Earlier this month, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s promotional company hired Pinta, a cross-cultural marketing firm, to bolster its marketing prowess to the Hispanic community.
On Thursday, Mayweather announced the addition of four bouts in support of his Sept. 13 rematch with Argentine Marcos Maidana, a line-up that includes seven fighters of Mexican descent.
Among those match-ups that are part of “Mayhem II” are defenses by WBC junior featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz and IBF lightweight beltholder Miguel Vazquez, as part of the Showtime Pay-Per-View event from at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Floyd always wants to ensure the paying fans get their money’s worth by delivering a strong night of boxing action through compelling televised undercard bouts,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “This fight night will be no different from the rest as Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Vazquez will defend their world titles valiantly.”
In the main event, RING welterweight champion Mayweather (46-0, 26 knockouts) will also put his WBA and WBC belts on the line against Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) on Mexican Independence Day weekend, having won by majority decision over Maidana in May.
In addition to Santa Cruz’s defense against Manuel Roman and Vazquez facing Mickey Bey, Alfredo Angulo will return against James De La Rosa at 162 pounds and former 130-pound and lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto is being matched against junior welterweight John Molina.
“Electrifying Mickey Bey will seek to win that title from Vazquez,” said Ellerbe, “and fan-favorite Alfredo Angulo will look to revitalize his career in what will amount to a sensational night of boxing.”
Mayweather Promotions is co-promoting with Golden Boy Promotions and Molina-Soto will take place as part of the Showtime’s “Countdown Live” preview show prior to the pay per view broadcast.
“From top to bottom, the Sept. 13 fight card is going to get fans out of their seats, whether they are among the thousands in attendance at MGM Grand or hundreds of thousands watching from home,” said De La Hoya.
“Golden Boy is proud to promote the most crowd-pleasing fighters in the sport and with Marcos Maidana, Leo Santa Cruz and Alfredo Angulo all in action under the same roof, it’s sure to be a night that no one will forget.”
“This is my second time fighting on a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view undercard,” said Santa Cruz, 25, who is coming off consecutive unanimous decision victories over Cesar Seda in December and Cristian Mijares in March.
“I know that there is no bigger stage than this. Manuel Roman is a tough customer. I know he’s going to come prepared and try to take my title. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain, but I plan on leaving the ring with my hand raised.”
“Leo Santa Cruz is one of the top guys not only in the [junior featherweight] division, but in all of boxing,” said Roman, 26. “I’ve never been intimidated in the ring before and I don’t plan on starting on September 13. Santa Cruz better be ready, because I know I will be.”
Vazquez was last in action for a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov in February that represented his sixth title defense.
Having won 13 consecutive fights, Vazquez has not suffered defeat since falling by decision to current junior middleweight contender Saul Alvarez in June 2008.
Vazquez’s other losses were to Alvarez by decision in his pro debut in January 2006, and by decision to Tim Bradley in July 2007.
“I’m looking forward to fighting at MGM Grand again and on this amazing Floyd Mayweather card,” said Vazquez, 27, THE RING’s number one-rated 135-pounder.
“It’s time to get to business and get in the best shape ever, so I’m ready to put on a show. I respect Mickey Bey but I plan on winning convincingly to show that I’m one of the best in the lightweight division.”
Bey, 31, is coming off a unanimous decision over Alan Herrera in May that followed a third round stoppage of Carlos Cardenas in December.
“I want to thank God for helping me persevere through the tough times and helping me overcome obstacles in my life,” said Bey, whose past two victories helped him bounce back from a 10th round knockout loss to Molina in July 2013.
“I also want to thank my team for believing in me and helping me get to this opportunity. I plan on seizing the moment and becoming a world champion on Sept. 13.”
Angulo, 32, is coming off consecutive 10th-round stoppage losses to Erislandy Lara and Alvarez that occurred in June 2013 and in March, respectively.
“I’ve been anxious to get back in the ring ever since the end of the Canelo fight,” said Angulo, who scored two knockdowns during the loss to Lara.
“I’m ready to get back on the winning track and this is a great opportunity for me to do that in front of the world on Mexican Independence Day weekend. This fight could not be more critical for my future in this sport and I want to put on a great show for the fans.”
The 26-year-old De La Rosa was last in action for a second round stoppage of Fabian Reyes on August 2.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to make my name on a huge stage against a fellow Mexican warrior in Alfredo Angulo,” said De La Rosa. “On Sept. 13, I’m going to teach an old dog some new tricks.”
Soto, 34, has won six straight bouts, one by stoppage, since being knocked out in the fifth round by Lucas Matthysse in June 2012. Soto was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over Wilfrido Buelvas in June.
Molina, 31, was also stopped by Matthysse in the 11th round of his last fight in April, having been dropped three times during a fight in which he also dropped Matthysse twice.
Molina is 3-3 with three knockouts in his past six bouts, the first of which was a first round stoppage loss to former titleholder Antonio DeMarco in September 2012.