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14 NOVEMBER 2018


ATE: Hatton, Oscar, Toney and more

Weighing in for the last time?
Weighing in for the last time?

In this week’s Ask the Editors: Who is the best at 168lbsKessler v Calzaghe... is John Duddy really looking at an all-Irish clash... is any trainer worth $2million per fight... Hatton fans are angry at lack of respect for an All-Aussie super-fight brewing... who is to blame for Enzo v Haye collapsing and should James Toney retire?

First Name : Gary
Last Name : Young
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi guys, Just wondering what your thoughts were on various ratings including yourselves having Mikkel Kessler rated above Joe Calzaghe. It seems like the whole Jeff Lacy saga repeating itself, but then again since Joe’s victory, Jeff’s went from being the next big thing in boxing to just another bum who really wasn’t worth the hype which belittles a truly amazing display. Also look at there next two opponents at least Manfredo Jnr is in most peoples top ten, who is Libardo Andrade and where is he rated?

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: In my opinion, Joe Calzaghe is the best super middleweight out there, and should be no. 1. I respectfully disagree with Ant and Clive on this one (can’t remember your stance on this one Paul?). Lacy was that good by the way, and Manfredo is a quality opponent. You just have to watch him fight to see that. Yes, he lost to Sergio Mora, but it was a very close and competitive fight.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Libardo Andrade is a serious contender, Gary, who has a far better record than reality TV loser Manfred. Let me explain who Andrade is - he’s a big punching, unbeaten fighter who has long been avoided but finally got the chance to prove his worth with a very good win over Otis Grant when Grant was on a serious run of form. Former world middleweight king Grant, who retired after taking a real beating, would have won that phoney ’Contender’ series of nobodies and never-weres - easily - but Andrade hammered him despite conceding home ground.

And regarding Kessler’s deserved status as our No.1 super-middleweight - just because Calzaghe beat Jeff Lacy (who with the benefit of hindsight wasn’t nearly as good as so many (including myself) thought he was) doesn’t mean he’s entitled to start favourite against every single opponent for the rest of his career. Here we are a year on from Joe’s one good win in years and years and it is almost as if it never, ever happened. Joe’s back to fighting also-rans with the promise of that "big" fight "after this next one".

And, quite clearly, Lacy isn’t as good as a lot of people thought he was. Otherwise he wouldn’t have lost (and lose he did) to Vitali Typsko a few months back. Lacy has some good wins but, for my money, he lost v Sheika, too and I feel that Calzaghe fans feel they must perpetuate this myth - and myth is the correct word - of Lacy’s almighty invincibility as he is the ONLY top name on their hero’s record in nearly a decade arsing about wasting his obvious pound-for-pound talents.

And Ben, if you really think that Manfred - who lost THREE TIMES on a crappy girly show populated by has-beens and never-weres - is ’quality’ then take a bet with me that the half-pint goes the full 12 with Calzaghe. Because I can’t see this mugging going more than five completely one-sided rounds.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Gary, I can understand why Calzaghe fans would be a little peeved to see Joe at No.2 behind Kessler. Regardless of his great win over Lacy, there are many people who feel that Kessler is simply the Better fighter. It would be a great fight and boxing needs matches like Calzaghe-Kessler. Credit to Calzaghe for his long reign, but at this stage of his career he needs legacy fights. In my opinion, Kessler has shown what a talent he is. I’ll give you an easy solution to the debate. If the Calzaghe-Kessler fight was made, we would know for sure.

First Name : Jim
Last Name : Borzell
Country : USA
Your Question :
A recent article by your reporter, Michael Norby, is entirely based on a delusional fighter’s (Matthew Macklin) dream that he is a coming target of John Duddy and that the date has been chosen, etc. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I couldn’t understand why Duddy’s people would do this (seeming to have nothing to gain by fighting Macklin) so I called Eddie McLaughlin, Duddy’s promoter. He didn’t have a clue as to what Matt was talking about. Coincidentally, Brian Peters called me within a half hor of talking to McLaughlin. Brian is Macklin’s promoter. HE had no idea of what Macklin was talking about.

This is not a condemnation of Macklin’s pipe dreams. I’d have to say that a large portion of the people in boxing are living off their dreams. It IS a condemnation of the poor level of journalism from today’s media and its permission in some of the more revered outlets. A website with a lead feature writer at the level of a Tom Hauser cannot permit garbage reporting of this sort. It could have taken your "reporter" less than the half hour it took me to find out while riding on the Long Island Railroad. Neither of those high profile promoters have unlisted phone numbers. Please start policing your site a bit better. I enjoy it -- which is why I get so offended when it doesn’t hit even the most basic of journalistic principles.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I should begin by explaining to the reader that Jim used to work with Duddy. Strange email, Jim... such a passionate response to a single article about a potential fight which, you claim, has never been on the cards. For what it is worth, I know Macklin very well and know that there HAVE been discussions about a Duddy fight. In fact, Matchroom (who promote Macklin in the UK) told me there was a solid offer on the table for a bout last year, but a deal was not reached.

Your assertion that Duddy "has nothing to gain" by fighting Macklin struck me as quite an odd thing to say, too. What, exactly, did Duddy ’have to gain’ from the majority of his recent overmatch opponents? An all-Irish fight between Duddy and Macklin would at least generate interest and excitement, esp around St Patrick’s Day.

In terms of fights I’d like to see happen this year, I could come up with several dozen before I get to Duddy v Macklin. However, Matt was just doing his job talking himself up and talking up a potential clash which would help him get over his recent KO loss to Jamie Moore.

Like I say, weird email...

And if single sourced stories are good enough for the BBC and real politick changing expos on the existence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, I would suggest they are good enough for an article on whether a prize-fight will occur between two fringe middleweight contenders.

First Name : Andrew
Last Name : Bleeden
Country : USA
Your Question :
Regarding Floyd Sr.’s demand of two million dollars, it appears to me that he is struggling to conceal the fact that, despite his patriarchal bluster, he really doesn’t want to offer his wise counsel to a man (a quite larger one at that) bent on destroying his very own. Why else would he set his price so high? Why else would he go public with a his game-plan? If Oscar continues to stall in his response, Floyd Sr. will only get more insulted; this will be his easy out of a job his instincts are railing against. And where is the much deserved criticism of the golden boy for not stepping forward and refusing to be involved in setting a father against his son? It Oscar had class, he’d fight little Floyd with another trainer.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: As expected Freddie Roach was confirmed for the job this week... what I want to know, though, was if Oscar really didn’t want to add fuel to the blazing feud between the Mayweather clan, why did he say last year that he wouldn’t take the fight WITHOUT Floyd Senior? And why make a $500,000 offer plus another $500,000 as a win-bonus to Floyd Senior just one month ago?

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I give up trying to figure out the Mayweathers. The gene for ego in that family is so strong, it is impossible to fully understand what they actually feel about eachother (or about anything else for that matter). Last year, I spoke to Floyd Sr, and he told me his son would beat Oscar. Then, he changed his mind and said Oscar would murder Little Floyd. Then, he decided that Oscar could beat his son, but only with his help. I personally think Mayweather Sr will say and do anything to promote himself, but probably had second thoughts when the prospect of training someone to knock his son out actually became a reality. I think its pretty clear he priced himself out of the picture despite his rhetoric, and will be happy he has nothing to do with the upcoming fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Boxing is a business and if De La Hoya is making over US$30 million, why can’t Floyd Sr be paid US$2 million? It’s a mute Point now with De La Hoya electing to have Freddie Roach as his trainer. Oscar suggested to the media this week that he didn’t want to have extra distraction and be the cause of futher Mayweather feuding. Which may be right and I can appreciate that and commend him for it. I just thought having Floyd Sr with him was De La Hoya’s best chance of winning. Not Just tactically in the ring, but a way of possible having Floyd Jr off his Game emotionally. I can’t see De La Hoya winning this fight now. I’m Registering my tip of Mayweather Jr on points.

First Name : David
Last Name : Downes
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi guys, It has been some time since I have wrote into ATE however I am afraid I feel I must respond the Ben Gonzalez’s recent article on Ricky Hatton which I found to be quite ridiculous. I think we need to establish something here, In Ricky’s last fight he moved up to the Welterweight Division at 6 weeks notice, fought a world class southpaw who won the belt from the then light middle weight champion of the world. He fought a close fight and won a close decision, this would normally be deemed a success. The article harps on about how the great boxers of our past have bounced back from defeats and we will be looking to see if Ricky can do the same, Bounce back? I’m struggling with this! I accept it was a tough fight, but given the circumstances and the class of Collazo surely we can’t put Hatton’s victory in the same category as a loss. If Collazo was to beat Mosley would we still be saying this was a bad result for Ricky? The comments of him sitting with an ice pack also dumfound me, This is world Championship boxing, you should expect ice packs after 12 hard rounds, who cares. This does not in anyway resemble a broken man, it’s boxing. Ricky has still fought and beat better opposition than Cotto who was praised in the article, for me Cotto still hasn’t stepped up to the very top level, there are no big name scalps on his record. I do not agree with the article and would like to hear your comments on whether you thought this article was harsh, Cheers

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I agree with you. I’m a Collazo fan and think Hatton did extremely well do beat him. In fact, the win was the second best win on Hatton’s career next to Tszyu. I think Ben’s inexperience showed a little, or maybe he didn’t know too much about the type of fighter Collazo is. I tip Collazo to beat Mosley next month and, when he does, I don’t think we’ll be reading too many more articles about what a crap performance it was for Hatton to struggle with Collazo.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I disagree with Ben’s article too, but everyone has an opinion, and I respect Ben as a writer and boxing commentator.  I think Hatton has done extremely well given the circumstances, and I think we will all understand just what he accomplished when we see Collazo vs Mosley. I dont see Luis winning, but I think it will be a very close and competitive fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You get no argument from me here David. Some times a boxer has just got to win ugly and Hatton has done that. He has won four major world title belts now and has continued to move forward after his breakout win over Kostya Tszyu. If Hatton hasn’t been one of the more impressive boxers on the planet at the elite level over the last two years, I don’t know who has.

First Name : Thomas
Last Name : Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
After reading Ben Gonzalez’s article on Ricky Hatton entitled the hard sell I have to say I am shocked! Lets get a few things straight :- Mr. Hatton WON the fight against Collazo. Mr. Hatton also won the WBA World Welterweight Championship at the first attempt and on his debut at the weight. Plus he was fighting an established world champion who was also quite possibly the most underrated genuine world champion competing at that time. The man was not merely a caretaker of the WBA belt. In the article Mr. Gonzalez describes the ’beating’ that Ricky Hatton took as proof that he didn’t belong in the pound - for - pound rankings based I presume on the photograph he mentions where Mr. Hatton was shown nursing his wounds. Well the man has just gone the distance in a world title fight what do you expect him to do straight after! Hatton took no more of a beating than he gave and I’m sure Collazo felt it in the morning as well it was a brawl a tough fight but Hatton WON. If you can show me one great fighter that has looked exceptional in every single round of every single fight then please do. But unfortunately yes Hatton is human and will have more tough fights and more bad rounds in his career as will every single other fighter in the pound - for - pound rankings. I had Hatton high in the rankings ever since he won his first world title and I’ve not seen anything to discourage me from that view yet.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: Agreed Thomas, I think Hatton has shown serious class, proving he can still pull it out when not at his best.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Even Muhammad Ali had ugly fights too. Check out his trilogy with Ken Norton if you doubt it.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I’ll go further, Paul, I find a lot of Ali’s fight to he terribly boring to watch; almost as tedious, in fact, as listening to his Nation of Islam claptrap circa 1960s and 70s.

First Name : Gerard
Last Name : McLaughlin
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hi guys,
I have just read Ben Gonzales article about Ricky Hatton and I couldn’t disagree more with him (I’m sure I wont be the only one). Firstly, he started to trying to diminish Ricky’s achievement in beating Tszyu. ’He aged overnight, ring rust’ - rubbish. Kostya Tszyu was the most feared fighter in the division at the time, including PBF. PBF and Cotto both avoided him and Hatton stepped up and produced an amazing performance to defeat a legend of the modern generation. A man who destroyed Shamba Mitchell in more impressive fashion than PBF did!

Secondly, the Collazo fight. I don’t agree that Collazo should have got this decision. I have watched the fight a few times and whilst it was very, very close I thought Hatton after every Collazo round Ricky did enough in the following round to keep ahead on the scorecard. Against a bigger man who was world champion. Who was the harder fight - Collazo or Gatti (who PBF fought when stepping up to welterweight, a great fighter but one that was definitely finished)? And unfortunately this fight has been used to downgrade Ricky. When all too often we hear that today’s fighters are skillfull and polished performers but we are always questioning how the would handle it when it gets down and dirty - (a question often asked about PBF), well Hatton will not have many tougher fights. He stayed on his feet (unlike Cotto against Torres) and claimed another belt at the end of it. I do think PBF is without doubt pound for pound king, but to say Ricky is some way off him or Cotto I think is wrong. Who have these two fought that have been so superior to Hatton’s opponents - Malignaggi? Give me a break, skilful yes but feather fisted, a loss here would have been disaster for Cotto and a huge upset. PBF has beat Gatti, Baldomir (a solid welterweight but not world class).To finish off this rant I just think we shouldn’t try to diminish Hatton’s record or achievements but hope that he and Castillo are both successful on Saturday to set up a mouth watering truly world class tussle.

PS - Castillo has been PBF’s hardest opponent so this will be a good barometer of the difference between the two fighters.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Gerard, you bring up an issue which has been bugging me for a while. There seems to have been some revisionist history recently regarding the condition of Kostya Tszyu going into the fight with Hatton. Having spent two weeks with Tszyu in camp in the lead-up to the Hatton fight, I can assure you that the then junior welterweight world champion was in great condition. He was not being beating up in sparring as some Have suggested. He was fit and healthy and looked to be at his best. I do Believe not training at 2am for the 2am fight affected him greatly. I also think he struggled to make the 140lbs limit at that stage of his career. But regardless, Hatton’s win should not be diminished. Kostya was still one Hell of a fighter as he showed 6 months earlier against Sharmba Mitchell.

First Name : Ben
Last Name : N
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Regarding Paul Uphams article on Danny Green. My question is, if Danny Green can’t get a fight with Silvio Branco or some other respectably rated light heavyweight, why is he not making noises about fighting Paul Briggs? Briggs has a profile in the USA and the King connection, and I would have to argue that Danny Green V Paul Briggs could make for a highly entertaining fight. Even if it was a no go in the USA, surely it could give both fighters a pretty good payday if held in Australia. It’s a big risk/reward scenario for Green, but if he could best Briggs, it would have to put him right into the light heavy mix. What do you think?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Ben, right now Green is targetting Branco and Briggs is targetting Clinton Woods. While they are friends, if it came to Fighting each other to getting to a world title, I think they would, but they are not at that stage yet. It may get to that later on, but we will have to wait and see what happens with Branco vs. Drews on February 24.


First Name : N
Last Name : Patel
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Dear Secondsout

I am writing to express my disappointment at yet another big match up going down the pan, this time Maccarinelli v Haye. What a mouth-watering prospect yet it appears its not going to happen. Who do we blame? Well Warren, in my view, does not appear to want to risk any of his top money fighters in close fights, so i can’t see him allowing this to ever happen. I have recently started watching the Cage Fighting and sad to say, but, whilst not as skilled as boxing, its more attractive to watch due to the simple fact the top fighters all fight each other. If only the British boxing scene was as lively. Boxing is slowly fading in this country, and UFC/Cage fighting is ready and waiting to take over as the main fighting sport for fight fans. If Britain’s top promoters cannot deliver the big boxing fights, than they need to understand that no longer will many boxing fans pay our hard earned cash to watch Britain’s best take on reality TV stars and journeymen in meaningless fights. Another option now exists and its starting to grow in popularity.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: That’s exactly right, Naz. Spot on. Maybe the old farts who run boxing will start to learn a few lessons from the UFC but, alas, I think they are too far gone.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I think you will be seeing a lot more fans leaving boxing to watch excellent, competitive MMA in the future. There is rarely a complete mismatch in big MMA events, and the top fighters do consistently fight each other. I am also sick of seeing boxers treated like commodities rather than competitive athletes. Haye vs Maccarinelli is a no brainer,  and it is absurd that they have not figured out a way to get them into the ring.

First Name : Paul
Last Name : Kelsall
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Quick one: should James Toney retire now. He looked shot to bits v Peter the other week!

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: If you ask me, Toney should retire, but then again that might actually be more damaging to his health given his tendencies to eat himself into oblivion. Toney clearly slurs his speech more than he used to, and clearly cannot keep up with young and strong guys like Peter. The thing is, Toney is such a clever fighter with such a phenomenal chin, that he could keep going for a couple more years and still win some big fights. Toney knows more about fighting than Einstein did about physics. And I’m not exaggerating here. The man is as masterful a boxing scientist as you are likely to get. He should stay away from the Klitschkos and Sam Peter, but he might be able to win a title against Valuev or Briggs.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Yes, it could be time to go for Toney. At nearly 40 and seemingly unable to have a proper camp, he can’t beat the best men in the division. He can’t beat Peter (I thought he lost both times), and he wouldn’t be able to land a glove on the Klitschko’s or Valuev. A fight with Briggs may be fun or it may be a bore - either way I think James needs to think about calling it a day. He’s had a weird career, one of the best middleweight/super-middleweights of the last 25 years, then years of wasting his talent only to beat the No.1 cruiserweight in Jirov and then have good wins at heavyweight. He’s a lock as a Hall of Famer, in my book, but he could have done some much more if only he’d kept himself healthy between fights.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think he should. Toney’s best days were at 160 and 168lbs. He was only ever able to compete at heavyweight because of the weakness of the division.

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