By Chris Robinson
Later tonight, inside of the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., undefeated junior welterweight contender Karim Mayfield (17-0-1, 10 KO’s) will face off with journeyman Christopher Fernandez (21-15-1, 13 KO’s) on the undercard of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Brian Vera matchup.
At Friday’s weigh-in, Mayfield made the contracted catch weight limit of 144 pounds and showed off a chiseled physique that was a testament to all the weeks of hard work leading up to his 19th professional bout.
Mayfield was originally lined up to meet tough Mexican Pavel Miranda and gave his best explanation for having to find a late replacement.
“If I’m not mistaken, he didn’t pass some test,” Mayfield said of Miranda. “So they brought in another fighter. Hey, I’m just prepared for whatever comes to me.
“Of course I’ve researched him a little bit,” Mayfield continued, addressing Fernandez. “He’s fought some good opponents; Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi. He fought some good guys and he’s definitely in there to fight.”
A native of San Francisco, Mayfield spent this training camp honing his skills in Las Vegas under his coach Ben Bautista, as he bounced back and forth between the Mayweather Boxing Club and the Top Rank Gym, as well as a few other locales.
While at the Top Rank Gym, Mayfield spent some time sparring with fellow unbeaten Jessie Vargas and seemed to appreciate the competition.
“It was good work,” said Mayfield. “He’s definitely a good contender. Definitely see him being a champion in his weight class. He has an upcoming fight, so he was prepared to get ready for a fight and it was a give and take sparring session. We both learned from the sparring.”
Mayfield is no stranger to making his bones as a sparring partner in years past and two men he has shared the ring with, Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao, are now on his radar.
Bradley defends his WBO welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12 while Pacquiao will meet rugged Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 in Macau, China.
Mayfield confirmed that those particular matchups are of interest to him, regardless of who comes out on top.
“Any of those top four,” said Mayfield. “They all can get it for sure.”