ATE: Jones Jr-Lacy Preview, Hatton-Tszyu Hall of Fame, Duddy, Best Klitschko, Pavlik-Williams, Donaire and More

Roy is back:
Roy is back:
In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we preview the Roy Jones Jr-Jeff Lacy fight and consider the Boxing Hall of Fame credentials of Ricky Hatton and Kostya Tszyu. We speculate on the future for John Duddy after his first career loss, ask ourselves which is the better Klitschko brother, get excited over the newly made Kelly Pavlik-Paul Williams match, rate Nonito Donaire and much more.

Name : Bernard Travis
Country : USA
Your Question :
What can we expect to see from Roy Jones this weekend against Jeff Lacy? Has he really got anything left at the age of 40?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Bernard. Of course nobody knows exactly what to expect this weekend, but I’d of thought Roy wins a close-ish but unanimous decision. Roy may have slowed down a bit, but I feel he still possesses enough skills to keep Lacy at bay

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Bernard, I think we can expect to see an in-shape Jones fight impressively in spurts to the point where he’s probably got enough left to outpoint Lacy on unanimous scores, but I think if Lacy takes some chances and attempts to get Jones into a fight, Roy will really be made to earn it!

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: If Lacy works and pressures Jones on the ropes, he can win this fight well. Jones can fight flashy in spurts and catch the judge’s eyes. This fight is more about how Lacy performs than what Jones can do. Roy is not going back to his glory days now at the age of 40. He will use his experience to win a points decision, it Lacy lets him.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I think Jones will look good against Lacy on Saturday night. Even at the ripe old age of 40, he should be too quick and too ring smart for the younger man. Having said that, I really like Lacy and, even though it now seems he is peddling uphill every fight, he always battles away bravely. He’s got a punchers chance, but he isn’t the same fighter he was a few years back and I’m not expecting him to win.

Name : Ranjeev Kumar
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
The Lacy vs. RJJ fight has re-ignited a burning question. Was Lacy ever any good? Did Calzaghe destroy a special boxer destined to be a legend? Or did Lacy not have anything special and was he simply over-hyped by his promoter and grossly exposed by Calzaghe? I can’t make my mind up about him. As regards his rehabilitation, should he not be featuring in the super-middleweight Super Six series of fights (if he is still any good)?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Ranjeev, I believe all of your questions hold an element of truth. Yes, I do think Calzaghe beat some of the promising career out of Lacy when they fought. And I know I keep saying this, but Joe Calzaghe was nothing short of excellent when he beat a very good Jeff Lacy. Forget what people were saying AFTER the event, if the experts were honest with themselves, most thought Lacy had a very good chance of winning going in to the fight. I’m honest enough to admit, at the time I predicted Lacy to win the tightest of decisions.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ranjeev, I believe Lacy was a bit over-hyped and badly exposed by an all-time great in Calzaghe. Jermain Taylor boxed circles around Lacy as well, but an unexpected win over Roy Jones would reignite Lacy’s career. That being said, Lacy has a lot to prove and in my opinion, didn’t deserve consideration for the Super Six tournament.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: There is a reason why Roy Jones has taken this fight. Roy doesn’t think Lacy has much left. He seems him as a beatable name who is a former world champion. To me, Lacy has boxed completely without confidence since losing to Calzaghe. On paper, Lacy should beat a 40 year-old Jones Jr. But can he muster the confidence and belief in himself this weekend? It wouldn’t surprise me if Lacy gets a roll-on and wins by knockout. I can also see Jones winning a points decision. This is Lacy’s fight to win. I’m tipping Jones to win without a lot of confidence.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: The beating that Calzaghe handed out could certainly have had a negative impact on his development, Ranjeev. He was blasting through opponents up until then and the physical toll, as well as the resulting deflation of his confidence, can’t have been good. He also suffered a nasty shoulder injury not long after that and he has struggled to regain his form ever since.

Name : James Linley
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Reading back over some old magazines, I saw loads of praise and talk about how great Kostya Tszyu was and how he is a definite Hall of Famer. Recently, the American press have been slating Ricky Hatton and saying there is no way he deserves a possible space in the HOFame. What do you guys reckon on their respective greatness, should Ricky not fight on? I’d say their careers were rather similar. Both of Ricky’s losses were to the No.1 P4P fighters, whereas Kostya lost to Ricky and Vince Phillips. My feeling is that with the standard of fighters in the HOFame (Barry McGuigan!?!) that they’d both deserve a place, but in terms of real greatness, neither are? Kostya beat three world class fighters at or near the top of their game (Mitchell, Judah and Gonzales) and Hatton the same (Tszyu, Malignaggi, Castillo). How do you think they compare and is the recent bashing of Ricky in the U.S fair. I believe Ricky was a top fighter and did deserve a P4P ranking, but when it comes to greatness, he is not, yet the bashing he is getting at the moment is a bit unfair.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: James, I thought the same thing as you. Last week I said when you look at who has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, Ricky would not be out of place. I must admit I had Barry McGuigan in mind when I said it. Good luck to Barry for being inducted but I do feel if he is the bench mark, then Ricky, Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Steve Collins should all be considered.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: James, the Hatton bashing isn’t fair, I agree. And I also agree that there are similarities between Hatton and Tszyu…they were both very good fighters, who always came to fight, but neither guy is an all-time great.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Don’t let people tell you otherwise, Kostya Tszyu was 35 when he lost to Ricky Hatton, but he was still in excellent condition. That was Hatton’s best night. He was riding high in winning his first world title with a passionate crowd behind him. Maybe the refereeing went against Kostya. Maybe the 2:00am local fight time hurt the older boxer and he was struggling to make weight. It was still a great win by Ricky. Hatton’s reign didn’t last as long as Tszyu’s, five world title defences at 140lbs and a single title win at welterweight. Kostya had two runs as world champion. He lost to Vince Phillips at the age of 30 (Hatton’s age now) and came back better. His second time as world champion from 1998 to 2004 saw him unify the 140lbs division and clear it out. Fourteen world title defences in total. Longevity counts. There is a reason why Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr never fought Tszyu. Kostya was always a tough fight. I don’t have a problem with either one of them being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It will all depend on who else is on the ballot the year they become eligible.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Very interesting observations, James. If you ask me, after looking over Kostya Tszyu’s overall career accomplishments and considering his overall talent, I would say he should be in the Hall. His loss to Vince Phillips was the only interruption of a ten year period in which he held world titles at 140lbs and he is widely regarded as one of the top junior welterweights of all time. Hatton, by no stretch of the imagination is an all-time great, but he has accomplished a hell of a lot and, although his career is probably not at its end, for now I will say that I would not be surprised if he was voted to the Hall.
Name : Paul McBride
Country : USA
Your Question :
Regarding Ricky Hatton’s eligibility for being in the Boxing Hall of Fame, why are people using Floyd Mayweather Jr as the measuring stick? I’d argue that Ricky Hatton has achieved far more than Barry McGuigan as a professional boxer and champion, yet Barry is in the Hall of Fame. McGuigan beat only one great, Eusebio Pedroza, and made two defenses. He never fought Azumah Nelson, arguably the superior title holder in his weight division, and no-one can say that his losses came against the top P4P fighters in the world. If Barry qualifies and Ricky doesn’t, I’d love to know why.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Please see above, Paul.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Paul, I’ve said before that Hatton is borderline for Hall of Fame entry, but you make a great point with your reference to McGuigan. In the end, Hatton will probably eventually be enshrined.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Good point Paul re. Barry McGuigan. Hatton beat a great world champion in Tszyu, racked up five world title defences at junior welterweight and also won a world title at welterweight. He brought a new buzz to the sport, plenty of fans and had the guts to challenge the best in Mayweather and Pacquiao. There is no shame in losing to either of those two. Hatton was a very good world champion at 140lbs, but was not able to take it to the ultimate level. I’d be happy to see Hatton in the Hall of Fame.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: When you consider McGuigan’s career, you can only surmise that voters took into consideration the scope of his efforts in using his boxing career as a vehicle for peace between warring communities in Northern Ireland throughout the 1980’s. Looking at his in-ring accomplishments, although he was one of the reasons why I began watching boxing in the first place, I can see why people question his IBHOF credentials. He was a brilliant fighter, but he’ll be known more for his peacemaker role and his punditry on British television.

Name : Conor Shiels
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
When is john Duddy’s next bout? And do you think he will ever become a world title holder?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Not sure what’s happening with John, Conor. You can never say never, especially in this crazy world of boxing, but personally I feel John would have to dramatically up his game to even get a title shot.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Conor, I don’t think Duddy is scheduled to fight at this time. Duddy possesses an exciting style and he can punch, so there will always be some interest should he continue to be a winning fighter, but the Irishman looked very ordinary against Billy Lyell last time out in April. I’ll never say never, but Duddy is by no means a sure bet to win one of the four major belts.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: 30 year-old Duddy is going to have to re-tool and come back a better fighter. His susceptibility to cuts around his eyes is always going to be a major problem for him. He needs to tighten up his defence. The loss to Billy Lyell is a chance now for him to re-evaluate and come back better. John has a long way to go to get to a world title fight.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Not sure when his next bout is, Conor. He is now working with Harry Keitt, who trained Duddy for much of his career until he was fired a couple of years ago. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but I have witnessed John Duddy fight with terrific focus and skill. Too often, though, he decides to abandon his fundamentals and that has unravelled his career. If he can get focused he can author his way back, but it will take some time.

Name : George Hartley
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I am wondering that the team think about the Klitschko brothers. Seeing that they will most likely never fight in the ring, who would you say has achieved the most and who is the better boxer?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Interesting question, George. I’d have to say Vitali is the most accomplished of the two and achieved the most. And let’s not forget Vitali’s two defeats have come via serious injuries that prevented him from continuing. Let’s not forget Wladimir has been stopped three times, Vitali’s chin is made of Kryptonite.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: George, I have all the respect for the Klitschko brother in that they’ve proved to be resourceful and have stood the test of time, but I can’t stand to watch them fight…they’re just too rigid. I think Wladimir has the better skills, but Vitali might be the tougher of the two.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Good question. Wladimir has racked up more wins and has won more world titles, but I think Vitali is the better of the two. He is more willing to take a risk to win and Wladimir has being knocked out by punches. I actually enjoy fighting Vitali fight. Wladimir tends to just do what he has to do to win. Extra credit to Vitali for coming back to win at the age of 38 after four years away. That in itself is a real achievement.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I like the Klitschko brothers, George. They’re efficient and are very good at what they do. I’d say that Wladimir has accomplished more than his brother. With his win over Chagaev in June, he became The Ring magazine champion and, on his lengthy journey to that accolade, he scored the best wins of his career as his brother enjoyed a four year retirement.

Name : Marc Stevens
Country : USA
Your Question :
I read that Kelly Pavlik will face Paul Williams. Great fight! Bring it on. Who wins?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Yes, the fight is on. Great fight, I’m really looking forward to it. As for who wins, if Williams can be strong at 160lbs, I think he has a very good chance of winning.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Marc, wow…Pavlik-Williams is the type of fight we don’t get very often in boxing these days – two in-their-prime guys putting it on the line. I’m not sure who wins…I really don’t, but I can’t wait to watch.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I agree. Great fight! I won’t be missing it. Pavlik’s undressing by Bernard Hopkins leaves a question mark as to whether he can regain the momentum he had after beating Jermain Taylor twice. I like Williams in this fight. His workrate alone will be a great test for Pavlik. But they both have power to take each other out. Anything could happen.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: This is a classic in the making, Marc. Williams has a unique blend of everything that I think makes him a slight favourite. His workrate, reach and power from every angle imaginable must be ridiculously difficult to counter. Both guys are terrific fighters – I just can’t wait for this treat in October.

Name : Nick Abraham
Country : USA
Your Question :
I am still unsure how good Nonito Donaire is? Some people have him ranked in their pound for pound top-ten. Is he really that good?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Nick, I think Donaire is pretty good. The Filipino TKO’d Darchinyan and he’s never been beaten since he became ten to 12 round fighter.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Interesting question. He is certainly talented, you only have to look at what he did against Vic Darchinyan. The issue is since then we haven’t seen him in the biggest of fights or competing much at all. Now Donaire is being promoted by Bob Arum, we should see him more regularly. Then he can show where he stands against his peers.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I think he’s a fantastic boxer, Nick. I hate pound-for-pound lists but if I had to make one I would have him sitting firmly in the lower half of the table.
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