ATE: HBO Matchmaking, Barrera-Khan Theory, Top 5 Trash Talkers, Haye’s Plan B, Rating Steve Collins, Hagler-Hearns 2 & More
Is Toney a Top Trash-Talker?: HoganPhotos.com
In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we look at some of the match making problems at HBO, analyse one theory as to why Amir Khan is really fighting Marco Antonio Barrera and rate our Top 5 Boxing Trash Talkers. We try to find David Haye’s Plan B, take another shot at rating Ireland’s Steve Collins, predict what would have happened in Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns 2 and much more.
Name : Benny Richards
Country : USA
Your Question :
Thomas Hauser is 100% completely right in his criticism of HBO. Why HBO executives ever thought that putting on a Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver rematch was a good idea escapes me. Now it has blown up in their face with Dawson being injured. I don’t know one person who wanted to see that rematch. Showtime showed how clever they are by declining that one. Why is it so hard for HBO to simply put on fights that the fans are interested in? They seem to waste millions of dollars presenting fights that we the viewer could not care about. What is causing the problem here?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Benny, HBO has televised a few clunkers, but I think the network still broadcasts a lot of great fights. I agree, the Dawson-Tarver rematch isn’t Marvin Johnson-Saad Muhammad II, but I certainly would have been more than happy to have checked it out. Just this week, HBO announced Paul Williams-Winky Wright, so I think they still do a good job. Can you imagine if HBO wasn’t in the boxing business???
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It was an interesting decision to take a fight which didn’t exactly set the world on fire the first time around. Dawson won fair and square. Showtime seem to be sticking to their philosophy of only taking the best fights available, regardless of the names involved. HBO must have seen something in the Dawson-Tarver rematch. Others didn’t. Of course, every promoter is going to HBO telling them why their fight is a must see and deserves to be on HBO. The biggest fights in boxing appear on HBO. But, I don’t think it is just a coincidence that some lesser quality fights slipped through after Lou DiBella left the network. Lou is an astute boxing brain and simply would not accept some of the fights that are being shown now. HBO need to have a boxing expert on their staff to help reject the fights that really have no place on HBO. I think Greg makes a very good point. Boxing needs HBO, we’d all just like to help them make their service even better.
MICHAEL NORBY: It seems so easy doesn’t it Benny? Get boxers that match up well and get them into the ring on any given night for the entertainment of the paying public and the furtherment of the fighters’ careers. Fans seem to be getting drip fed good fights when they are starving for them and, let’s face it, there are plenty out there ready to be made. What really gets to me, though, is the pathetic undercard fights that consistently pop up on expensive pay-per-view broadcasts. Baffling.
Name : Jim Bremner
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Despite Amir Khan’s undoubted talent, he seems to make the same amateurish mistakes over and over and obviously isn’t blessed in the punch-resistance department. Is it reasonable to think that Frank Warren matched him with Barrera to, if he loses, rid himself of a costly white elephant? Perhaps he feels his time and money would be better used with his recent amateur signings?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Jim, there could be some truth to your suspicions, and I’ll agree as far as saying I think Warren wants to know what Khan’s got. Barrera will provide a certain measuring stick for Frank Warren to further gauge his investment.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: An interesting conspiracy theory there Jim, I like it. Either way, Khan fighting Barrera now is going to quickly determine his immediate future. A loss and he will be all the way back to rebuilding on the local UK scene. A win will take him some way back to where he was before the KO loss to Prescott. I would like to think that sparring with Manny Pacquiao and training under Freddie Roach will not only have exposed some honest truths to Khan, but allowed him to improve. The evidence will be there for all to see against Barrera.
MICHAEL NORBY: I think you may be pushing the boat out a little too far with that, Jim. I think Warren and the rest of Team Khan simply believe that they have a massive name in Barrera who is not quite as good as he used to be and they want to pounce. A victory puts the young Englishman back in the game but Barrera will not be easy for Khan, so there is a big chance that this gamble might backfire.
Name : John Pollock
Country : South Africa
Your Question :
With so many trash talkers in the sport of boxing today throughout the world, I was hoping the editors of SecondsOut would kindly nominate their Top 5 trash talkers in boxing today, pound for pound?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS:
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr
2. David Haye
3. James Toney
4. Nate Campbell
5. Vic Darchinyan
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Good question John. There are many boxers who can throw a simple jibe out there to their opponent. It takes some talent to come up with some really clever trash talk. I’m ranking them this way.
1. Bernard Hopkins
2. James Toney
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Ricardo Mayorga
5. Joel Casamayor
1. Ricardo Mayorga
2. Vic Darchinyan
3. Bernard Hopkins
4. Antonio Tarver
5. James Toney
Name : Barnaby Chesterman
Country : Italy
Your Question :
Does David Haye not have a plan B? I mean, it seems to me that the Klitschkos have decided to do two things: teach him a lesson and to play him. It seems his method of trying to irritate them into fighting him has seen them decide to delay fighting him as punishment for being a right royal pain in the ass. But rather than just refuse to fight him, first Vitali says he will, then backs out and fights someone else. Then Wlad says he will, only then he too seems to be backing out to fight someone else. If that happens, Haye will turn his attentions back to Vitali, in the meantime both Klitschkos have kept active while Haye is getting rusty. It might be a conspiracy theory but it seems to me like they’re deliberately going to make him inactive until one decides to fight him. Surely Haye should do as one of you guys suggested previously and take a couple of fights until the Klitschkos realise they need him more than the other way around?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Barnaby, if Haye was smart he would continue to stay active and let the Klitschkos get a little older. I think Haye needs several more fights at heavyweight before he should fight Wlad or Vitali.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You may well be correct Barnaby. It seems that Wladimir Klitschko has moved on now from Haye. It could be a well thought out plan as you suggest, or maybe the Klitschkos really wanted the fight, but just couldn’t fit Haye in before their mandatories were due. K2 Promotions seemed to be very keen to make the fight. Maybe Vitali wanted the fight with Haye now because he saw it as an easier match than Juan Carlos Gomez?
MICHAEL NORBY: Haye strikes me as the type of fighter who could very well slip heavily on a banana peel in the heavyweight division if he has to take a tune-up or two so I guess he wants to throw all his eggs into the one Klitschko basket and see what happens. I’ll be surprised if we don’t see Wladimir and David fight some time later this year.
Name : Danny Johnson
Country : Australia
Your Question :
I read in the paper the day after Vic Darchinyan’s knockout victory over the determined Jorge Acre how the super flyweight king wanted to negotiate for a multi-million dollar super fight with pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao. Surely whoever wrote this has the wrong end of the stick? Darchinyan is a super flyweight while Pac-Man is some six weight divisions heavier and also a few years less advanced in age. If what I read is correct, and Darchinyan does want to fight Pac-Man and the fight is signed, Darchinyan will be signing his death warrant. Not only is the Pac-Man younger, bigger, stronger and more experienced, I would hazard a guess that even had they been the same weight or thereabouts, Manny would simply have too much for the Raging Bull. Manny Punches way too hard, is way too clever a boxer, has a solid chin and heart to burn. Like I said, I don’t see the fight coming off. The weight difference would be too much but I guess nobody ever really knows for sure, do they?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Danny, a Pacquiao-Darchinyan fight does seem like a stretch, but Manny did start out as a junior flyweight and there were a lot of sceptics when Pacquiao-De La Hoya was announced for similar reasons, so you never know.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Vic told me two years ago that one day he wanted to fight Pacquiao and beat him to become the pound for pound best fighter in the world. Right now the fight is not even close. Pacquiao has much bigger fights in Ricky Hatton and possibly Floyd Mayweather Jr to worry about. This year, the big fight Darchinyan is looking towards is a match with Israel Vazquez. That would be later in 2009. First, Vic wants to move up to bantamweight and win a world title, before targeting Vazquez. That would be a huge match for Darchinyan, who has now moved into many pound for pound top tens. Vazquez is already there. As for Pacquiao, Vic explains that the Pac-Man started at flyweight too and there is no reason the fight can’t be made one day. Time will tell.
MICHAEL NORBY: That fight is never going to happen, Danny. As good as Darchinyan is, he would be no match for Pacquiao. Not sure where you read that but if Darchinyan did say he would like to fight Pacquiao, then I’m sure he wasn’t being all that serious.
Name : Viel Mervic Nuestro
Country : Philippines
Your Question :
Last week’s BAD card produced quite a show eh? Nate Campbell losing the titles on the scales, the Martinez-Cintron alleged controversy, and Angulo’s KO of another cannon fodder. I guess karma got to Nate on that Guzman thing huh? Although he did win against that huge (6’1") lightweight from S.A Funeka, he didn’t look good. He did manage to drop Ali twice, although I scored the fight a draw. Ali bounced back and rallied in the fight. I guess knockdowns really are factors on the judges (minds) scorecards. Props to both men, producing a good fight. Nate’s moving up, but me thinks that he won’t be as good at junior welterweight as he was at lightweight. I wasn’t one of those people who bought all that hype after beating an unfocused Juan Diaz before. It won’t help him this time. How do you think he’ll fare against the champs at junior welterweight? Martinez won the fight. Period. People who really know boxing, that watched that fight, saw that Martinez won convincingly. What were those judges judging? Outboxing Cintron all throughout and dropping him (almost a KO, if it wasn’t for the Ref-Marion-Wright-esque thing) in the fight. Geez! Can anybody stop giving Angulo push-over boxers? I’d love to see him mix with James Kirkland (or maybe against Sergio Mora? Hmm...). Both are undefeated prospects and that fight would be explosive. Rivera’s loss was already decided even before the match: Stepping up in a week’s notice, unprepared, and his record didn’t confuse anybody either. Rivera though, gave Angulo blood in this fight and some scary moments.
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Viel, Cosme Rivera may have an ugly record, but the guy is a seasoned pro who can really fight. I agree, Campbell versus Bradley, Holt, Hatton or Pacquiao would probably be very tough fights for Nate. It was a real shame that the Campbell-Guzman fight didn’t come off. I think that would have been very interesting. I had Martinez over Cintron by a couple of points as well. Looks like Martinez may end up defending the WBC title versus Angulo if Vernon Forrest decides to step aside.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Interesting that we had another lightweight struggling to make the weight after Guzman, Corrales and Castillo. Disappointing for Nate, who valued his belts so highly. Will be interesting to see how he goes at 140lbs. I’m not sure he could beat a Hatton or Bradley. I also had Martinez winning.
MICHAEL NORBY: An aging Campbell won’t be as effective at 140lbs but he can’t make lightweight anymore so he has to move north and give it a shot. I thought Martinez was the cleaner and more effective puncher throughout the contest with Cintron and should have gotten the decision - even with the point deduction. Give Angulo a break on this one - he was supposed to fight Ricardo Mayorga before the former champion pulled out.
Name : John Tearney
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Steve Collins, I read recently someone saying wouldn’t it be great to have seen him against Marvin Hagler? What! Is it just me who thinks he was just a decent journeyman fighter who was in the right place at the right time? Facts. 1. He was well beat by any decent USA and foreign fighters who weren’t past their best. Mike McCallum stood him on his head. Sumbu Kalambay beat him. Reggie Johnson even beat him. These weren’t learning fights so he would be ready for his return to home wars, they were simply losses as he was in to deep. 2. So then he came back to Ireland after failing abroad and was lucky enough to find two fighters past their best ready for the taking in Chris Eubank, yes he was still champion, but he was hanging onto the belt by fighting easier fights at the end of his career, and Nigel Benn. Yes, it was still wins for Collins, but he did not fight them at their peaks did he? 3. Then he quits rather than fight his first real test since returning home against Joe Calzaghe. This is not the legacy of a legend, is it?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: John, I’ll agree that Collins gets more credit than he’s probably due, but he gave a decent account of himself against McCallum and Johnson, and he did have a nice little run towards the end…overall, a solid career for Steve Collins.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Yes, Collins beat Eubank and Benn twice, but I think you can make an argument that both were past their best then. Benn clearly was, Eubank marginally so. Collins was older in age, but he was still young in big fights and primed himself for his matches with Eubank and Benn, which were the biggest nights of his career. But at that time, Benn and Eubank had already been in huge fights and had taken a lot pf punishment throughout their careers. Don’t forget, Collins-Benn I ended with Nigel twisting his ankle and Collins wasn’t exactly dominating clearly any of the first four rounds. Benn actually announced his retirement sitting on the ring apron after the fight. In his mind, he had already retired when he came back for the rematch. I don’t believe Benn was at his best mentally or physically for either fight. Collins’ fitness and workrate beat Eubank twice. Chris just couldn’t keep the same pace when they fought, although he fought well in spurts. I thought Benn beat Eubank in their rematch. Nigel landed the cleaner, harder punches. Eubank took a lot of punishment in the later fights in his career and I think this hurt him against Collins.
MICHAEL NORBY: I wouldn’t categorize Steven Collins as being a legend of the sport, John. I will say this though - he was certainly one of the most underrated fighters of his era. Beating Benn and Eubank twice is a massive accomplishment by anyone’s standards and let’s face it - Joe Calzaghe was not the money generator that he is today and was not who Collins was gunning for. He was trying to make a match with Roy Jones Jr and he couldn’t secure one, so he elected to retire. A couple of years later there was a deal in place for a Jones vs. Collins fight to happen but Steve blacked out and collapsed during training and doctor’s advised him to abort his comeback.
Name : Robert Davies
Country : USA
Your Question :
It is a fight that never happened, but I always wondered what would have happened if Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns had rematched six months later after their thriller in 1986. Considering the war they put on, do you think a rematch would have been a more cautious match, or would they have simply gone toe to toe again from the opening bell?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Robert, I think Hearns would have boxed from the outside more in a rematch with Hagler instead of immediately going toe-to-toe like the first fight. Remember, Tommy could box. The question would be could Hearns hold off Hagler and mix in enough power shot to offset Marvin? I think Hagler would have eventually rattled Tommy and scored another knockout, but in the later rounds.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: When you think of all the rematches we see these days of less then stellar fights (see Dawson-Tarver 2 above), Hagler-Hearns was an absolute must for a rematch, but it didn’t occur. Surely Hagler would have gone into a second fight thinking he could walk through anything Hearns could throw. That of course could have worked to Tommy’s advantage. I’m thinking that after a much slower start, Hagler would have cornered Hearns and it would have been toe to toe again. Would have loved to have seen it. I’m going to say Hagler by knockout, but double the rounds of the first fight, which gives you 6.
MICHAEL NORBY: I think they would have gone ahead and beaten the snot out of each other again, Robert. Too bad we never got to enjoy a rematch.