COMMENTARY | All alone, Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez would likely do huge numbers. Weak undercards have never held back pay-per-view buy rates if the card's main event was good enough -- and Mayweather-Alvarez on September 14 certainly looks like the type of headliner that could sell without much co-feature support.
However, Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions delivered on their promise to make "The One" PPV a truly huge event by adding junior welterweight dream fight Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse. The addition of the huge co-feature inspired all sorts of rumors as to what could be in store for the remaining two slots in the show. Names like Adrien Broner, Chris Arreola, and Austin Trout traveled through cyber-space as possible undercard talent, but nothing was finalized until late last week when Golden Boy Promotions issued an official statement to the media.
The confirmed opening bouts of "The One" have to be considered a bit of a disappointment for those looking for an All-Star affair or, at the very least, one more big-ticket thriller to be added to the show. But this may depend on a fan's personal aesthetic when it comes to the type of fight he or she likes watching.
Added to the show is the evening's third world title bout, as IBF junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith (25-5, 11 KOs) makes the first defense of his belt against upset specialist Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs).
On paper, Smith-Molina is a fairly important clash between two much-avoided fighters. The winner will go on to the next level against guys like Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, and Austin Trout. In practice, though, this one could suck the life right out of the MGM Grand.
Smith, 35, is a light-hitting ring stylist with an under-appreciated sweet style that has kept him from getting the big boxing breaks until just recently when he took the IBF strap from Cornelious "K9" Bundrage via majority decision. Much to the dismay of critics, Smith's good fortune began when he officially became part of Mayweather's "Money Team."
Mexico-born, America-based 30-year-old Carlos "King" Molina is an ugly, crude spoiler who wins most of his fights with a mauling, stifling style backed up by massive amounts of true grit. Molina's no-power, all-grappling approach has done little to advance his career despite some quality names on his resume, such as Kermit Cintron and Cory Spinks, as well as some controversial non-victories against the likes of James Kirkland (DQ 10), Erislandy Lara (D 10), and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (D 6, L MD 6).
Together, Smith and Molina could very possibly produce a plodding, grappling, no-punching snoozer worthy of a trip to the concession stands or a cigarette break in the back yard if watching at home.
The opening bout of the card, though, could be a solid matchup despite lacking real star power as new signee to Mayweather Promotions Ashley Theophane (33-5-1, 10 KOs) takes on Golden Boy fall guy Pablo Cesar Cano (26-3-1, 20 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout.
The real intrigue in Theophane vs. Cano is in the fact that both are at about the same level of ring execution. The UK's Theophane has worked to perfect a slicker American style, while Mexico's Cano looks to put the pieces together to perfect the classic Mexican fighting style. Both fighters have shown flashes of success in their efforts, but neither has been able to execute consistently. This is much more of a concern for the 32-year-old Theophane than it is for the 23-year-old Cano, who has accounted well for himself in "way-too-soon" losing efforts against Erik Morales, Paulie Malignaggi, and Shane Mosley.
Overall, "The One" still compares favorably to just about any other PPV event of the last decade or so. Mayweather-Alvarez and Garcia-Matthysse are good enough bouts to make this show worth buying. And, even if Smith-Molina and Theophane-Cano require an advanced boxing palate for enjoyment, at least an honest effort was made to sign competitive bouts for the opening two slots.
So, fans didn't get the top-to-bottom superstar show they may have wanted (four main event-level bouts on one card may be a financial impossibility in this day and age), but at least they'll be able to invest their money into a show absent of one-sided filler. That's certainly good news for fight fans and a positive trend in the way the sport is sold.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.Read More From This Writer:
Source: Golden Boy Press Release
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Carlos Molina
- Ishe Smith
- Erislandy Lara