Why Floyd Mayweather Failed to Get Curmel Moton a Title Fight in His Pro Debut? Promotions’ CEO Answers

Published 04/04/2024, 9:14 AM EDT

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Last year, on September 30, at the Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo headliner, nearly a dozen odd undercards played out. Among those stood a bout between a teenager and a journeyman. It grabbed everyone’s attention for the way the 17-year-old teenager smoked out a tenured journeyman. Curmel Moton had already made a name for himself on the amateur circuit. Now it was time for the professional arena to take notice of the new sensation, a prodigy mentored by Floyd Mayweather Jr., who stopped the 28-year-old Oregon-born Ezequiel Flores by the half-time of the opening round itself.

So would it have been different had he debuted against a more seasoned, officially ranked boxer? As bits and pieces unfold, it seems Mayweather Jr. had a plan afoot to line up Curmel Moton against a reigning featherweight champion. However, the plan never came to pass. So what was the course of action they envisaged, and why did it fail to materialize in the first place? Speaking with a reporter, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, gave his two bits.

Curmel Moton: A “Dream” Debut


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So a reporter from Akhi TV asked Ellerbe, “Floyd was trying to get Curmel a world title fight on his pro debut against Leigh Wood, but Wood turned it down. What was your thoughts?” The long-time confidant of the undefeated former champion replied that it was not a matter of the Briton giving the thumbs down to a fight with Curmel Moton. Instead, it had more to do with the non-availability of the Nottinghamshire-born featherweight champion.

The reporter then asked whether the team felt confident in Moton’s capabilities. Leonard Ellerbe responded, “Yeah, feel confident putting him in with anybody in his weight class confident confident easy work.

Last year, while speaking with FightHype‘s Ben Thompson, Floyd Mayweather Jr. said that his side was willing to take a chance if a title fight took place between Curmel Moton and Leigh Wood.

‘Leigh-Thal’ Line-Up for a Teenager?

During the conversation, Floyd mentioned the number of fighters he had. Then, asking for the 126-pound champion, he said, “I got 126-pounder Curmel Moton…that’d be a good match now.” Thompson emphasized that Moton had yet to become a professional boxer. ‘Money’ though still insisted that it was a good match-up. He said, “I’m just saying that the guy Leigh Wood and Curmel Moton will be a good matchup.

It’s a different matter that the attempt received a rather cheeky response from Wood. Nevertheless, even Moton, while speaking at ‘Thaboxingvoice’ revealed that he could take on Leigh Wood. “I wasn’t surprised that Floyd said that you know we’ve been talking uh with Floyd about what we going to do and all that, and he feels I’m ready for a shot like that. I feel I’m ready, and I feel like I could definitely beat Leigh Wood; he’s just he’s he got skills for sure, but he’s a typical European fighter to me,” said the teenage sensation.


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Eventually, as it happened, after retaining his WBA featherweight title from Josh Warrington on October 17, Leigh Wood vacated the championship on October 17. He subsequently moved up a division to the super featherweight division. As of now, details regarding his upcoming bout remain sketchy. Curmel Moton, on the other hand, had fought another boxer, Hunter Turbyfill, on the David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade undercard. Like in the previous fight, he packed up Turbyfill in the opening round itself. Last Saturday, he fought Anthony Cuba during the Tim TszyuSebastian Fundora headliner. In his first eight-round bout, he defeated his California-born opponent by a unanimous decision. With just three pro-fights, Moton’s now stands fifteenth in the BoxRec rankings.


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Do you feel the Moton-Wood matchup would have made for an exciting fight for the viewers? Please share your views with us in the comments below.


Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan


One take at a time

Jaideep Unnithan is a senior boxing author at EssentiallySports. Inching towards the milestone of over 2000 articles, he has been a chronicler of day-to-day developments happening inside and outside of the squared circle. Having a keen eye on the punches traded inside the ring, he has written opinion pieces on the fighting styles of Floyd Mayweather Jr, David Benavidez, and Terence Crawford.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal