Under normal circumstances, J’Leon Love would have been a perfect fit for the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s Sept. 14 junior middleweight world title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
But Love isn’t available to fight. The Las Vegas middleweight remains suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission following a positive drug test from his May 4 win over Gabe Rosado at the MGM Grand Garden.
Love’s use of the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide has him serving a six-month suspension. But he’s training daily and hopes to be back in the ring in November.
“Sure, it’s disappointing, but God has a plan for me,” Love said. “It’s given me a chance to work on some things and clean some things up.”
Love said while he isn’t directly involved with the big MGM fight card, he is helping Mayweather prepare.
“I’m helping the (sparring partners) who work with Floyd get ready,” Love said. “I’m watching Floyd train every day, and I’m learning so much just watching him work. I’m like a sponge soaking it all up.”
Love (15-0, 8 knockouts, 1 no contest) said he’s looking to return to the ring in November. Rosado, who ripped Love after he tested positive, is a possible opponent. Rosado lost a 10-round split decision that was later changed to a no contest.
“He can say whatever he wants,” Love said. “If he wants to fight again, let’s do it.”
■ BRADLEY, MATTHYSSE SPAR — Timothy Bradley probably could have had his pick of anyone to spar with to prepare for his Oct. 12 fight at the Thomas & Mack center with Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley, the WBO welterweight champion, picked Lucas Matthysse, of all people, to tangle with.
The two squared off Wednesday at the Indio (Calif.) Boys and Girls Club, and Bradley said it was a great decision.
“It was a shock to everyone,” Bradley told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. “It just kind of happened. It was just a spur-of-the-moment type of thing.”
Matthysse, who has his own title fight in Las Vegas on Sept. 14 when he faces WBA junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia at the MGM Grand Garden, decided to move the remainder of his training camp from Las Vegas.
“He said, ‘Hey, why don’t we get in the ring and spar?’” Bradley said. “We might as well get some work in while we’re here.”
Ironically, the two fighters did what their promoters couldn’t or wouldn’t do, which is put them together in the same ring. Bradley is promoted by Top Rank, while Matthysse is promoted by Golden Boy. But Bradley doesn’t see himself fighting Matthysse anytime soon.
“He’s got plenty of good fights at 140,” Bradley said. “Why should he come up to where I am (at 147 pounds)?”
■ HANEY TO JUNIOR WORLDS — Las Vegas bantamweight Devin Haney is headed to the AIBA Junior World Championships, which begin Thursday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Haney, who won the 119-pound national title earlier this year, is one of 13 U.S. boxers scheduled to compete.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournalcom or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.