Even in the absence of a once-scheduled title fight, Floyd Mayweather's 40th birthday bash disguised as a boxing event figures to be lit.
The retired former five-division world champ and future Hall of Famer turns 40 this Friday, with the weekend-long celebration kicking off live from Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. The Showtime-televised event was once to carry a featherweight title clash between Mayweather-promoter Carlos Zambrano and veteran contender Claudio "Matrix" Marrero, but that bout has been pushed back due to claims of Zambrano unable to secure a travel visa in time.
Now topping the live tripleheader is an intriguing super welterweight crossroads bout between Justin DeLoach and Chris Pearson. Their clash is accompanied by two more 10-round bouts, with cruiserweights Andrew Tabiti and Quantis Graves colliding in the co-feature, and lightweights Saul Rodriguez and Chile's Oscar Bravo meeting in the opening bout of the telecast.
“I’ve been very patient and focused,” said DeLoach (16-1, 8KOs), who enjoyed a monster campaign in 2016 with wins over a trio of unbeaten boxers in Dillon Cook, Junior Castillo and - most recently last September - Domonique Dolton. “I’ve shown through my last six performances that I am a tough opponent. The only way that Pearson can beat me is if he stops me and I don’t see that happening at all.”
The year that was for his opponent wasn't nearly as robust. Pearson entered 2016 on the heels of a lopsided points loss to unheralded Eric Walker in Dec. '15, with his one fight on the year a time-marking 10-round decision over journeyman Joshua Okine.
Still, the former amateur standout and current Mayweather Promotions client insists he's all the way back and ready to impress his legendary boss.
“This is my first fight since April and I’ve really taken this time to push myself as a fighter by gaining mental and physical strength,” said Pearson. “I’m thankful to my team for putting this fight together. It’s going to be a great show for the fans and I’m happy that it’s is finally ready to happen.”