“They [didn’t] do me any favors,” Karim Mayfield (18-0-1 11KOs) said in an exclusive interview with ThaBoxingVoice podcast in reference to Golden Boy Promotions. The Fillmore California native spoke of multiple times being asked to be a last minute replacement to Golden Boy “A-side” fighters, a term in the fight game for the fighter “Who ought to win,” most notably Jessie Vargas when he was still over there.
Now Mayfield is with Top Rank, one of the two major promotions in the U.S. and a promotion known for building up fighters to be stars, though some critics point to how long they build guys up before the big fights. On Saturday on the Chavez Jr/Vera card, before the mockery of the main event, Mayfield took the last minute replacement in the form of Chris Fernandez (21-15-1 13KOs) and Mayfield did not disappoint. After starting a bit slower than one might have hoped, perhaps due to a lifetime of fighting on somewhat smaller shows, the fourth round came around.
In the fourth round, Mayfield began to find a home for his ravenous right hand and had Fernandez down twice. It looked like the fight was going to be stopped, not unlike Mayfield’s fight against Raymond Serrano last year. Fernandez begged to differ as he held it together and fought valiantly to survive to the end of the fight.
Fernandez, who had been down and out and beaten around the ring finally went down and could not get up as Mayfield made his Top Rank debut in the fashion he knew he had to. Mayfield knew that you can’t be touted as a power puncher and show up not having power and though the fight went longer than one might have hoped, Mayfield received little damage. He may be able to sneak in one more fight before the year is done. This would be a big thing for Mayfield, a fighter who has over the past few years found it hard to get fights because he’s not with one of the two big boxing promotions. Things have now changed.
With a battle ensuing in a few weeks in Colorado between Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov, one of those two could be an interesting match-up for Mayfield. According to Mayfield, both have been on his radar for some time now and he is ready for them. The other thing is though Mayfield to most fans is known for being a junior welterweight; he actually has campaigned at 147. Earlier in his career he was fine with going up as well. Nonetheless, Mayfield is a fast rising star in the Bay Area and brings something to the region that Andre Ward doesn’t, a brash flare for the dramatic and willingness to put himself out there to make a bold statement. On Saturday it was apparent that he has the skills to back up these kinds of statements.