Tonight’s co-feature on NBC will undoubtedly be some of the best exposure for boxing in recent years. Even the occasional pay-per-view hit can’t revitalize a sport like better, more accessible events. Keith Thurman will have an interesting challenge taking on a former opponent of Floyd Mayweather in Robert Guerrero. Guerrero performed much as expected in his over-hyped bout with Mayweather. He showed he does indeed have an impressive chin and an effective reach, but not necessarily an effective style. I believe Thurman to be a legitimate up-and-coming star who, guided well, should ascend to the highest ranks of the sport very soon. This may be the first time a Thurman opponent has offered a serious technical challenge, however, so it’s a perfect opening event for NBC’s prime time show.
The co-featured bout between Adrien Broner and hard-hitting John Molina will also provide the audience a great mix of action and technical ability. Molina may well prove an interesting test for Broner if not as much as did underdog Marcos Maidana when he unexpectedly defeated Broner by knockout in December of 2013. I think Broner has been exposed since his rapid rise through the lower ranks because he’s stopped trying to improve. If at one point he believed he needed to improve, or that working to improve was at least beneficial, he doesn’t anymore. No fighter, no matter how gifted, can progress that way, so I see an even more severe exposure in Broner’s future, one that may be more detrimental to his career than the loss to Maidana.
In conjunction with the long-awaited announcement between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the scheduled slate of NBC fights helps to put boxing back in position to become a well-regulated fixture of American sports. It’s been five years since the talks of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight really began, and almost ten since Mayweather’s famous defeat of De la Hoya. Some of the greatest fighters of the last decade have tried and failed against one or both of these men: Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, just to name a few. That’s why it’s going to be the biggest in history. Now, for whatever reasons the circumstances have become favorable, they’ll finally face each other on May 2nd. What do you think?