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21 OCTOBER 2014

 

ATE: De La Hoya-Pacquiao Final Thoughts, Staying Undefeated, Calzaghe-Dawson, The Best of Hamed & Lennox and More


Pound 4 Pound No.1 Manny Pacquiao: HoganPhotos.com
Pound 4 Pound No.1 Manny Pacquiao: HoganPhotos.com

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we preview the Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao super fight with observations from all different angles, question why boxers seemingly need to stay undefeated all of the time and discuss a possible Joe Calzaghe-Chad Dawson match. We spend more time working out Naseem Hamed and Lennox Lewis’ best wins, look at some of the WBC’s latest mandatory fights and much more.

Name : Fernando Pinel
Country : Philippines
Your Question :
Oscar De La Hoya is making a big mistake fighting Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is No.1 boxer in the world and will be too fast for Oscar. This will be his worst defeat.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Fernando, if you’re right then Oscar’s legacy will be tarnished forever. Manny may be quicker in the early part of the fight but sooner or later Oscar’s left hook will catch up with him.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Fernando, I don’t know if I necessarily agree with your predication, but I do agree that the downside of a loss for Oscar’s career would be more detrimental than if Pacquiao loses.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You may be right Fernando. It won’t be as easy for De La Hoya as some people are making out. Pacquiao is not going in there to lose. I like the Pacman on points.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Not only would this be a damaging defeat, De La Hoya has said that if he didn’t stop Pacquiao it would be “…a disaster”. I think he’ll win and I think he’ll avert “disaster” by knocking out Pacquiao in the late rounds.

Name : Howard Eaves
Country : USA
Your Question :
A comment first. I think boxing is so void of quality fighter. The Oscar De La Hoya and Pacman fight is overrated. Pacman is a great fighter and it is a shame he has to go up in weight to make the money. I feel that Oscar will be too big for him. I am reminded of the Cotto fight where Cotto was too small. How do you feel about these types of fights? Seems to me that the old ranking system is not in play, just the names or reputations of fighters prevail.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Howard, my personal opinion is this fight is all about the money. It’s a shame because Oscar is a very good fighter, but the last couple of years he’s worn his promoter’s hat far too often and I fear this fight in particular could well ruin his legacy. This is not a fight, it’s an event.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Howard, no doubt Pacquiao-De La Hoya is an odd pairing. Let’s just hope the fight is competitive. In regards to your comment regarding the ranking system not being in play, I would agree it would be refreshing to see De La Hoya fulfil his mandatory challenger status and seek fights with Vernon Forrest, Sergio Martinez, Sergeii Dzindziruk and/or Paul Williams. The same goes for WBC 135lbs champion Pacquiao attempting to unify with WBA/WBO/IBF champion Nate Campbell. However, all of those fights are either not lucrative enough or too dangerous at this point in De La Hoya’s and Pacquiao’s respective careers.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You may be thinking different Howard when Pacquiao wins. Your point is well made about the system seemingly out the window. The biggest fights are being made, regardless of titles. Normally, that would be a good thing, but there is so many people out there saying this is a bad fight.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Pacquiao can make good money no matter who he fights. However, if a top fighter really craves the big bucks then he has to eat at the same table as De La Hoya or, to a lesser extent, Ricky Hatton. Those two fighters virtually guarantee a handsome, eight figure pay day at this stage. I would take my chances too.

Name : Gary Jones
Country : USA
Your Question :
I’m worried about buying the pay-per-view on Saturday night and blowing my cash. I’ve got a bad feeling that De La Hoya is going to knock Pacquiao out in 2 rounds or less!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Gary, you pay your money you take your chance. Boxing fans are not silly. If you think De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao is a mismatch you do not have to buy the fight.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Gary, it depends on what you feel justifies the expense? If De La Hoya indeed knocks out Pacquiao quickly, but it’s an exciting slugfest while it lasts, maybe you won’t feel as if you’re blowing your cash. Unfortunately, that’s the inherit risk with PPV boxing…you’re not guaranteed nine innings or four quarters.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: If Pacquiao knocks out De La Hoya in two rounds or less, will you be disappointed you missed it live Gary?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS:
I really don’t want to advise one way or the other, Gary. What else would you do with that 60 bucks? I’ll wager that you buy the broadcast in the end. God knows boxing fans have shelled out big money for much worse boxing cards than this Saturday’s broadcast. At least this one is interesting. Plus, Juan Manuel Lopez is fighting on the card.

Name : Bobby Stanton
Country : USA
Your Question :
One thing that doesn’t seem to have been mentioned with this De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight. When Bob Arum and De La Hoya settled their contract feud a while back in 2007 over who was Pacquiao’s promoter, didn’t they agree to co-promote him? Does that mean the promoter is actually fighting his own fighter this weekend? If they have a contract, doesn’t this whole fight seem a bit fishy?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: As I said above, my opinion is this is more of an event than a fight and you do have a choice as to whether you want to purchase it or not.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Bobby, Arum’s Top Rank and De La Hoya’s Golden Boy co-promoted one Pacquiao fight following the dispute. After that one fight (I can’t remember who Pacman fought), Pacquiao returned exclusively to Top Rank.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Greg may be right, but I have been told that Golden Boy Promotions retains a small promotional holding of Pacquiao, say around 5%. So, technically, you may be right Bobby. But having said that, I think both boxers are going into the ring to win.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Both camps came to an agreement before the Pacquiao vs. Barrera fight last year that solved the legal problems. I’m not even going to take a stab at trying to explain it in detail, but Top Rank is the chief promoter whilst Golden Boy gets only a small slice of the Pacquiao pie.

Name : Mike Bennett
Country : USA
Your Question :
Isn’t all the pressure on Oscar De La Hoya Saturday night? If he loses to Pacquiao in any way, Oscar is going to have a whole lot of egg on his face with so many people saying he should win this fight easily.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Mike, if Oscar loses, he can forget about his legacy, six world titles at different weights, etc.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Mike, you’re spot on…there’s a lot of pressure on Oscar to win this fight in at least somewhat dominating fashion.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You are absolutely correct Mike. Oscar has put all the pressure on himself to win – by knockout even! Maybe that’s what he needs to bring out his best.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I would say that 100 per cent of the pressure is on De La Hoya, Mike. He must beat Pacquiao convincingly so that a Mayweather rematch or a Hatton stadium fight can be fully sold to the greater public.

Name : Ndumiso Mbele
Country : South Africa
Your Question :
Gentlemen, firstly, I’d just like to know if you think De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao is good for boxing. My feeling is that because of the physical advantages that Pacquiao is giving up to De la Hoya, it isn’t. Secondly, I’d like to know what a likely De la Hoya win over Pacquiao means for both fighters in relation to the P4P standings. Does De La Hoya automatically become a P4P list fighter or even number one? Thirdly and lastly, what did you think of our own Moruti Mthalane’s performance against Nonito Donaire. Given the way the fight was going at the time of the stoppage, would you say that Mthalane was unlucky and probably deserves another shot at the IBF flyweight title?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Ndumiso. 1. I don’t really think this fight harms boxing any more or less any other mismatches we have seen over the years. Fans will just think just another mismatch. 2. Paul Upham came up with a good theory that Oscar may have engineered this fight thinking that if he wins he automatically becomes P4P No.1. Personally, I do not feel he should be No.1. I think you could argue for a top 10 place, but even then I’m not convinced. 3. I did not see the Donaire-Mthalane fight so cannot comment.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ndumiso, De La Hoya-Pacquiao will be fine for boxing if the fight is competitive and I believe it will be a competitive fight for several rounds. As far as De La Hoya’s P4P presence should he beat Pacquiao, that’s a very tricky question because everyone else currently in the SecondsOut.com PFP ratings certainly deserves to be there. I hope my SecondsOut.com colleagues can help me out with this one!?!? My guess is that Mthalane doesn’t get another shot at Donaire right away. The sixth round stoppage due to the cut on Mthalane’s eyelid was ruled to come from a clean punch, so Mthalane may need to get back in line depending on the IBF’s next ratings.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: How the fight is viewed will depend on how the fight goes in the ring. An early De La Hoya knockout win and everyone will be screaming another black eye for boxing. If De La Hoya wins well, many people will say that’s what he should have done against the smaller Pacquiao, so he shouldn’t go to Pound For Pound No.1. Top ten, maybe. I think Calzaghe should be the new No.1 if Pacquiao loses. Donaire wasn’t at his best against Mthalane. That could well be because of what Mthalane was doing in the ring. Your South African boxer can learn from the loss and come back even better.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS:
It’s good for boxing in the sense that pay-per-view numbers will be explosive and it will bring broader attention to the sport. It does not, however, stand as an important event vis-à-vis lbs for lbs shuffling or rankings. It is what it is. Pacquiao is getting paid and De La Hoya is setting up a nice swansong against Hatton or Mayweather Jr. As for Mthalane’s performance. He was unlucky to get stopped with the cut because he was in the fight up until that point. Nonito Donaire didn’t look like the real Nonito Donaire, though. If there was ever a rematch, I think it would look a lot different.

Name : Barnaby Chesterman
Country : Italy
Your Question :
Why are boxers so afraid of losing their unbeaten records? Most people’s P4P number one is currently Manny Pacquiao, who suffered two 3rd round knockout defeats in his first 28 fights to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo. Singsurat did fight for a world title but Torrecampo ended his career in 1997 with a 14-8-5 record. And yet Pacquiao’s star has never stopped rising. A fifth round knock-out defeat to Carl Thompson in his 11th fight hasn’t stopped David Haye from becoming undisputed cruiserweight champ. John Ruiz had seven defeats on his record when he fought Nikolay Valuev for the WBA heavyweight title and he’s not exciting and one of those defeats was a first round KO against David Tua. I can’t understand why people claim someone is finished after one defeat. In most (in fact almost all) other sports, defeats are an important part of the learning process, in fact how can you improve unless you get in with someone better than you, and hence risk losing. Where does this fear of losing in boxing come from?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Good question, Barnaby. I think it depends on how you lose and who against. I also think that TV companies and promoters are finally waking up to the fact losing a fight or two is not the end of the world.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Barnaby, generally speaking, competitive athletes never want to lose. I agree, one can grow/learn from a loss, but in boxing a loss can potentially be much more costly than in other sports, especially if a boxer is still attempting to establish their name.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It is the what have you done for me today mentality. There are too many people in boxing who are only worried about your most recent performance. A loss looks bad on paper. Especially if a boxer is fighting only one or two times a year. In boxing in years past, boxers would fight week after week, month after month, so it was easy to get past a defeat and get another win. Today, a boxer’s current defeat hangs on their shoulders for months, even years. In today’s boxing, you have to be perfect all of the time to remain on top.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Barnaby, I couldn’t agree with you more. Almost all boxers taste defeat at some stage in their career. Whilst you’ll never get a boxer to welcome a loss, what they learn can be invaluable and how they come back shows their true mettle.


Name : David Lee
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hi guys, hope you are all well and good. Just want to get your opinion on a potential fight between Calzaghe and Dawson. Some people are claiming Dawson doesn’t deserve a shot at Joe which I find frankly ridiculous. Now if JC is to retire then I agree that Dawson is not a big enough name to lure him back. But I think we all know that Joe’s not going to retire now, that he’s earning more than he’s ever done. Now considering Calzaghe doesn’t do rematches, ruling B-Hop out, pray tell me who deserves a shot at the Welshman more than Bad Chad?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: David, I’m happy for Joe to continue boxing because I think he still has at least three good fights left. And why not go for Marciano’s record. I think Dawson would be a good fight for him. You know what? I think Joe could take on the cruiserweights as well.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: David, I’d be more than happy to see Calzaghe-Dawson, but I think it’s a long shot that fight gets made. I have a feeling Joe might be done fighting, but if he does fight again, I think it will be against Jermain Taylor.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: The smart move would be for Calzaghe to retire on top. There is no fight out there that really helps him historically. If he fights on, Dawson is the natural fight for Calzaghe. Though, I don’t see it doing huge money. It may depend on how much money Calzaghe took him from the Jones Jr fight. The PPV sales in the USA were disappointing considering the push it got. If Calzaghe fights on, it really is only for the money, something he said he would never do.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Dawson definitely deserves a shot at Calzaghe if the Welshman decides to keep going. Whilst it would be more competitive than the Jones Jr fight, I would expect Calzaghe to win by a fairly clear margin.

Name : Paul Wickes
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Chaps, love the site, as always, but I must beg to differ with all of you about Naseem Hamed’s greatest win. You mentioned the Steve Robinson, which in my opinion is No.2 on the list. For me, his finest win was against José Badillo. That was vintage Naz. He broke his opponent down slowly. Now, if he’d have fought like that and been in that shape against Barrera I believe he’d have won their fight! Whilst we’re on the subject of finest wins, what about Lennox Lewis? He had a barrage of spectacular wins, but which do you feel was his best? For me, it has to be vs. the Razor!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Paul, for me I think Lewis’ best win was the second Rahman fight. There was no way he was going to lose to Rahman in the rematch and he was completely focused in destroying Rahman. He never put a foot wrong.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Paul, no doubt Lennox’ blow-out of Ruddock was very impressive, but I think the Nov 2001 rematch KO victory over Hasim Rahman was Lennox at his finest, as he boxed circles around Rahman before delivering the perfect straight right to emphatically regain his heavyweight championship.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I also liked Hamed’s win over Kevin Kelly. That was real drama. An in shape Hamed would have interesting against Barrera, but Marco was too smart that night. I have to agree with my colleagues in relation to Lennox’ best win. To come back and knockout the opponent who knocked you out with no tune-up fight and the heavyweight championship of the world on the line was special.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: That was a great win for Hamed. Badillo was extremely tough and had to be saved by his own corner in the end. I still think the Kevin Kelley knockout was the most spectacular – especially because it was his US debut. For me, Lennox Lewis’ best win was the spectacular KO of Hasim Rahman in their 2001 rematch. What a way to silence the critics.

Name : James Linley
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
How can the WBC take themselves seriously? Just read the report on the mandatory defences. Carlos Baldomir to fight a final eliminator at welterweight? He hasn’t fought for a year and that was at light middle! With the amount of interim champions, the credit crunch is obviously not affecting Mr President for Life? Also, what’s the matter with Israel Vasquez?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: You are right, James. When you get a minute, take a look at the four main world governing bodies and see how many of their titles are/were vacant in the last year? Five years ago you really had to work hard to fight for a world, not anymore.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: James, any questions regarding the actions of sanctioning bodies should have long ago been put to rest….they’re in the business to make money, so they do whatever they can get away with to keep things moving along. Case in point, the WBA just rated Evander Holyfield at No.12. Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez were headed towards a fourth fight, but both guys wanted too much money. When the promoters pitched the fight to HBO, the network decided to pass, so currently, Vasquez does not have a scheduled fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Always remember, boxing is a business, not a sport.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: It doesn’t add up does it, James. I must admit, I know very little about his opponent Jackson Bonsu but the fight is in his backyard over in Antwerp so if he can fight, he has a great chance. Vazquez has been recovering from surgery that repaired a detached retina in his right eye. Negotiations to fight Marquez for a fourth time have hit a snag but, personally, if that can’t be made I’d like to see him fight WBA and IBF world champion Celestino Caballero.

Name : Matt O’Brien
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
What did the SecondsOut team think of the referee during the Lacy-Taylor fight? Although there weren’t any glaring errors or pivotal judgement calls, I did notice he kept doing that annoying thing that some referees do of pulling down at Taylor’s arms during clinches, in an attempt to break the fighters without actually calling break. It got me thinking about the possible affects of this during a fight, and what the actual rules are regarding this type of action. Firstly; if somebody keeps tugging on your arm like that, constantly pulling your hand down to your side, the natural instinct of your arm to resist the pull will surely have a tiring affect over the course of a twelve round fight (if it is done often enough and with some force as appeared to be the case with Taylor). If a fighter gets to the 12th round and gets knocked out by an overhand right whilst his left is dangling dangerously low through fatigue, there could be an argument that the referee has contributed to the fighter losing. Of course, it would be pretty much impossible in that situation to prove if the fighter was tired anyway through his own exertions, but I think it still raises an issue worth thinking about.
Secondly; and much more of a problem, would be if the referee pulled a fighters arm down, and in that instant that his arm was lowered the other fighter crashed a punch against his unprotected jaw and knocked him out. Then there would be no dispute that the referee had directly influenced the outcome of the fight in an unfair way.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Matt, I think it’s the responsibility of the fighter and his corner to complain to the referee between rounds in the first case you describe. Whether it makes a difference with how the referee continues to handle the fight depends on the individual referee, but at least if complaints are made, a fighter on the receiving end of a knockdown or knockout due to late-round fatigue might have some clout with ringside officials regarding a rematch request. In the second scenario, the ruling on a referee pulling at a fighter’s arm to break a clinch just as the other fighter delivers a knockout blow would be the judgment call of that referee or state commission officials whether or not the blow would possibly be perceived as a foul.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Some referees push arms down to keep the action going on the inside without constantly calling the boxers to break. You make some valid points about the potential risks. But maybe if the boxer is trying to punch more and not hang on, the referee wouldn’t have to intervene. I didn’t see any real problems in the Taylor-Lacy fight. The better boxer won.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: You’ve certainly put a lot of thought into this, Matt. The referee that you are referring to is Laurence ‘The Octopus’ Cole and he was bouncing around the two fighters making sure clinches or holds were loosened. That is quite an acceptable part of umpiring a fight and I think the effects would be minimal on a fighter’s stamina or positioning.

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi guys, first of all I would like to restate my prediction for the Pacman-Golden Boy mismatch. Manny kills Oscar everyday. It is true a good big man beats a good little man but a great little man destroys an overrated marketing machine ten days out of ten. I have never rated Oscar, I have a sneaking suspicion my grandmother could beat him and a simple look at his recent record backs me up totally. In the last five years he has only beaten a way past his best Mayorga and Steve Forbes (Steve who?) Felix Sturm may have lost the decision but clearly won the fight. De La Hoya is annoying. He is also boring, sometimes I really miss Mike Tyson’s tirades. Aren’t fighters supposed to be mean? I don’t mind nice guys (I admire a gentleman like Super Joe Calzaghe), but I hate the sleazy sales man, lawyer, estate agent class and that’s what he is. But my question is this when he is beaten will he finally go away and do what I admit he is actually excellent at, which is running his promotions company, which arguable makes the best fights in world boxing? I fear if he wins he will rematch Floyd or fight Hatton at Wembley and we will be subjected to more boredom. I remember reading many years ago how he intended to retire at thirty and become an architect, please Oscar retire now! Or, if you must fight on, please, please, please don’t build it up for so long. By the way I was amused to see that The Ring magazine have Joe Calzaghe at No.3 in the pound for pound and Hopkins at No.4. Surely, that is a contradiction in terms isn’t it? If two top 5 pound for pound guys fight then the winner has to be number one at the end doesn’t he?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You certainly don’t miss De La Hoya with your own crunching left hook there do you Thomas! Some interesting points. As for Hopkins’ rating, The Ring rewarded him for beating Pavlik so decisively, who was also in the top ten.



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