The pay-per-view undercard for Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor has finally been revealed, with just over two weeks to go until fight night in Las Vegas. Showtime announced the following matchups will be shown prior to the massive main event between the top two superstars in combat sports:
Gervonta Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) vs. Francisco Fonseca (19-0, 13 KOs) for Davis’ IBF junior lightweight (130 lbs) title
Nathan Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) vs. Badou Jack (21-1-2, 12 KOs) for Cleverly’s WBA regular light heavyweight (175 lbs) title
Andrew Tabiti (14-0, 12 KOs) vs. Steve Cunningham (29-8-1, 13 KOs) – 10 rounds, cruiserweights (200 lbs)
Davis is a really promising talent. At 22 years old, he’s one of the youngest world champions in boxing, and the Mayweather protege is coming off a knockout win over England’s Liam Walsh. The Fonseca matchup is … it’s garbage. Let’s be completely honest here. Orlando Salido was rumored, then things turned to Rocky Martinez, but Martinez isn’t in the IBF rankings, so we wind up with Fonseca, who’s entire career has consisted of beating lots of unknown, sub-.500 record opposition in Costa Rica. Fonseca was supposed to fight Tevin Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KOs) in a title eliminator, but Farmer’s recent hand injury during a shooting rendered that fight moot. “Tank” Davis is almost certainly going to steamroll Fonseca.
Cleverly vs. Jack has potential to be really entertaining. Jack is moving up in weight, having previously reigned as the WBC super middleweight champion for about two years. He last fought in January against James DeGale, as the two men each suffered knockdowns and the bout was ruled a draw. Cleverly is the WBA’s secondary titleholder, with Andre Ward as the WBA’s “Super” champion. Belts in boxing are stupid. The Welshman defeated Jurgen Brahmer after Brahmer could not continue due to an elbow injury, thus winning the “Regular” belt away from the German.
Tabiti is a hard-hitting prospect with knockout wins in his first ten bouts, but he’s since gone the distance in two of his last four outings. Cunningham is past his best, but he’s still a considerable step up in competition for Tabiti. Steve was twice the IBF cruiserweight champion, but his days as a major champion ended when he lost twice to Yoan Pablo Hernandez, who is the brother of UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero. The 41-year-old has bounced between cruiser and heavyweight, notably knocking down Tyson Fury in 2013, only to lose by KO later on in the contest. It’s his only stoppage defeat to date.
Davis, Jack, and Tabiti are all part of Mayweather Promotions, and it was always expected that Mayweather’s stable would fill the undercard. By boxing PPV standards, this is a palatable undercard, mostly due to Jack vs. Cleverly.
Mayweather vs. McGregor goes down on Saturday, August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena. While Showtime will carry the PPV broadcast, additional preliminary card matchups will be shown on FOX.
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