By Lem Satterfield
Three-division titlewinner Adrien Broner plans to return from what he calls “a minor setback,” his loss to Marcos Maidana, by fighting at 140 pounds for the first time on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Maidana undercard.
Ex-140-pound titleholder Amir Khan and unbeaten super middleweight J’Leon Love will also fight on the May 3 undercard of the Showtime Pay Per View event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Golden Boy officially announced on Tuesday.
“This is a testament to the strength of a boxing event that involves Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “It will definitely be a moment no one will want to miss. Floyd gave his orders to make sure these fights were part of this show, and we were able to make it happen.”
Khan will face former welterweight beltholder Luis Collazo, Broner is being matched against Carlos Molina, and Love opposite Marco Antonio Periban, a rugged Mexican contender who is coming off draw with Badou Jack in September.
“It would be easy for us to simply put a great fight like Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana on top of this card and leave it at that, but that’s not fair to the boxing fans that demand and deserve more,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, in a prepared statement.
“So with the rest of this pay-per-view card, we’ve stacked it with an important bout between former world champions Amir Khan and Luis Collazo, the return of one of boxing’s top young superstars as Adrien Broner faces tough Carlos Molina, and an opener between J’Leon Love and Marco Antonio Periban that could produce the next super middleweight world title challenger. It will be an unforgettable night for all boxing fans.”
The 27-year-old Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) has declared himself to be “ready for this challenge” of making his full welterweight debut against Collazo (38-5, 18 KOs), who turns 33 in October and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Victor Ortiz in January.
Khan will be looking for his third straight victory in as many fights under trainer Virgil Hunter, who replaced Freddie Roach after Khan was stopped by RING 140-pound champion Danny Garcia in July 2012. Before facing Garcia, Khan had lost a disputed split-decision to current IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson in December of 2011.
Khan rebounded with triumphs in his last two fights by 10th-round knockout over Carlos Molina (a California-based lightweight prospect not to be confused with the IBF junior middleweight titleholder of the same name) in December of 2012 and by unanimous decision over former titleholder Julio Diaz last July.
Collazo has gone 6-1 with four knockout victories in his past seven bouts, and is 4-0 with two knockouts since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Freddy Hernandez in October of 2011. Collazo lost controversial unanimous decisions in welterweight title matches against Ricky Hatton in 2006 and Andre Berto in 2009 along with a one-sided unanimous decision to Shane Mosley in 2007.
“I think that Luis Collazo against Amir Khan is a 50-50 fight,” said Schaefer, during an interview with RingTV.com. “I could tell you 10 reasons why Amir Khan is going to win, and I can tell you 10 reasons why Luis Collazo is going to win. So that’s a terrific fight.”
Dropped twice and dethroned as WBA welterweight titleholder by Maidana in December, Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) will compete in his fourth weight class against Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), who was last in the ring against Khan.
“I had minor set back, but I am back on May 3. Everybody needs to understand that I just took a loss,” said Broner, 24. “I haven’t lost it. I’m still ‘The Problem,’ and anyone can get it, whether you are African, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban or Mexican.”
After having been beaten, let alone, stopped, for the first time in his career, Molina claims that he’s ready to make Broner a two-time loser.
“I am so excited to be able to fight on a card of this magnitude against Adrien Broner,” said Molina, 28. “Sure he’s tough but we all saw what happened in his last fight when he was under pressure. I have the boxing ability and punching power to beat him and that is exactly what I plan to do on May 3.”
Love (17-0, 10 KOs) will be after his third straight stoppage win against Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs), having last been in the ring for last month’s 10th-round knockout of Vladine Biosse.
“It is always an honor to be on the same card as my boss, Floyd Mayweather. I train with him in the gym everyday and see what it takes to compete at the highest level in boxing,” said Love, 26, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
“I can’t thank Floyd and Mayweather Promotions enough for these opportunities. My opponent is a very tough competitor but I have no doubt that I will be victorious and move one step closer to a world championship. May 3 can’t get here soon enough.”
Prior to facing Jack, Periban, 29, lost by majority decision to Sakio Bika in a failed bid to earn the WBA’s 168-pound belt last June.
“This is a great opportunity for me, and I will represent my country and Mexican boxing fans all over the world on this Cinco de Mayo weekend,” said Periban.
“J’Leon Love might be a member of ‘The Money Team,’ but that won’t matter on May 3 when he has to face someone like me. We’ll see who comes out victorious. I will not let my people or my country down.”
According to Ellerbe, neither will the card.
“I think boxing fans are going to be extremely pleased with what we have put together for them,” said Ellerbe. “Mayweather Promotions’ J’Leon Love is training very hard for this fight. He knows a win over Periban brings him closer to a world championship. On May 3, I expect nothing less than a great night of boxing for everyone.”
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Source: The Ring