Love Never Felt So Bad

By Robert Ecksel on August 31, 2014
Love Never Felt So Bad
Before the fight Love said, "Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see." (Naoki Fukuda)

Love made the mistake of hooking with a hooker and got caught with a picture-perfect left hook that dropped him face-first to the canvas…

Saturday night at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palm Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, super middleweight contender J’Leon Love (18-1, 10 KOs), from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was KO’d by unheralded Rogelio Medina (33-6, 27 KOs), from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, at :39 of round three.

The 26-year-old Love was being fast-tracked for stardom. Highly ranked by the three main sanctioning bodies, Love looked like a natural. A former Detroit Golden Gloves champion with a compelling back-story who learned the ropes under the watchful eye of Emanuel Steward, his speed and power, no less than being The Money Team’s top prospect, made him a shoe-in for a title shot, presumably after one or two more fights.

Love may have struggled in his last fight against the always tough Marco Antonio Periban, but it was a learning experience, or so Love claimed prior to last night’s decapitation.

“My last fight was definitely a learning experience,” he said earlier in the week. “Periban was a title contender and a very experienced fighter. I faced some adversity and I was able to bounce back and come through with a win. It shows I have the heart and the determination to win.

“I’m still growing as a fighter. But I’ve graduated from prospect to contender and I’m just wins away from graduating to world champion. Saturday night is just another step. I think I’m almost there.”

Being there and being almost there are, as Love discovered, two very different things.

The 25-year-old Medina had lost four of last seven fights. His 69.23 knockout percentage suggests he has power, but as Love noted, perhaps a tad too glibly, “Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.”

Medina went for the jugular at the opening bell. He knew he wasn’t going to outbox the slick boxer from the Motor City, so he barreled forward, letting his hands go, hoping for the one punch that would test Love’s questionable chin and turn things around.

Hope turned into reality in the third round.  Medina forced Love into a corner and unloaded a right hand that stunned the now former contender. Rather than hold on for dear life, Love made the mistake of hooking with a hooker and got caught with a picture-perfect left hook that dropped him face-first to the canvas.

While The Money Team sat ringside with expressions of disbelief on their faces, Love struggled to get to his feet, using the ring ropes as support, but failed to beat the count.

Medina fought his fight. He defied the odds. He threw a beautiful punch. He sent J’Leon Love packing.

After the fight, Medina said, “I knew in the beginning that he was going to box so I was focused on cutting off the ring and applying pressure at all time. I was very surprised the fight ended like it did when it did. I expected to win but not in this kind of explosive fashion this early in the fight.”

Those who saw the blowout feel exactly the same way.

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J'Leon Love vs Rogelio Medina full fight 30.08.2014

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:48am, 09/01/2014

    Barry Tompkins calls “tremendous right” for the KO punch…..these guys are close enough to be sprayed by blood, sweat, and snot and they still miss the mark time and time again….. just like a lot of judges.

  2. Darrell 10:37pm, 08/31/2014

    Very true Jason.  Kind of been waiting for his cover to be blown.  He has some good raw materiel to mould but has struggled against other fringe contenders…...has looked like a man with too much false belief to me.

    For his own sake I hope he can come again though he may not get near the top level again.

  3. Jason 12:57pm, 08/31/2014

    Honestly, he’s been flirting with disaster since the first time I watched him as a huge MW two years ago. I never understood the hype. Sure he’s good, moves well, but he takes shots and he isn’t a busy puncher, at least not the extent his so-called style suggest. He’ll be a contender again but that’s about it.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:17am, 08/31/2014

    Great report! Periban was clearly not a learning experience….it was a reality check that went unheeded. You just know that Floyd owns these guys in sparring sessions….but his ego is so ridiculous that he still misjudges them to be championship materiel.

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