When the super "fight" between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was first announced, you could hear the screams of foul play around the proverbial pugilistic purist water cooler.
They rang from your average old heads dominos game to seasoned veterans like Oscar de la Hoya and Bob Arum. The only hope to reengage even the staunchest of critic would lie in the undercard and co-main event pairings.
Yesterday the remainder of the card was announced, and it was a clear sign that Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and its namesake wanted to quell the rumblings.
SHOWTIME Boxing analyst and Hall of Famer Steve Farhood takes a look into the boxing career of former world champion Shawn Porter.
“Showtime” Shawn Porter’s return was announced, which was a surprise and a gift in disguise. Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) will enter the ring against former title challenger Thomas Dulome (24-2, 18 KOs) in a 10-round fight which will headline the preliminary bouts before Mayweather and McGregor enter the ring.
Although Porter is the mandatory challenger for Keith Thurman’s WBC welterweight world title, Porter is taking the stage while Thurman is out of competition with an injury.
In the co-main event, Baltimore’s undefeated rising star and Mayweather’s new golden child, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, will make the second defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship. The youngest current U.S. champion at 22 years old faces undefeated challenger Francisco Fonseca.
Gervonta Davis went on the road in the first defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship and made a statement with an emphatic third-round TKO against Liam Walsh.
Another Mayweather standout in former 168-pound world champion Badou Jack “The Ripper” lands a title shot in his step up to light heavyweight. WBA light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will defend his title in a division that got very interesting with Andre “S.O.G.” Ward now at the top.
Setting the pay-per-view telecast off is two-time world champion Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham in a 10-round bout for the USBA cruiserweight title. He is facing undefeated rising cruiserweight contender Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti.
“What a night this will be for fight fans,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions via press release. “Not only will they witness a first of its kind main event, but they will also see two incredible world title fights, as Mayweather Promotions’ very own current and former world champions go head-to-head in separate bouts. This diverse card is an epic, international affair stacked with talent. Make sure you don’t miss the biggest event the sport has ever seen.”
Badou "The Ripper" Jack highlights (tribute)
Yesterday, during the Mayweather media day workout, Ellerbe sat with Badou Jack and was adamant about his disdain for the boxing purist naysayers. Believing that the boxing industry hasn’t broken out of its extreme self-criticism, citing namely De la Hoya and Arum’s wanton opinions of the main event, Ellerbe was clearly annoyed.
When Mayweather finally showed up for the media day, he too expressed his dismay at industry insiders not knowing the difference between an “event” and a “fight”. This spectacle is an event, more commonly referred to as a super fight and the undercard offerings were created to reel in boxing’s bread and butter: the true fans.