Not only are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Ward THE RING's Nos. 1 and 2-rated boxers, pound-for-pound, but they also share back-to-back birthdays. Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) turned 37 today, a day after Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) celebrated his 30th birthday.
Mayweather is THE RING's welterweight and junior middleweight champion. He is also the WBC's welterweight titleholder, as well as the WBA and WBC junior middleweight beltholder.
Ward is the reigning RING super middleweight champion. He is also the WBA's 168-pound titleholder. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist shared his thoughts on Mayweather and their close birth dates.
"I realized a few years ago our birthdays were a day apart, and thought that was pretty amazing. The number one and number two pound-for-pound fighters in the world born on back to back dates. I knew there was a reason I liked Floyd so much growing up, and now it all makes sense," Ward told RingTV.com.
"I just turned 30, and still feel physically good. I hope to still be at the top of my game like Floyd if I choose to fight well into my thirties like he has. He is a good example of a fighter treating his body right, and how, if you do that, most times the body will reward you down the road. Happy Birthday Floyd."
BIRTHDAY GIFT TO HIS FANS?
Mayweather still has not named his May 3 opponent, and appears to have narrowed it down to England's Amir Khan or Argentina's Marcos Maidana. Will he do so on his birthday?
A frustrated Khan has indicated that he believes that Mayweather already has chosen Maidana, although Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, and Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, have disputed Khan's claims.
Schaefer said Mayweather is likely to make his announcement on his Twitter account.
Mayweather's decision on whom he will face likely at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is bearing down on two potentially relevent events on Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has its monthly meeting, which determines officials and deals with other business.
On Friday, Mayweather Promotions has a show at the Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center in Central New York. Mayweather could be ringside for Friday's event, to be headline by super middleweight J’Leon Love and lightweight standout Mickey Bey and featured on ShoBox: The New Generation.
At one point, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., had been a consideration for Mayweather's next fight.
BERNARD HOPKINS PRAISES ADONIS STEVENSON, AL HAYMON
Bernard Hopkins praised RING/WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, who signed with manager/advisor Al Haymon last week with the goal of unifying the 175-pound division.
By aligning himself with Haymon, regarded by many as the most powerful and influential man in boxing, Stevenson joins Mayweather, Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and others.
"Stevenson is not a dummy. Stevenson, being a guy who understands the streets and who understands the game, realized that he had to get somebody powerful and important and smart and intelligent, and that's Al Haymon," said Hopkins, the IBF's 175-pound titleholder.
"Al Haymon is a guy who has the track record, and his track record is with the fighters that he has already in his list. Haymon's track record is that when those guys fight, they make the maximum amount of dollars that they can."
A 36-year-old southpaw, Stevenson had four knockouts during 2013, one of which was in the first round over Chad Dawson, who owns a unanimous decision victory over Hopkins.
"Stevenson is getting what he deserves because he beat the man who beat the man," said Hopkins, referring to the fact that he lost to Dawson and Stevenson beat him.
"To be 36 years old, he doesn't have the time to wait. So what's the best man to get him to the top? That's Al Haymon. Al Haymon is one of the smartest guys in the business."
At present, Stevenson is in negotiations for an HBO-televised May 24 bout against Andrzej Fonfara at Bell Centre in Montreal with intentions of eventually facing WBO counterpart Sergey Kovalev, another HBO fighter, in the summer.
In the meantime, Golden Boy is planning a 175-pound unification bout on April 19 in Washington, D.C., between Hopkins and WBA titleholder Beibut Shumenov on Showtime.
"I wish that he was around earlier in my career so that he could ride with me," said Hopkins, 49, the oldest man to win a significant crown. "I really mean that. I'm not blowing smoke up nobody's ass. It's just a matter of respect."
MIKE TYSON'S KO KINGS OF TOMORROW DEBUTED
Former undisputed heavyweight champion-turned-boxing promoter Mike Tyson played host to the debut of his new monthly boxing series, "KO Kings of Tomorrow" on Saturday at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa.
In a featherweight bout, Claudio Marrero (15-1, 11 KOs) unanimously decisioned Jose Angel Beranza (36-29-2, 28 KOs), and bantamweight Juan Carlos Payano (15-0, 8 KOs), a two-time Olympian, decisioned German Meraz (46-29-1, 25 KOs).
Also on the card, 18-year-old welterweight Erickson Lubin (3-0, 2 KOs), once considered a top prospect to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, scored a third-round stoppage against Tirobio Ball (4-2-1, 1 KO).
In other bouts, Cuban light heavyweight Humberto "El Don" Savigne (12-1, 9 KOs) scored a second-round knockout over Maxwell Taylor (18-7-1, 8 KOs), Cuban-born junior lightweight Alexei Collado (18-0, 16 KOs) decisioned Mexican Edgar Riovalle (36-17-2, 25 KOs), and Samuel Vasquez (13-0, 9 KOs) scored a fourth-round knockout over Berlin Abreau (7-1, 5 KOs) in a welterweight bout.
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