series of big blows, he could snatch the victory. Khan's never been known to have the strongest jaw.