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23 OCTOBER 2014

 

ATE: Final Hatton vs. Malignaggi Thoughts, Haye vs. The Klitschko's, Calzaghe’s Legacy, Boxers Past Their Prime, Oscar’s Best Win and More


Is Haye ready for the Klitschko's?: HoganPhotos.com
Is Haye ready for the Klitschko's?: HoganPhotos.com

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we give some final thoughts on this weekend’s big Ricky Hatton-Paul Malignaggi fight, consider whether David Haye should fight either of the Klitschko brothers now or later and dissect the legacy of Joe Calzaghe. We name some of the best boxers that hurt the most when they fought way past their best, attempt to name the best career win of Oscar De La Hoya and much more.

Name : Ronnie Stapleton
Country : UK
Your Question :
I’ve got a terrible feeling Ricky Hatton is going to have a lot of problems with Paulie Malignaggi this weekend. Ricky is starting to slow down, will be fighting a little confused under his new trainer Mayweather and will be chasing Paulie all night. It could be very ugly. How do you see it?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: You know what, Ronnie. I tend to agree. I have been thinking the same thing. If Hatton has started to slow down a bit, Malignaggi is not the type of fighter you want in front of you. I would not be surprised at all to see an upset.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ronnie, I hear Hatton is in great shape. If he can put constant pressure on Malignaggi for twelve rounds, I think Hatton wins the fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It will be close, but the deciding factor in Hatton winning on points will be his aggressive style. If he can put reasonable pressure on, he will catch the judge’s eyes.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: You may be right, Ronnie. I feel however, that Malignaggi will have trouble keeping Hatton from getting inside due to his lack of punching power. It’s a fight featuring two guys who have been below par recently and it’s very difficult to call.

Name : Barnaby Chesterman
Country : Italy
Your Question :
I’m sure you’ll be bombarded by emails on David Haye, but I’ll throw in my two pennies worth anyway. It was a good performance in victory against Monte Barrett but let’s not forget that he did get put down and Barrett got up four times. Fighters rarely got up from a Tyson or Lewis knockdown, let alone four times! Vitali said after the fight that he thinks Haye needs two more fights at heavy before taking on one of the Klitschko’s and I hope he takes heed of the advice. Firstly, Haye is bringing excitement to the division, but if he goes in with a Klitschko in his next fight and loses, all the hype will be over. Let’s at least build-up the tension and expectation for a bit. He should take two more fights against quality opposition, keep winning impressively and keep building up for the super fights. If he fights a Klitschko next and wins, great, because then he can fight the other one. But if he loses then all the fun will be over before it really started. Plus, I don’t think that one win over Barrett is enough to prepare him for a Klitschko. He said himself the power was different. It’s alright taking one or two shots but when you’ve got a giant Ukrainian jab pummelling your face over several rounds, that’s gonna take a lot of heart and resistance to keep your morale, belief and confidence up.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Barnaby, I’m glad Haye has brought some excitement to the heavyweight division and I agree I’d like to see a couple more fights at heavyweight. One thing the Haye camp has always done well is match Haye brilliantly (with the exception of Mr Thompson). So, I think there will be a re-think on their strategy next time out.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Barnaby, I agree that there shouldn’t be any rush for Haye to fight either Klitschko brother yet. Haye’s popularity will allow him to take several more safer fights at heavyweight. In the meantime, the Klitschko’s will figure out they need Haye more than Haye needs them.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: One point you missed Barnaby. If Haye fights Klitschko and loses, he still gets a monster pay day. If he fights another lesser heavyweight and were to lose, then there is no big payday against either Klitschko. Tough decision. What’s more important - the money now or the better preparation?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Haye will do well against most heavyweights, Barnaby. I think the size, power and polish of the Klitschko brothers will be too much for him though, no matter how many tune-up fights he takes.

Name : Tim Young
Country : Australia
Your Question :
How do you rate David Haye? Just thought I would see if the experts have jumped on the Haye express or still think as I do, he’s top 10 at best. After one fight at heavyweight he’s calling out the Klitschko’s, who must be licking their lips at a nice fat payday. Let’s put things into perspective, Haye knocked down Monte Barrett five times and stopped him in round 5. Eight years ago Klitschko the younger did a similar job on Barrett. Before he is fast tracked into a title showdown, lets see Haye fight either Sultan Ibragimov or Sam Peter, who have both been recently vanquished by the Klitschko’s and both need a good win to get back into the mix. Good 50-50 fights and a legit way to get a shot.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: I totally agree, Tim. I’m sure David would love the challenge.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Tim, if I was Haye, I wouldn’t even fight the caliber of Ibragimov or Peter for at least three more bouts at heavyweight. Given Haye’s popularity and all-action style, fans will be happy to see him knock a few out a few more lesser talents until the time is right to challenge for one of the major belts.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I love Haye’s aggressive and confidence. He is a bright light for the gloomy heavyweight division. In fact, the success of Vitali Klitschko and David Haye has lifted the heavies as a whole immensely. Haye is talented. That doesn’t mean he will beat either Klitschko, but I still want to see the fights because Haye will make for exciting fights win or lose. Haye comes into the ring in shape and is prepared to lets his punches go. How many leading heavyweights can you say that about in recent times?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Barrett was never going to be a real threat to Haye, Tim. I like the path you’ve laid out for a title shot there – both interesting contests. It looks like Haye wants a Klitschko now, however.

Name : Stephen Casey
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Just read the last ATE. Who the hell is Calzaghe supposed to have fought that he didn’t? Jones or Hopkins would not have fought him five years ago because there was no money in it. The only reason he became a name is Jeff Lacy came to fight him. Since then, everyone has been lining up to make money.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Stephen, I totally agree…it’s way too late now to negatively criticize Calzaghe…his track record speaks for itself.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I’ve just taken out my copy of The Ring magazine with world ratings up to December 2, 2001. 175lbs – Champion Roy Jones Jr, No.1 Dariusz Michalczewski, No.2 Eric Harding. 168lbs – Champion Vacant, No.1 Sven Ottke, No.2 Joe Calzaghe. 160lbs – Champion Bernard Hopkins, No.1 Felix Trinidad, No.2 William Joppy. Did Calzaghe fight any of these other boxers in 2001 or 2002? No. To make many of these fights he needed to take the chance of campaigning in the USA to raise some American interest in him. Joe elected to stay in the UK until much later in his career. That was his choice. If he was able to make the jump to the USA for fights in 2007 or 2008, what couldn’t he do the same in 2001 and 2002? Calzaghe is an exceptional future Hall of Fame boxer. But he hid his talent in the UK for many years away from boxing fans in the USA.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Let’s be honest, Stephen. Calzaghe’s team weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to get things done either until fairly recently. In any case, the fact that the fight was not made years earlier should not have an impact on Calzaghe’s or Jones’s legacies.

Name : Kris Miners
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I’m writing in response to those that are knocking the Calzaghe vs. Jones fight. Anyone who had an ounce of love and knowledge for this great sport can surely see that if it were not for fights such as this, with supposedly washed up fighters, boxing in the modern day would cease to exist. What with the advent of other fighting promotions such as UFC, which I feel boxing, can, and is learning from. Although Jones is probably past his fighting best, he is still very completive and would have handed a beating to many other fighters doing the rounds. But for me, Calzaghe made him look ordinary, because he himself is that good. Calzaghe has to be one of the best, if not the best fighter of the modern era. Over a decade of being champion and beating everyone who has been placed in front of him should earn him the respect he deserves. Boxing greatness is often defined by the era in which the fighter fights in, and sadly we will never see some the great fights because of this, but I feel whatever time these two greats would have boxed, their careers would have been just as successful. For those who do nothing but knock fighters who risk their life for a sport they love, and a willingness to sate the hunger for fight fans around the world, maybe you should think twice before you put your chosen sport down?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Kris. I do think Joe is the best British fighter Britain has produced in the last 20 odd years. And I for one think he should fight on. Maybe I’m in the minority but I still think he has plenty to offer and would like to see him go for Rocky Marciano’s 49 fight undefeated record. I’d like to see him fight Glen Johnson and then Chad Dawson.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Kris, you’re spot on…Calzaghe-Jones was a natural fight to make and it was more Calzaghe who made Jones look vulnerable – not Jones’s own deterioration as a fighter.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I don’t agree. For those of us who marvelled at the talent of Roy Jones Jr in his prime, watching those final rounds against Calzaghe was very sad. 39 year-old Jones was just a shell of his former self.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I would agree with you if this fight had taken place a few years ago, Kris. I do agree, however, with your assertion that Calzaghe and Jones would have been successful in any era – they are both extremely special fighters.

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi guys, I am normally a big fan of John Lumpkin however...what does Calzaghe really need to do to win your respect John? Have you forgotten Jeff Lacy? Remember before the fight Calzaghe wasn’t given a cats chance in hell. This was an all conquering middleweight in the Gerald McClellan vein, destined to assume James Toney and Roy Jones crown. Calzaghe was merely cannon fodder. An over protected European champion with a flimsy WBO strap. Yet Lacy didn’t land a single glove. Mikkel Kessler? Calzaghe still rates him as his best opponent and again there were many who favoured him, he has regained the super middleweight title and may well go on to bash up Hopkins...yet he is dismissed as if a victory over him counts for nothing. Possibly the greatest ever Scandinavian fighter and Calzaghe destroyed him. Bernard Hopkins... we all thought it was a shadow Joe beat but apparently not...it could be argued that he beat a prime Hopkins. And please don’t disparage Roy Jones Jr. Let’s not forget more SecondsOut writers picked him to beat Joe than picked Darchinyan to win his superfight. So maybe it would have been better for Joe in your eyes John if he would have struggled against these guys? Then maybe you would have felt he earned his wins more? And let’s be serious, if he does fight on and destroy Pavlik, and Dawson as he so clearly would, after the event you would say well done but then a month or two down the line when the memory of how good these guys were pre-Calzaghe has faded you would say so he beat Dawson and Pavlik...who the hell were they anyway. If he beats Tarver...well its just battering an old man in your eyes (even though I’m sure at least 30% of people would pick Tarver)...so what can he do to win your respect?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, Calzaghe doesn’t need to do anything to win my respect. As far as I’m concerned, the victory over Jones closed the show.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Nothing can change history now. Calzaghe is a great future Hall of Fame boxer. But beating up a 39 year-old Roy Jones Jr way past his prime and already knocked out by Tarver and Johnson does nothing for Calzaghe’s already impressive career. Joe’s best wins are over Kessler and Hopkins. But look back over his career wins from 2000 to 2005. With all his talent, surely he could have achieved much more?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I would definitely put Joe Calzaghe’s name amongst the best of this or any other era, Thomas. I have to say, though, that John Lumpkin has a point. Calzaghe should have introduced himself to the US audience earlier in his career. If he continues to fight, I think he has a great chance of reaching 50-0 and that would blunt the nayest of nay-sayers. Right?


Name : Duma Msongelwa
Country : South Africa
Your Question :
It broke my heart to see Roy Jones Jr lose like that last week. I know Mr Paul Upham will say I told you so. I honestly did not see it coming because I thought Roy would throw more combinations and hurt Joe. After the 7th round I knew Roy’s fate was sealed. Joe Calzaghe take a bow. Joe can adapt to any boxer and his style is difficult to read. It is clear that Roy was doing it for the money. His love for boxing is not there, he was knocked out by Tarver and Johnson. Calzaghe must retire, he must not take one too many fights like Roy did and B-Hop. Guys like Dawson are hungry and will strip away a little bit of Joe’s legacy if he fights again. I have seen a lot of boxer’s past their prime and Roy Jones hurts me the most. The list of boxers being beaten past their primes is endless. Please give me a list of boxers who were beaten well past their primes that hurt the most. For me - 1.Muhammad Ali. 2.Mike Tyson. 3. Roy Jones Jr. 4. Sugar Ray Leonard. 5. Erik Morales

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson,
Roberto Duran, Leon Spinks.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I’ll go with your list Duma. The hardest thing for any boxer to do is to know when the correct time is to retire. What would people think of Roy Jones Jr today if he had retired after beating John Ruiz?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Good list, Duma, and there are so many others that could be added. As a boxing fan, watching Evander Holyfield paddle on at 46-years-old is not ideal.

Name : Danny Johnson
Country : Australia
Your Question :
As you will recall, my contribution to the previous ATE centered on Oscar De La Hoya and why he was fighting Manny Pacquiao as his farewell fight in lieu of Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto. Paul Upham share’s my view that the reason Oscar isn’t fighting either of the afore mentioned champions is because of the risk of a bad loss and then Paul goes on to ask me which one of Oscar’s career wins, in my opinion, would rate as his best or most career defining. I thank you for that question Mr Upham and answer in the affirmative that Oscar’s win over Fernando Vargas a few years back is my choice. Not only was it his best win as far as I am concerned, I believe it also cemented Oscar’s legacy as one of the best ever of any weight class. Now you have had ample time to consider your answer, Paul, which one of Oscar’s triumphs would you rate as his best or career defining?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Danny, I think De La Hoya’s best victory was one I didn’t think he really won…the points win over Pernell Whitaker.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I had the chance to talk to Oscar in Big Bear on Monday and asked him the question himself. You can read his response HERE! For me, I don’t agree that Vargas was his best career win. Fernando had already been knocked out by Felix Trinidad. I was going to say it was Ike Quartey, but then ace publicist Fred Sternburg reminded me during the week that Quartey had not fought for 16 months before facing Oscar. Greg may be right, Pernell was not the Pernell Whitaker of old, but he still had a little bit left. Chavez was not Chavez. Miguel Angel Gonzalez and Genaro Hernandez were both undefeated before Oscar beat them. They would be on my short list. I actually felt that Oscar’s best performance was against Felix Trinidad, but he didn’t get the win, even though I scored it for him. I don’t believe there is a clear standout best win for Oscar De La Hoya. Vargas, Whitaker, Gonzalez, Hernandez and Quartey would seem to be on the same level in many ways. It is a tough choice. If you put a gun to my head, I’m going to say Ike Quartey.

Name : Brian James
Country : USA
Your Question :
I just read your story about Jorge Arce calling out Vic Darchinyan. Has Arce lost his mind? Mijares smashed Arce and then Darchinyan treated Mijares like he was a no name amateur. What gives?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Brian, you know as well as I do, Arce is chasing a big payday. It’s the biggest fight out there for Arce. I think he gets beat but he will get paid.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Brian, you can’t blame Arce for looking to make a fight against a red hot commodity like Darchinyan. It would be a good action fight while it lasted.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Yes, Jorge is crazy. I will have a new Vic Darchinyan interview here at SecondsOut on Monday and you can read what the Raging Bull has to say about that fight and many others out there for him. Darchinyan will knock Arce out.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Arce has not lost his mind, Brian. He just wants to fight the best out there and that should be applauded.

Name : Michael Anthony
Country : Australia
Your Question :
As we get to the end of the year I have made a list of possible match ups for 2009 that I would like to see and they are:
Manny Pacquiao vs. Nate Campbell
Kelly Pavlik vs. Arthur Abraham
Miguel Cotto vs. Paul Williams (winner to fight Margarito)
Joe Calzaghe vs. Chad Dawson
Do you see any of these match ups being made next year?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Michael, I think Pacman will avoid Campbell. Abraham is likely fight Sturm and then maybe Pavlik. Williams, stature-wise, is a tough task for Cotto…not sure we’ll see that fight. I really doubt Calzaghe takes on Dawson because there’s so little up side for Joe in that fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Pavlik-Abraham is my must make fight for 2009! Fighting Dawson does nothing for Calzaghe. Joe should retire now undefeated. Williams is a tough fight for Cotto. I’d rather see Williams-Margarito 2.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Paul Williams is now campaigning at 154lbs, so a fight with Cotto seems to be off the table. The others are possible. Nate Campbell has had trouble getting big fights in the past, but he is a legitimate world champion and could be a target of Pacquiao if he drops back to 135lbs next year.

Name : Adrian Borchok
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Hey guys, great site! How do you think undefeated Hungarian light heavyweight Zsolt Erdei would fare against the likes of Chad Dawson, Joe Calzaghe or Bernard Hopkins. Erdei reminds me a lot of early Calzaghe - predominantly fighting out of his home base and a genuine boxer rather than fighter/brawler with a propensity for going the distance. How would he stack up against the big names in the division?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Adrian, I think at this point Zsolt would be a step behind purely because he has not mixed it at this level. I’d like to see him in with a Clinton Woods or Glen Johnson before I make up my mind. And let’s also not forget that Erdei is yet to leave the comfort zone Germany or Hungary, yet apart from a couple of low key fight in the US early in his career.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Adrian, Erdei is 29-0, so it’s tough to be too critical regarding where he’s fought. My biggest concern about Erdei against the rest of the big names in the division is that he’s 34 years old, so he must be matched accordingly.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think Erdei loses to all of them right now. But with him campaigning in Germany at the moment, none of those fights are going to happen there.

Name : Mighty M. Mo
Country : Australia
Your Question :
How can you possibly rank Anthony Mundine over Jermain Taylor at super middleweight? Taylor has beaten Hopkins, Winky Wright, Spinks etc. and lost only twice, both times to the wrecking ball, Kelly Pavlik. Mundine, on the other hand, has beaten no one of that calibre - in fact, on every occasion he’s stepped up to true world class, he’s been beaten - knocked out by the feather-touch Ottke, totally outclassed by Mikkel Kessler, and even beaten by Siaca. Both times he’s won the WBA title, it’s been vacant - he’s never really taken a title. His resume is full of tin cans, to the extent that some commissioning body officials have said that certain fights should never have been made. I know that picking your fights is part of the sport, and that you guys need to apply some sort of relatively measurable points system to rate fighters, but common sense must prevail at some point. Mundine is an incredible athlete, with two of the fastest hands in boxing - but to rate him above Taylor is to do both Taylor and the sport of boxing a great disservice.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Mighty Mo, let’s just say you make a solid argument for your stance on this matter.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Taylor needed to win over Lacy first at 168lbs and now he can be rated above Mundine.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Good eyes Mighty Mo. You’ve spotted a rare SecondsOut boo-boo, if you will. The rankings shall be updated promptly.



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