Success was the order of the Friday afternoon at Barclays Center, as the main eventers made the 168 pound limit and everyone underneath hit their marks as well, the day before the Saturday fight card promoted by Floyd Mayweather with Lou Dibella is to unfold.
Britain was in the house, as the Chunky DeGale fans who jetted from his hood whooped and hollered as DeGale stepped to the scale. He was 166.5, and foe Badou Jack, born in Sweden and making Las Vegas home, had promoter Mayweather looking on and clapping when he succeeded at the scale (167.25).
The weigh in was the most widely attended one at Barclays I recall, and featured a heavy British flavor. Showtime will televise much of the card, including the co feature, pitting Mayweather protege Gervonta Davis from Baltimore seeking to wrest a 130 pound belt off Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza. I saw Pedraza showing good sportsmanship and clapping Davis on the back after they did a staredown. Pedraza has labeled Davis a cheap Mayweather knockoff but none of that heat bled into their interaction Friday.
Promoter Eddie Hearn made the rounds with his guy Kell Brook, sitting pretty with a 147 belt and fights to be made, maybe, with Amir Khan and perhaps Manny Pacquiao. Brook and Hearn did media hits with Sky, BBC, and the Showtime podcast network. Hearn handles DeGale and at the Thursday presser said no one should be surprised if DeGale takes every round. Jack’s trainer Lou Del Valle, who he credits for teaching him tons and being a positive presence, after splitting with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, told me his kid had an amazing camp and is on message.
Showtime will show an Amanda Serrano title defense versus Jazmin Rivas, their first female boxing in 17 years, when Laila Ali did her thing. Serrano and Rivas gave off intense auras after making 122 and both know this opportunity is meaningful for the cause of women’s boxing, not only their personal development.
Mayweather isn’t, by the way, just a show horse figure head. He was there for the whole weigh in, making sure his kids made weight and behaved right. He’s been hammering the last few months the need for fighters to be dedicated and also patient, not get too grabby and ask for the moon before they’d paid their dues. His attentiveness was noticeable. Good for him, and good for the sport. We will need that efforting to catch up to England where Hearn is taking names and kicking asses.