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20 APRIL 2014

 

ATE: Manny Pacquiao, Cortez’ Call on Soto-Lorenzo, Duddy-De La Hoya, Another Round Of Collins-Eubank-Benn, Khaosai Galaxy And More


Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao: HoganPhotos.com
Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao: HoganPhotos.com

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we look at what lies ahead for the pound for pound best boxer in the world Manny Pacquiao. We review the outcome of the controversial Humberto Soto- Francisco Lorenzo fight and consider whether a John Duddy-Oscar De La Hoya fight is possible. We go another furious round of Steve Collins-Chris Eubank-Nigel Benn debate, look back at the career of super flyweight great Khaosai Galaxy and much more.

Name : Ricky Gordon
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Before Manny Pacquiao’s fight with David Diaz, everyone was wondering how he would adjust to a bigger man at a higher weight class. ‘Pacman’ didn’t just show he was big enough for lightweight, he showed he is big enough to fill the void of pound for pound king. Personally, I think that was one of the most complete performances I have witnessed in recent times. He was a class act and even if Floyd hadn’t retired, I think you could seriously argue ‘Pacman’ is a better fighter. The adjustments he and Freddy Roach have made since the first Barrera fight are remarkable, he looked the complete fighter in the Diaz fight. Only the previous weekend, Amir Khan boasted he could beat Pacquiao - Sure thing buddy! I hear Ricky Hatton could be next year, that would be a smasher, but the lightweight division is jam-packed with talent, so who do you think would be best for his next assignment?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ricky, that’s a good question because Nate Campbell, Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor are all scheduled for high-profile fights in September versus Joan Guzman, Michael Katsidis and Juan Manuel Marquez, respectively. If ‘Pacman’ doesn’t decide to take some time off he’ll probably fight Humberto Soto next.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I couldn’t agree with you more Ricky. The ‘Pacman’ looked unstoppable against a quality opponent. I am convinced that Pacquiao would be very competitive against Ricky Hatton. If Hatton beats Paul Malignaggi later this year, it is a fight that must be made for 2009. In the meantime, I would really like to see Pacquiao-Valero. While Valero has not faced anyone near Pacquiao’s level as yet, his raw knockout power could make for a very explosive fight.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I would love to see Pacquiao fight the winner of Joel Casamayor vs. Juan Manuel Marquez in his next fight. If JMM takes care of business this fall, then a third match with ‘Pacman’ is more than mouth watering. Hatton against Pacquiao would be a huge event, but while ‘Pacman’ transitioned well to 135lbs against a decent fighter in Diaz, a fight against the best 140lber in the world may prove too much. He’s not superman…or is he???

Name : David Downes
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Guys, every time I watch Joe Cortez, he just seems to get worse. I thought Hatton-Mayweather was probably the worst refereeing I’d ever seen but thought, well everyone is due an off night. He was off again for JC vs. Hopkins, totally contradicting himself from the Hatton fight and the decision to DQ Soto on Saturday? Does the guy have favourites or is he incompetent? My Question is surely the Nevada Commission recognise these flaws? What should happen to Cortez in your view - stop ref’in big fights? Retire? What do you make of it?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: David, I’m not sure what the NSAC will do, but the more complaints that are voiced will probably lead to less big fight assignments for Cortez.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: The debacle that was the outcome of Soto-Lorenzo may not have been all Cortez’ doing, but he played a large part in it. The actual punch that hit Lorenzo when he was down was a glancing blow at best and part of an original combination thrown by Soto while Lorenzo was still upright. If you watch the replay, just before the knockdown, Cortez hesitates by jumping in between the boxers, appearing to want to stop the action, but then makes no call and allows the action to continue. It is this hesitation which has seen Cortez involved in controversial incidents in the past. And we are not talking about the recent past either. I can go back to Kostya Tszyu-Leonard Mas on the De La Hoya-Gonzalez undercard in January 1997. Tszyu knocked Mas down three times in the 1st round, only to end up with a technical draw after one round. Cortez’ hesitation in not making a call after the final knockdown impacted on that outcome. Years later on appeal, the ruling was changed to a no-contest, but it was a clear 1st round knockout win that Tszyu would never see on his record. In March 2001, Cortez was in control of the Ruiz-Holyfield rematch in Las Vegas. Holyfield dropped Ruiz with a clean bodyshot, only to have Cortez rule it as a low blow. Yes, referees have only split seconds to make rulings without the benefit of TV replays, but some referees seem to get it right more regularly than others. The problem with the Soto-Lorenzo outcome was that the Nevada Commission had plenty of time to come up with the right ruling, but still didn’t. Despite all of that, the blown call wasn’t the worst thing about that fight. How can you leave a boxer with a serious head cut which is gushing blood, lying on the canvas for almost 10 minutes without attention?!?! While Cortez and the Nevada Commission were working out how to stuff up the ruling, a badly beaten up Lorenzo was lying on the canvas. His cornermen were prevented from entering the ring to assist him by the corner official. The ringside doctor was not in the ring with him. The Nevada Commission were very, very lucky that he didn’t have more serious injuries because if something had of happened to him, there inactions were negligent in the very least.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I did not see the Soto fight, David. I was at a fight card in Boston that evening so I can’t comment on that until I catch the replay. I’ve read about what happened and it sounds dreadful. Cortez has been taking a lot of stick recently – perhaps deservedly for the Hatton vs. Mayweather contest and not so deservedly for the Calzaghe vs. Hopkins fight. He is a vastly experienced ref and a wonderful guy to talk to, but he’s having an absolute ‘mare of a year. Time for a holiday, Joe.

Name : James Hill
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I’d like to know if there is anyone else that thinks the proposed Calzaghe vs. Jones fight might not be as straight forward as many people are suggesting. I’m a huge Calzaghe fan, and would of far preferred to see him fight Pavlik, but after such a long reign as champ, surely now he can pick who he fights? But back to what I was saying, I still can’t help feeling that Jones will be much better than he is being given credit for, maybe I’m falling into the trap of remembering him as he once was, who knows, I guess time will tell, but I don’t think it will be a total mismatch. As for Calzaghe ducking Pavlik as some people have suggested, I’d hardly call somebody who wants to repeatedly test himself against the best, taking his first fight in the US against a Golden Boy exec, on a Golden Boy card, in Las Vegas, and with Joe Cortez as ref ( a negative from a British point of view given recent history although he was good on the night) and it being his first fight at light heavy, I’d hardly say that is the mentality of somebody that ducks people.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: James, Calzaghe isn’t ducking anyone, but Roy Jones is going to present some problems for Joe and since the fight is in Las Vegas or New York, I like Jones by decision.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: James, did Calzaghe fight either Bernard Hopkins or Roy Jones Jr in their primes? No. He beat a 43 year-old Hopkins and he will beat a 39 year-old way past his best Roy Jones Jr. Not only will Calzaghe not lose a round against Roy Jones, he won’t even lose a minute of a round.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: This is not the Roy Jones of yesteryear, James. I can see Jones getting out-boxed from the outside and spending much of the fight with his back to the ropes absorbing a truckload of punches. As I’ve said before, Calzaghe is a brilliant boxer, Roy Jones used to be. The Welshman will win.

Name : Kevin Finn
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hi guys, first I just want to say thanks a lot for showing the Duddy-Howe fight for free, I’m a big fan of Duddy and I wouldn’t have gotten to see it otherwise. It’s a great idea and I look forward to watching the upcoming bouts. I heard Duddy maybe fighting IBF 154lbs champ Verno Phillips. What are your thoughts on this and Duddy’s transition to 154? Let’s say Margarito beats Cotto in July. Duddy beats Phillips in September. What are the odds of De La Hoya-Duddy at MSG in December 2008 and how do you see it fair out?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Kevin, if Duddy gets by Phillips, future fights against Cotto or De La Hoya would be ‘monster’ promotions in New York.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: That’s quite a stretch Kevin. We have gone from Duddy missing out on a shot at middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik to him winning a junior middleweight world title and facing Oscar De La Hoya in December. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but a lot of things need to transpire for it to become reality. I love to watch Duddy, but he has got to improve his defence, because while he has the heart and strength to battle adversity in the ring, his face can’t take the poundings he has received without sustaining bad cuts.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Duddy will fight IBF junior middleweight world champion Verno Phillips this autumn, Kevin. I think it’s a great idea for Duddy to forget Pavlik and campaign at 154lbs - he could be extremely effective at that weight. I can only imagine what a Duddy fight against De La Hoya would be like in the Irishman’s adoptive home of New York City. I’ve been to a few Duddy fights down there and the atmosphere is stunning.

Name : John Norman
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I might be late on the Eubanks-Benn-Collins debates. I watched Collins coming up the ranks, including his US title fights, and really rated him as a boxer and mover. He had great foot movement, sneaky counters and sharp combinations. His only weakness was his desperate lack of power. I began watching Eubank in 1990, some three years after Collins and I wouldn’t put him in the same bracket, I thought he was very disjointed and fought three nobodies before the Benn fight. If you watch Benn-Watson and Benn-DeWitt (I taped them) and then watch Benn-Eubanks (on YouTube) you can see clearly that Benn is nowhere near as sharp. Apparently, he had three hours to lose six pounds in weight before weighing in and this messed him up. He still gives Eubank his toughest fight and almost kills him. Eubank then goes on to fight Canadian Dan Sherry (a fighter vastly inferior to Collins and inferior to DeWitt), and is outboxed for large portions of that fight. He then goes on to fight Watson, and is extremely disjointed yet somehow gets the decision. He’s then outboxed for 10-11 rounds in his return match with Watson. He’s then given yet more gifts against Malinga, Tony Thornton, Ray Close twice and Benn. In his so-called best display against Graciano Rocchigiani, ‘Rocky’ just covers up all night and does nothing! And even then it was still close. When I heard Collins had beaten Eubank, I wasn’t the least bit surprised, only surprised that Eubank maybe didn’t get another gift. While Eubank was getting gifts galore, Collins was running Reggie Johnson close in America, reverting to more a brawling style, and in fact I believe he won that fight with Reggie, who was as slick as they come at that time and bettering Roy Jones Jr. in the gym. Johnson was a class or two above any opponent Eubank ever fought apart from Collins and Joe Calzaghe. I thought Collins-Benn would be a narrower fight than Collins-Eubanks, but obviously Benn was done after the Gerald war. Collins-Benn-Eubank in that order, you’d be a fool to suggest otherwise.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: John, I enjoyed watching them all. They made for a lot of excitement regardless of their order of superiority.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: When comparing these three boxers, firstly we have to say they were all world class fighters and deserving world champions. The more I think of it, the more I think UK boxing fans were blessed to have all three around at the same time. But yes, you have to look at their complete body of career work and all had great triumphs. 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. Not to say that Collins was a genuine world champion either. Eubank deserves credit for his first win over Benn, but the ‘Dark Destroyer’ appeared to win their rematch even though it was scored a draw. At their absolute peaks, I have Eubank and Collins at the top, with Benn third. 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. While Collins was older in age at the peak of his career, 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. I rate them Eubank, Collins and Benn in that order, not that I really want to say either was lesser than another.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I wouldn’t say that Collins had a ‘desperate lack of power’ John. He had 21 stoppage wins in 36 fights, so he was hardly throwing peanuts at his opponents. I agree with your batting order but all three were terrific fighters.


Name : Paul McBride
Country : USA
Your Question :
First up, I’m still amazed by how high some rate Steve Collins. He made his name in the USA as a gutsy contender who fell short at the highest level to McCallum and Reggie Johnson. He then went to the UK to reinvent himself with wins over Eubank, and an over-the-hill Benn (who was coming out of retirement after losing to Malinga...something that seems to be forgotten), and the likes of Cornelius Carr. That doesn’t add up to being a viable challenger for a prime Roy Jones Jr, that’s why American TV never supported that fight. On a different subject, who do you think would have won the following fights if they’d happened? Frank Bruno vs. Tommy Morrison, Razor Ruddock vs. Michael Moorer, Michael Nunn vs. Bernard Hopkins and Ray Mercer vs. David Tua?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Paul, I agree that Collins was a very respectable fighter, but not a superstar. Here are my picks based on these fighters at their peak:
Morrison over Bruno (Morrison scores late KO)
Ruddock over Moorer (Ruddock ‘smash’ left hook eventually nails Moorer cleanly resulting in KO.)
Nunn over Hopkins (Nunn was briefly unbeatable)
Tua over Mercer (tough one to call…Tua gets unpopular split not.)

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: All three were world class fighters. Part of the fun of following boxing is debating the ‘what if’ and ‘who was the best’. One of the best aspects that Collins, Eubank and Benn must be credited with is that they were prepared to fight each other and make the big fights. I still believe that Eubank had the best overall career record. Credit to Collins for bettering him in their matches, but I still believe Eubank had slipped just slightly. In your mythical matches at their peaks, I’m picking Morrison, Ruddock, Hopkins and Tua (at his best weight of less than 220lbs.)

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Steve Collins was a brilliant super middleweight, Paul. He was determined, exceptionally gifted and had a legendary chin. He was a two-weight world champion who successfully defended his 168lb title seven times before retiring – including beating Eubank and Benn twice. I don’t understand, therefore, how you can say that he was not a viable opponent for Jones - especially when you take into consideration the level of opponent that Roy sometimes shared the ring with during that period. I’m not saying he would have beaten Jones, but he definitely deserved a crack at him. As for your mythical match-ups, I’m picking Bruno, Moorer, Hopkins and Tua.

Name : Brian Carty
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hi guys, great site as usual. I’ve a couple of things to get off my chest with regards the Collins-Eubank-Benn debate. First off, someone made reference to the ’British’ fighters when talking about the three men. Only two were British. Now, opinions are opinions but facts are facts and facts can’t be debated. The fact is Collins was 4-0 (2) against Benn and Eubank. Paul Upham makes the point that just relying on Collins’ victories against the two doesn’t mean he was better. Paul used Berbick-Ali to illustrate his point. But Collins, Benn and Eubank were roughly the same age and the three had been in some real wars unlike Ali-Berbick. So what, if Collins’ style was unappealing? Personally, I think guts, heart, stamina and determination were Collins’ hallmark. He battered Benn into retirement (no ankle injury could save Benn in the 2nd fight) and took one close and one comprehensive decision off Eubank. Despite what Greg Juckett says, Collins won both. Of Collins’ three losses, the two in the U.S. were razor thin decisions when Collins had roughly 15-18 fights. It is absolutely no exaggeration to say that had all three fights taken place in Dublin, Collins could well of retired undefeated. Collins was the best of that particular triangle. The facts do not lie. Thanks guys, keep up the good work.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Brian, you argument is solid. Collins certainly closed his career the strongest of the three.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Continuing with my thoughts above, I still think Collins fought Eubank and Benn who were past their best, Benn more so than Eubank. I’m not saying Collins was a talent and a deserved world champion, but I’m still rating him at No.2 behind Eubank and ahead of Benn. That’s the beauty of this debate. You can make an argument for either Benn, Collins or Eubank being the best on the basis of a single fight in their careers. On his night such as with the McClellan fight, Benn was awesome. I thought he deserved to get the decision in his rematch with Eubank, but clearly lost to Collins in both fights when not at his best. It’s not easy to get an agreement on who was the best, which is why we are having this ATE debate. All three were world class boxers. We are splitting hairs in trying to work out who was the best. I think it is unfair to say that either were a long way ahead of the others.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I agree, Brian. Collins was the better fighter of the three. It’s true, Benn may not have been in prime condition when they fought, but I can’t help but think that Collins’ unrelenting hunger, determination and pressure (not to mention his ability to absorb thunder on a wrought iron chin) would have been too much for Benn even at his best. Underrated doesn’t even begin to describe Steve Collins.

Name : Steve Foster Sr
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Thank you Wayne Bartlett for rating Stephen Foster Jr in his right weight division. Only thing is that Wayne Jr is from the City of Salford, which is next to the City of Manchester, easy mistake I’ve only been telling boxing news people and the MC’s for 7 yrs and it don’t go down well where we live. It’s like saying someone’s from Newcastle when they are from Sunderland. Salford is a very proud city with a lot of history. Thanks again. Fingers crossed Stephen Jr gets the fights he deserves - Arthur, Mitchell, any super featherweight in Europe?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Thankyou for your feedback Steve Sr. We like to get it right from the source and appreciate you taking time to email direct.

Name : Clive Joseph
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Am I correct in saying Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis is Britain’s youngest ever world champ and not Naseem Hamed as widely thought?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis was world welterweight champion 1915-1916 and 1917-1919. He first won the world title at the age of 21 years and 10 months. Some records suggest he had 282 fights, 173 wins, 14 draws, 65 no decisions and 30 losses. Prince Naseem Hamed won the WBO featherweight world title in September 1995 at the age of 21 years and 7 months. Lewis was considered to be the undisputed welterweight world champion at the time of his win. History will record Hamed’s WBO world title of being somewhat less value.

Name : Kyle McLachlan
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
From what I’ve seen, Khaosai Galaxy was an awesome puncher, and has a fantastic record. However, like another Asian fighter, Chris John, there seems to be some dispute over the quality of opposition he faced. So, my two questions are; were there any super flyweights at the time that Galaxy could have fought that he didn’t. And how would he fare against the current crop of fighters, like Jorge Arce, Christian Mijares and Munoz?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Galaxy had a record of 49-1 (43), his only loss being on points over 10 rounds to Sakda Saksuree in his seventh fight. He made 19 successful defences of his WBA super flyweight world title and retired as world champion after his last fight in December 1991. He was arguably the best super flyweight of all time. He knocked out 17 of his world title challengers and retired at 32. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The only name that comes to mind who he didn’t fight was Jiro Watanabe, who held the WBA belt before Galaxy. He was stripped for trying to unify the WBC world title, which he won from Payao Poontarat. Galaxy winning the vacant WBA belt. But Galaxy’s overall record outdoes Watanabe. Another possible opponent was Gilberto Roman, a two-time WBC super flyweight world champion, who dethroned Watanabe. But on their performances, Galaxy was still the best at 115lbs.

Name : Melissa Hughes
Country : Australia
Your Question :
I am totally amazed that you have a person like Anthony Mundine in the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame, yet a gentlemen of the sport for over 20 Years, and various World and Asia Pacific Title Holder, you have totally never mentioned. I find this not only insulting to the man himself, whom had a massive following, but unjust to the sport itself. I am writing about David Russell, whom is now retired, whom fought in Australia and oversea’s, during his 20 years and I ask why is he never mentioned and not inducted into the Hall of Fame, when a blow in like Anthony Mundine is! I ask this respectfully and with great disappointment, and urgently seek your response.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Melissa, I can assure you that Anthony Mundine has not been inducted as yet into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame. It is his father Tony Mundine, who was honoured and inducted in 2005. David Russell, who fought from 1983 to 1993, losing to UK cruiserweight star Johnny Nelson in his final fight, is certainly one for consideration in future years. This years Australian Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony dinner will be held on Saturday 11th October 2008 in the Members Dining Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It will be one of the local boxing nights of the year. This writer will again be the MC for the evening. More information at www.anbhof.com .

Name : Christian Booker
Country : Australia
Your Question :
After watching all of Danny Green and Anthony Mundine’s career fights, I believe Danny Green can beat Mundine by knockout in a rematch. But Green’s career changed after he left Jeff Fenech. I reckon for Green to beat Mundine he needs to be told to look at his earlier fights when he was aggressive under Fenech. Green was aggressive. Under his new trainer he is trying to box too technical, which is not Green. He had the killer instinct and he lost it. I also know Green needs Sam Soliman to be Green’s conditioner. Sam is a good fighter, but I reckon he would make a great conditioner or even a greater trainer. So, I know if Green looks at early fights, gets that aggression back and had Sam on board, he would beat Mundine hands down and all Australian’s need ‘The Man’ and his mouth silenced.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You make some interesting points there Christian. Danny Green is currently on a surfing holiday in Bali with his family deciding whether he will accept Mundine’s big dollar rematch offer. I’m still not convinced the ‘Green Machine’ will make a comeback.

Name : Steven Heywood
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Question for Uppy - I was at the Fenech-Nelson 3 fight and watched Gary St Clair lose a terrible decision on the undercard to Willie Kickett. Was the home crowd the problem, was I sitting too far away, or was it really as bad as it seemed?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Interesting question this one. A lot of people watching at home on television had St Clair winning. I had Kickett winning 96-94. I gave Gairy four of the first six rounds, but felt his workrate dropped off in the final rounds, which I gave to Kickett. I felt Gairy’s first two rounds were very impressive and unusually aggressive. No way Kickett won eight rounds, as two of the judges had. Interestingly, television commentator spoke to me in the dressing rooms after the main event. He told me he had St Clair winning by three rounds, but questioned whether he had got it right. History has shown that television commentators do influence the viewing audience. Try turning off the sound and scoring the fight. You were watching live, so I can’t explain that. I thought it was a great fight, worthy of a main event with some excellent rounds. I don’t think St Clair fought that bad at all. Kickett was good, very good. I’m going to watch the fight again with the sound off and see if I get the same result.



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