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23 OCTOBER 2014

 

ATE: Cotto-Margarito Final Pre-Fight Thoughts, Pavlik-Hopkins, Calzaghe-Jones, Pacquiao, Klitschko & More


Cotto vs. Margarito: HoganPhotos.com
Cotto vs. Margarito: HoganPhotos.com

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we take a final look at Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito, weigh-in on the value of the Kelly Pavlik vs. Bernard Hopkins match and comment further on Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr. We break down Manny Pacquiao’s performance against David Diaz, ask if Wladimir Klitschko deserves more praise than he is getting in some parts and much more.

Name : Dennis Butwell
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Hello guys, great website by the way. My question is, who do you think will win the upcoming Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito bout this weekend? I think Cotto will win by late round stoppage. Also, if you can go back to any era, what would be your “Dream Bout”? Mine would be Joe Louis vs. Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Roy Jones Jr.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Dennis. I feel this is going to be a real cracker of a fight with Cotto putting the pressure on early and if he cannot stop Margarito then he may just drop the pace down the stretch and allow Margarito back into the fight. I would not be surprised to see a draw.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Dennis, I like Margarito to upset Cotto by split decision. Joe Louis versus Mike Tyson would be amazing, but what would be the weight for Mayweather Jr. versus Jones Jr.? I think Jones Jr. is too big for Floyd.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I like Cotto to win on points. While Margarito is a very good welterweight, I believe Cotto is a class above him. It still should be a great fight and Margarito will have his moments. Dream fights that immediately come to mind? Two are Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis and Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield, when Tyson was in his prime 1986-1988.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Dennis, this is a tough fight to call and I won’t be surprised no matter who wins. I have a sneaky feeling, though, that Margarito’s combination of power, strength and sheer volume could be the undoing of Cotto.

Name : Fernando Mores
Country : USA
Your Question :
My man Antonio Margarito is going to cut Cotto to pieces on Saturday night! How many rounds do you see Cotto lasting with the great Margarito?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Interesting thought, Fernando. I see a great fight ahead, can’t wait. I have actually predicted a draw.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Fernando, I like your ‘Man’ Margarito also, but I think it’s going to be close, and contested by some.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I was never convinced about Margarito in his two fights with Daniel Santos. The Mexican’s loss to Paul Williams concerned me further. Sorry, I don’t see it that way. I like Cotto on points.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I don’t think this will be as cut and dry as you think, Fernando. Cotto is one of the best fighters in the world and has the offensive tools to beat anybody. I think, however, that if Margarito’s keeps his volume high and his punches are thrown hard enough, he could hurt and possibly stop a tiring Cotto around the ninth or tenth rounds.

Name : Graham Jackson
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Chaps, I must sound my disgust on hearing that Kelly Pavlik is to fight Bernard Hopkins. There have been some utterly pointless matches made over the years, but I feel this tops the lot. Win, lose or draw neither has anything to gain, and it is surely not 1 but 2 steps back for Pavlik. I’m still trying to think of a positive but can’t, do you agree?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Sorry Graham, I do not agree. I think Pavlik wins but not as easy as some people think. Hopkins proved against Calzaghe that even at 43 he still has something left. Lets face it, other than Calzaghe who else can Pavlik fight for top money at the moment? Calzaghe is already committed to fighting Jones so Bernard is the next big fight for Pavlik. We all know Pavlik is a real tough so and so, but I’m intrigued to see how he handles Bernard’s spoiling defensive style. Ok, it’s not a classic but not the ‘pointless’ match you make out, either.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Graham, there is better money to be made for Pavlik and Hopkins to fight each other than most other match-ups for each guy right now, and for any boxer more money is the best reason of all.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Fire away Graham. I couldn’t agree more. We could have had Calzaghe-Pavlik and Hopkins-Jones Jr 2. I would have been pleased to see both of those fights. There is only one reason why we are getting what is being served up instead – money. I question anyone who gives either Hopkins or Jones Jr a solid chance of winning. Yes, I’m looking closely at the three of you Clive, Greg and Mike.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Hopkins just lost a close decision to Joe Calzaghe – one of the best lbs for lbs fighters on the planet. B-Hop (obviously) and a lot of others thought he did enough to win so, with that in mind, he probably thought to himself ‘why not?’ Not too many marquee fighters are lining up to take on Pavlik right now, so I give Hopkins a lot of credit for stepping up and I give him a great chance in the contest.

Name : Garry Ohare
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Just wanted your views on the Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr fight? (Editor’s Note: Now postponed till November 8) I believe a fight with Kelly Pavlik would of been the fight he should of been looking for next. Roy Jones Jr is not the fighter who was the pound for pound king at super middleweight. I know Joe must get sick of hearing this, but a victory over Jones will not secure his legacy, but a win over a up and coming world champion like Pavlik he would be given more credit for. Even though Ricky Hatton got stopped by Mayweather, people will always say he fought Floyd in his prime. I just think Joe missed the boat on a fight with Roy Jones Jr years ago and just should of let it go and I know he can only beat who they have put in front of him, but I just think during his career he has missed the big fights out there too often. He should of went to America over 5 years ago. I think a match up with even Jermain Taylor or Arthur Abraham would be better then Jones. I know it’s a bit unfair comparing him to Ricky but there is a massive buzz weeks before a Hatton fight, but that just doesn’t happen with Joe. With Ricky Hatton, I believe if the contracts were not signed to fight “Pauline” Malignaggi, they would of opted for the Pacquiao fight, as it is simply a more career defining fight. I know Joe has never ducked anyone but you have got to make the career defining fights when they are there to be made.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: You have a point, Garry, I would very much like to have seen Joe in with Jones five years ago and a younger Bernard Hopkins. I’m sick of saying this on ATE, but boxing is about the money and Joe fighting Jones will make him more money than facing Taylor or Abraham, that’s fact. I don’t see Joe a certainty over Jones Jr either. Don’t forget Hopkins ran Joe close even at 43. If Joe fights like he did against Hopkins, Jones wins.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Garry, you make some excellent points, especially since I don’t think Joe’s style matches up well against Jones Jr.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Excellent points there Garry. Your final sentence sums up Calzaghe’s career perfectly.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I think Joe’s legacy is already secured, Garry. He will go down as perhaps the best super middleweight of all time. You’re right, Jones is not what he used to be but he represents a massive draw and Calzaghe will make more money here than anywhere else. He said recently that he may fight Pavlik after the now postponed Jones contest so, stay tuned.

Name : Matt O’Brien
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
The criticism being aimed at Joe Calzaghe for fighting Roy Jones in his next fight and beating Bernard Hopkins last time out seems to me completely unfair. I can understand why people are disappointed that Calzaghe-Pavlik isn’t happening, but I think after all these years as an undefeated world champion, Joe has earned the right to fight for a big pay day against a big name. In a previous edition of ATE, Paul Upham made the point that Hopkins and Jones are both well past their best. Then in a follow up question when he was asked to name his top 10 p4p he had Hopkins at no.4 behind Calzaghe at no.3. So which is it? Is Hopkins just some old over-the-hill 43 year old, or is he a top 4 pound-for-pound fighter? To say he is both is a contradiction in terms. If Hopkins had of won that fight we’d all be saying what a marvel of nature he is - and in fact everyone was saying that before the fight. Yes, he is old. Yes, he is past his best. But he is still a world class, p4p fighter. It was Hopkins who turned down the fight years earlier. It was Hopkins and his trainers who told us that age wouldn’t matter, that he was “like a 27 year old”. Did Joe beat a peak Hopkins? No. Did Lewis beat a peak Tyson or Holyfield? Nope. Did De La Hoya beat a peak Chavez or Whitaker? No again. I could go on. The fact is that boxing history is littered with fighters beating former champions past their peak. It is the nature of our sport that older name champions will try to recapture former glory against the new fold. Sometimes they will succeed; often they will fail. Either way the narrative of the era is at least completed - as in Lewis-Tyson; DLH-Chavez etc. Jones might be well past his best, but I for one am looking forward to the fight - it will be much more competitive than many are giving it credit for.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Matt, I don’t think Calzaghe should be criticized in the slightest bit for fighting Jones Jr. instead of Pavlik, or anyone else for that matter. Calzaghe has indeed earned his right to have the upper hand in determining who he wants to fight for optimal monetary returns.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It certainly isn’t a contradiction Matt. By his twelve rounds points loss performance against Calzaghe, Bernard Hopkins is still one of the best boxers in the world. But he is still way past his best. What I am saying is that in an historical tone, Calzaghe never beat a prime Hopkins. You make some valid observations on boxing history, but Calzaghe beating old versions of Hopkins and Jones is not adding to his career in my opinion. Granted, Hopkins had more left than Jones has. The best fight decisions Calzaghe ever made were to face Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler, unbeaten title holders at the time. You can’t criticise him for that at all. Great for boxing. But don’t try to tell me that Calzaghe now facing Jones Jr is for anything else than the money. No, it won’t be close. Calzaghe will not only win every round, he will win every minute of every round against Roy.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Calzaghe told me in an interview early this year that the most important thing for him now is that he makes enough money to ensure that he and his family are secure after his boxing career is finished. That’s fine, and Roy provides the star name that makes this a true super-dollar fight. I doubt it will be that competitive, though, I think Calzaghe will win comfortably.

Name : Brendan Griffin
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hey guys, first up, I want to congratulate Manny Pacquiao on his brilliant win over David Diaz. I haven’t seen such a complete performance since Barrera took apart Naz Hamed and burst his bubble some years back. In hindsight, its easy to say that a straight-ahead guy like Diaz was made for Pacquiao, but this was a genuine tough guy who had earned his shot and it didn’t appear easy on paper. I would also give Manny an excellent chance against Ricky Hatton if he gets by Malignaggi, which is far from a formality by the way. I don’t see the weight being much of a problem as Manny has the punch to more than earn Hatton’s respect and the speed to give him serious problems. To quote Roger Mayweather, “weight doesn’t win fights, skills win fights”. I also believe that Hatton is probably over the hill after the beating he absorbed from Mayweather, Lazcano gave him way too many problems for my liking. So do you guys agree with me on the outcome of this potential mega fight and if so who can stop the Pacman?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Good question, Brendan. You’re right, Ricky has lost his edge, a combination of the Mayweather fight, hard living and a tough career I suspect. I also feel that if Malignaggi boxes Ricky to the best of his ability and is totally focused, then he out-points him.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Brendan, I am not sold on Pacquiao continually being effective as he moves up in weight. Pacman might have better skills than Hatton, but Pacquiao isn’t impossible to hit and no one can say for sure how he will react if Hatton gains some offensive momentum should they fight. Either way, I hope the fight happens because it would be fascinating to see how it goes.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It was the manner in which Pacquiao ripped Diaz apart that was so impressive. Every punch and footwork was in perfect place and timing. I like the Pacquiao-Hatton fight a lot. It has to happen, but having said that, I see Hatton-Malignaggi being one ugly fight. Anything could happen. Also, there is an old saying that may stop Pacquiao becoming heavyweight world champion one day, “a good big man will always beat a good little man”.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Malignaggi is a tough fight for Hatton but I think the Brit will just do enough to get his hand raised. Even so, I think Pacquiao would be better served staying at 135lbs. Remember, he started his career at 106lbs. It’s OK for Uncle Roger to say that skills win fights whilst pooh-poohing weight but, in fairness, I don’t think he means that there are no limits. Mayweather began his career at 130lbs so he would have to fight the best middleweight in the world if he wanted to emulate what Pacman will attempt if he fights Hatton. Pavlik would demolish Mayweather.

Name : Paul McBride
Country : USA
Your Question :
Congrats to Manny Pacquiao...what a fighter. I think he will move up to junior welterweight next year and beat Hatton. In the meantime, I’d love to see a wild shootout between Manny and Michael Katsidis. My question is regarding Manny’s’ amazing achievement of winning world titles in 5 weight divisions. Is he the only fighter in boxing history to have won world titles at flyweight and lightweight?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Paul. I do believe you’re right, Manny is the only man to have won world titles at both flyweight and lightweight, (of course, I stand to be corrected). Having said that, official records for world title fights at flyweight began in 1910 compared to lightweight, which has official records dating back to 1889.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Paul, good observations and a question…I hope my SecondsOut colleagues can help me out on this one…guys?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Paul, I’m not so sure that he will beat Hatton. Technically Pacman has won world titles in four weight divisions but, yes, he is the only fighter to win flyweight and lightweight world titles. I think Pacquiao vs. Katsidis would be extremely entertaining but I like Pacman to beat the Australian.



Name : Nick Halpin
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
I have two questions about current lightweights;
1) Can you see Manny Pacquiao cleaning up here after his demolition of David Diaz or was Diaz a good but not exceptional lightweight? David is clearly a very good fighter and exceptionally brave and I certainly do not mean David Diaz any disrespect. Can Campbell, Casamayor and the Mexican brigade stop Manny in his tracks?
2) Amir Khan. Your Thoughts? Great kid, but I think he is destined to fail despite his heart, speed and exceptional technique as he cannot seem to take a shot on the chin. He has been felled by super featherweights like Willie Limond. I think that this will be his undoing at the very top level, even if he goes up a weight (at 6’ he is extremely tall for a lightweight). Am I completely wrong?!

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Nick, 1) Diaz was the perfect guy at 135 for Pacquiao…the Chicago native was brave, but didn’t have the speed or reflexes to hang with Pac Man. It Pacquiao moves forward at 135, I think he’ll be willing to take on Casamayor, Jose Armando Santa Cruz and/or Juan Diaz, but I think he’ll avoid the Campbell-Guzman winner. 2) I haven’t seen enough of Khan to form an opinion.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Many Pacquiao is going to do well against anyone at lightweight. Of course, Casamayor and Campbell are great tests for him. The Cuban’s boxing skills won’t make it easy for the Pacman. The great thing about Pacquiao is that he is willing to make these great fights. There is a lot to like about Amir Khan and with further improvement, he can be a very good world champion. There seems to be a great rush though to get him to a world title fight. You are right, there is still a question mark on him taking real bombs. But promoter Frank Warren is very skilled at making the right fights at the right time for his boxers, as he did with Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe. It will be interesting to see if Khan pushes Warren faster for bigger fights than he would normally be prepared to go.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Diaz was a good lightweight titlist but, as I said in an earlier ATE, he is not in the same league as Pacquiao. I was not surprised that the fight panned out like it did and I think Pacman can do very well in the 135lb division. I would favor him over Casamayor and Campbell and, as always, I would make a fight against Marquez a pick ‘em. Khan needs a lot more seasoning, but I think he’ll be an excellent world champion some day.

Name : Duma Msongelwa
Country : South Africa
Your Question :
I am concerned at the level of criticism Joe Cortez is receiving for the last couple of months, especially for the Mayweather vs. Hatton fight. It seems like some of the editors on this site and some of the readers seem to think that he influenced the outcome of the fight. Please, for the love of boxing, let us not make excuses for Ricky, he was outboxed. Firstly, it was that Ricky was too small for 147 pounds, the fight should have been at 140, Floyd was the bigger fighter. Both the referee and the weight were not an issue, Mayweather was running away with the fight and how can you call Floyd the bigger man if he fought most of his fights at 130 pounds? This debate must be closed and we must look forward to Ricky’s next fight against Malignaggi. This will be tough for Ricky because I see Malignaggi as the most credible opponent Ricky has faced at 140 pounds since Kostya Tszyu. Malignaggi lasted 12 rounds with Cotto, this must serve as a reminder to Ricky. In closing, ‘Money’ Mayweather will come out of retirement to fight the winner of Cotto vs. Margarito next weekend, to solidify his damaged legacy, I am willing to stake my life on this. How do you see the Cotto vs. Margarito slugfest going?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Duma, I agree to let the Cortez controversy go….Mayweather was pulling away from Hatton the second half of their fight and the outcome of a Mayweather victory seemed like a sure thing. I also agree that a Hatton victory over Malignaggi is hardly a lock. Margarito, in my opinion is going to upset Cotto – ending any speculation of Mayweather’s return.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Wow Duma! You are betting up big this week. Let me say that Joe Cortez has had a few stinkers over the years, Mayweather-Hatton wasn’t one of them. I agree, Malignaggi is going to be very awkward for Hatton. When his bank levels start to drop, ‘Money’ Mayweather will be back.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I thought Cortez did not have a great night last December when he umpired the Mayweather vs. Hatton fight. But you are right, Duma, Mayweather was just too good for Hatton on the night. I’m not so sure that Mayweather will come out of retirement to fight Cotto or Margarito, but he should and I would slightly favor him over both guys.

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi guys, after watching Wladimir Klitschko’s demolition job over Tony Thompson I think it is finally time to realise that the search for the new heavyweight champion is over. Klitschko destroyed his challenger almost effortlessly and its a wonder how on earth he was cut and marked up like he was, as I barely saw a punch landed in anger from the incompetent American. However all through the fight you could see the headlines already - boring, unimaginative, and robotic. I personally believe Klitschko is a tremendous fighter and although the unification with the Sultan was like watching paint dry, on the whole he is an interesting fighter. He is a far more intelligent and brave fighter than Tyson ever was, he has more power than a Riddick Bowe and he is far more popular than Lennox Lewis ever dreamed of becoming. We are in danger now I feel of letting yet another great heavyweight champion pass by unnoticed just as Larry Holmes and Lennox Lewis unfortunately were. And all because of where the guy comes from. People write that the heavyweights are dead and why? Because America cannot even produce one capable of carrying the Eastern Europeans bags. Just as the great Jack Johnson was disrespected and down trodden because of his origins and all the focus was placed firmly on finding a great white hope to defeat him, rather than enjoying his brilliance, we are doing the same now to Klitschko. In short and to close the case (finally!) I believe Klitschko is a brilliant fighter (I rank him at number nine on my pound for pound list) he is in Easter Europe, Russia and Germany a mega star, possibly only equalled by Ricky Hatton in terms of popularity (believe it or not outside the US people care little about De La Hoya), plus he is the only heavyweight willing and capable of unifying all the belts and we should love him! Also I’d love to know where you guys place him in history?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, Klitschko is an interesting story on paper and I do respect him as a prize fighter who seems to be willing to take on all challengers. He is probably the best heavyweight at the moment. However, all that being said, this is not a golden era for the heavyweight division. The guy is not pleasing to watch; he’s been knocked out twice decisively; and he folded up like a beach chair against Ross Puritty. I would not rate Klitschko in my top-ten heavyweights of all time by any means.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I can’t rate him historically until we see how his career plays out. You make some very good points about how Wladimir is perceived in other countries. His losses Lamon Brewster, Corrie Sanders and Ross Puritty hurt his reputation badly, along with some recent boring victories. If he can win all of the major world titles by picking up the WBA and WBC belts over the next two years, even if he can’t hang on to all of them at the same time due to mandatories, that would help him greatly. A second win over Samuel Peter and a victory against who emerges from the Valuev-Ruiz-Chagaev WBA triangle would greatly enhance his reputation. Still, he is the best right now of a very weak division.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Hi Thomas, I certainly believe that Klitschko is the best heavyweight in the world, but that really isn’t saying much. He needs a powerful, menacing nemesis and he just doesn’t have one. People are attracted to heavyweights because of the excitement, the thudding punches, a good tear up between big guys. Klitschko is a technician and he rarely provides that excitement. As far as his place in history - you make many comparisons in your argument, but I wouldn’t mention Klitschko’s name in the same sentence as Holmes, Lewis, Tyson or Johnson. Wait…I just did.

Name : Stacey White
Country : Australia
Your Question :
This is a question I need answered! I believe Anthony "The Man" Mundine can beat the best out there in the middleweight division, Kelly Pavlik, Winky Wright, Jermain Taylor even the mighty Welshman Joe Calzaghe etc. Why does it seem like he is not going to get the chance?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Stacy. I totally disagree. Mundine is an improving fighter and let’s not forget he turned pro late. He has good skills but I feel he would come up short against of all you have mentioned. And he won’t get the chance to fight unless he leaves the comfort zone of his back yard.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Mundine proved with his wins over Danny Green and Antwun Echols that he can be competitive with anyone at super middleweight. His speed and elusiveness are greatly underestimated at times. But right now, he seems preoccupied with making a big money rematch with Green. At 33, time is running out for Mundine to make his mark on the world scene. If he wants the big fights at middleweight, he needs to do two things. First, he needs to be sure he can go down in weight and make the 160lbs limit without hindering his performance. Second, he needs to put up enough money to bring a big middleweight name to Sydney, or head to the USA/Europe and be prepared to take fights at shorter money to prove himself in a new market.



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