With Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao nearing the end of their respective careers, fans and promoters are searching for a few fighters who can take over the superstar status of the mentioned fighters.
They didn’t find that on Saturday.
Few experts predicted undefeated prospect J’Leon Love to destroy Rogelio Medina (33-6, 27KO), but most had Love as a heavy favorite and thought his quickness and athleticism would befuddle the struggling Medina.
A different narrative became immediately apparent from the opening bell. Love (18-1, 10KO) is known for circling the ring and looking to counter his opponent with power punches. However he seemed to be doing too much moving instead of punching. He couldn’t get into a rhythm with his jab or power punches and Medina looked to crowd Love into the ropes.
The first two rounds followed this pattern with Love perhaps having a slight advantage due to greater activity. In spite of this, he never looked comfortable or in control of the fight.
Disaster suddenly struck Love when Medina trapped him in the corner during the early portion of round 3. Love tried to uncork a left hook off the ropes but Medina was one step ahead of Love and put him down with a left hook to the jaw. Love fell to the canvas and his legs began to twitch uncontrollably. The referee stopped the fight.
Love was expected to come out of this fight a serious contender in the super-middleweight division. Instead, he will need to reconstruct his career by working on the flaws Medina exposed such as his tendency to move more than punch and a brittle defense.
If the sport of boxing was fair, Medina would get at least one opportunity that was expected for Love. That’s unlikely to happen, but at least Medina provided a highlight reel knockout and showed the boxing community Love is not ready for the elite status. He might someday if he improves his fundamentals.