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18 APRIL 2014

 

ATE: Mosley’s Future, Lightweight Riddle, De La Hoya-Pacquiao, Rating John L. Sullivan, Peter-Klitschko and More


Is Golden Boy too big for Pacman?: HoganPhotos.com
Is Golden Boy too big for Pacman?: HoganPhotos.com

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we look at potential future fights for Sugar Shane Mosley, try to unravel the lightweight riddle and talk more Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao. We attempt to find John L. Sullivan’s proper historic heavyweight ranking, preview Samuel Peter’s fight with Vitali Klitschko and more.

Name : Jeff Baxter
Country : USA
Your Question :
I’m looking forward to seeing my favourite boxer Sugar Shane Mosley in action again this month. After he knocks out Ricardo Mayorga, what is the biggest fight out there for him?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Assuming Shane wins, I’d like to maybe see him fight Paul Williams or Antonio Margarito, that could be interesting. Shane’s fought Oscar, Vernon Forrest, Fernando Vargas and Winky Wright. I’d like to see how he would handle the like of Williams and Margarito.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Jeff, I’m not sure if Mosley knocks out Mayorga…let alone beats the Nicaraguan. I think Mosley-Mayorga is going to be very entertaining. If Shane wins, it’s hard to say what’s next. At 37-years-old, he’s not going to be fighting any up-and-comers and doesn’t need to. Mosley is the mandatory at 147 for Paul Williams - a physically difficult fight for Shane - on paper. Does he go after Vernon Forrest one more time now that Forrest owns the WBC title?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think Mosley will beat Mayorga and look good doing it. Now that Vernon Forrest has the WBC junior middleweight world title, I’d like to see Shane try to avenge his two losses to the ‘Viper’.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I agree that Mosley wins pretty comfortably when he faces Mayorga later this month. There are plenty of fights out there for Sugar who, by the way, is still one of the very best fighters in that 147/154lbs gang. Margarito, Williams or how about a third crack at Vernon Forrest?

Name : Mike Adams
Country : USA
Your Question :
I thought the lightweight division rankings would be a lot clearer this week after the great 135lbs fights of the last two weeks. Joan Guzman pulling out against Nate Campbell made it still a little difficult to work out. Juan Diaz is a classy fighter. Juan Manuel Marquez is going to do very well at lightweight. I’m still not sure how good Nate Campbell is. Throw in Manny Pacquiao when he moves back down next year. Who do you see as the best lightweight in the world right now?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Good question. Officially, you’d have to say Campbell, as he beat the man (Juan Diaz). But then Pacquiao moves up and destroys David Diaz and then Marquez dismantles Casamayor. The only way to settle it for me is add Juan Diaz and maybe have a lightweight knockout tournament, what do you think?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Mike, I’m going to give Campbell credit for being the unified world champion and say he’s the best right now. Campbell hasn’t been getting much respect and it’s a shame that Guzman didn’t prepare properly for last week’s fight in Biloxi…I was really looking forward to that fight, damn it!

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: That’s a tough question Mike, but that is what ATE is all about. For me, the two leading lightweights now are Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. We have seen how close their two fights are so far. Once Manny has finished his business in the higher weights, there will be a lot people wanting to see their third battle. So right now, Pacquiao is the best at 135lbs.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I think Juan Manuel Marquez is going to be an excellent world champion at lightweight and, by beating The Ring champion Casamayor, he is the now recognized as the top 135lber. Once Pacman comes back from his welterweight jaunt, he and JMM can duke it out for a third time – that’ll be a great thing for boxing fans.

Name : Viel Mervic Nuestro
Country : Philippines
Your Question :
Why do most people scrutinize Pacquiao and De La Hoya? They say the fight is a farce, that it is a joke, that DLH should fight Margarito. Call it a farce then, if it’s the only way to revive boxing. These types of events are the ones that put attention to boxing once more! There are a lot of divisional matches that result in a boring fight, but this one, especially when Pacquiao’s in it, interest people in such a way that they see a mismatch in sizes, but it could actually turn into a wonderful and exciting fight! That’s called the excitement factor I suppose. I agree that DLH should fight Margarito, but don’t scrutinize and hate Pacquiao for accepting the fight. He’s got no fear. Plus, I find Margarito somehow also a money chaser, since he really wants to fight DLH, one might say he’s chasing glory, but as for me, it’ll always be the money. Margarito’s highest payday was against Cotto, and against DLH? Geez, triple or quadruple that! Pacquiao also accepted the fight for the money, no question about it. Oh, by the way, Pacquiao wasn’t the one who challenged. Too bad for Margarito, DLH didn’t challenge him. That’s why he’s so angry at DLH ’cause his biggest payday has gone out of his hands (so it was money after all...). Also, they say the 1998 version of DLH will not be beaten by Pacquiao. Of course, I agree with that. But did they forget something? In 1998, Pacquiao was fighting at flyweight! He’ll never beat a lightweight/junior welterweight at that point in time! People also say Pacman’s gotta KO DLH or DLH’s gonna destroy Pacman, or something like that. I say let’s see how it will go, no one can tell what’s really gonna happen, right? This is boxing. It’s unpredictable. I hope Pacquiao returns to lightweight after, and fight maybe at least three fights there either against the winner of Casamayor v Marquez or the winner of Campbell v Guzman, but one thing should be settled immediately: fight Marquez again. Simply put, unify the division first before retiring! That’ll really cement his legacy as an all-time great.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: I don’t think people hate Manny for taking the fight with Oscar. He will fight anyone and this proves it. I’m more disappointed with Oscar and his Golden Boy team. Let’s be honest here, there will be at the very least 15lbs between the two on the night and that’s just too much of a weight differential in the lower weight classes. That’s why I’m not looking forward to it. I just don’t believe it’s a fair and even match.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Viel, one thing is for sure, Pacquiao will make De La Hoya fight, so it should be entertaining while it lasts. Don’t blame Margarito for being a “money chaser”. That’s what a fighter needs to do in this dangerous sport; maximize dollars. After all, isn’t that what Pacman and Oscar are doing by fighting each other?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: That is a passionate well written letter. I agree with you. I am not with all these people who have De La Hoya winning this fight easy. Pacquiao’s superior fitness will give him a chance of winning on points. A victory over Oscar wouldn’t be too bad for the Pacman’s legacy either.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I don’t understand how this fight will ‘revive boxing’. Mayweather vs. DLH was supposed to revive boxing too wasn’t it? Twelve mediocre rounds later and I’ll be willing to bet that a huge majority of those extra viewers were wondering what all the fuss was about. I brought people over to my house to watch that contest and by the sixth or seventh round they were talking about the Boston Red Sox and asking me to switch to ESPN. The same guys were on the edge of their seats when I persuaded them to watch a show as small as Jaidon Codrington vs. Sakio Bika. I predict DLH to win big and casual fans to be talking about something else the next morning.

Name : John Fox
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Will a good big man always beat a good little man? i.e. Oscar v Pacman.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: In this case, yes. Please see my previous answer above.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: John, that seems to be the case, but Pacquiao is a special kind of good little man…you never know.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I’m going to say “no” to it happening 100% of the time. Lots of things can happen in a boxing ring. Twelve rounds is a long time - plenty of time for something to go wrong for the good big man.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Good question. In this case, absolutely. DLH is much too big for Pacquiao.

Name : Lincoln Page
Country : Australia
Your Question :
I really enjoyed Thomas Hauser’s three part series at SecondsOut.com on the first heavyweight world champion John L. Sullivan. I was trying to rank my all-time top ten heavyweights, but it is so hard to work out where to put Sullivan. Tom’s excellent story at least gave me some better information on how good John.L was. Does he make the top ten in your rankings?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Whilst he is an incredibly important figure in the history of boxing, I do not have John L. Sullivan in or around my list of top ten heavyweights of all time. But, seriously, what is not for me to love about this guy – He was a tough guy (I think I am sometimes), he was born in Boston (I live in Boston), he had Irish parents (I was born in Ireland) and he had the most perfect moustache in history (I had the second most perfect until my wife made me shave it off).

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: On outright rankings on boxing skills, you would say no. The greats like Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier and George Foreman will always be considered much better than him. But in historical terms, considering what Sullivan did to help develop the sport of boxing and how he dominated his era, he would have to be somewhere in the top ten. Also, I’m not ranking Mike Norby in my top ten either!

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Lincoln, I think Sullivan deserves some consideration, but I wouldn’t include him in my top ten of all-time.


Name : Dan Kent-Smith
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Something dawned on me earlier today that I’m struggling with and need your opinion on pound for pound rankings. Now, I fully understand the principle behind this and appreciate it is not an exact science. Granted, a Pacman in any weight division would blow the competition away – I think we’re agreed on this. But, every pound-for-pound list out there has a Wladimir Klitschko on it, or if not, he gets an ‘honourable mention’. The problem here is, that at near 240lbs, I don’t think he would make a heavyweight P4P Top 10. In this respect, shouldn’t the Hayemaker be ranked higher than Klitschko? If I was the size of Valuev, I’m pretty sure I could beat him! Thanks all, and keep up the good work.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Dan. I disagree. We don’t have Wladimir in our Top 10 and I don’ believe he belongs there at this time. And why should David Haye be ranked in the P4P Top 10? Lets be honest, he’s only beaten one legitimate world class fighter in Jean Marc Mormeck.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Dan, I agree that Klitschko is an odd choice for any current P4P list. Klitschko is arguably the best heavyweight, but a “pound-for-pounder” he is not.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Wladimir Klitschko isn’t in my pound for pound top ten at the moment. Neither is David Haye. There are too many other more deserving boxers ahead of them right now.

Name : Tim Young
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Vitali Klitschko vs. Sam Peter. I’m just looking for predictions, if Vitali stays fit. I myself think its going to be Foreman vs. Frazier revisited. Two big punchers with a difference, one can inflict damage without taking too many chances, whilst the other has to take too many chances. I see Peter being stopped inside four rounds. That’s my view anyway.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Vitali has been out of action for a long time and this, coupled with his age and history on injuries may prove too big a barrier to overcome.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Tim, this is a strange fight. Klitschko’s emeritus status is bazaar. Peter is no world beater, but I think after a few rounds, it will become clear that Klitschko has no business fighting at the world championship level at this point.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Tim, I’m glad you are not building up the fight too much! Foreman vs. Frazier? If Vitali is in good physical condition, a big if though, he can win the fight. I have always felt that Vitali is a better fighter than his younger brother Wladimir. It would still be a huge win for Vitali to come back after so long away and with the injuries he has had. Vitali is always in more entertaining fights than Wladimir, so I can see it being a little wild while it lasts.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: There are question marks about both guys, Tim. Peter has been hurt badly in his last couple of fights against Jameel McCline and Oleg Maskaev, although he showed great heart and fortitude by winning both of those contests. For me, the question of how a nearly four year lay-off will hamper Klitschko is extremely scary if you are a fan of Dr Iron Fist – especially fighting such a dangerous opponent without the benefit of a couple of rust erasing fights.

Name : Danny Johnson
Country : Australia
Your Question :
As a boxing fan thru and thru, there is nothing I like better than to see a boxer who is tough, courageous, resilient and blessed with a bit of genuine skill to go with it. This is a fitting description of Aussie hard nut, Michael Katsidis, who challenged for a world title for the second time recently, only to be narrowly out-pointed by Juan Diaz over the championship distance of twelve rounds. The question I would like to put to you guys at ATE is whether you agree with my assessment that although Katsidis has a mile of heart and a clear desire to reach the top of his chosen profession, is he one of those fighters who simply take too many punches merely to land one, two or possibly even three in return that actually hurt his opponent? I saw the state he was in when he fought and beat Graham Earl and although he won, he looked like a fighter who had lost and been beaten to with-in an inch of his life in the process. I have no doubt that his all action style and never say die attitude in the ring will earn him a hell of a lot of money during his career, possibly even catapult him to millionaire status even if he never wins a world title, but what will be the use of having all that money after he retires if he hasn’t got any brains left in his head to spend it wisely. Forgive me if this sounds a bit hard, but my opinion is that unless he dramatically changes his style and significantly improves his defence, he will end up a punch drunk and that will be a sad day when and if it ever dawns.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Danny, excellent analysis of Katsidis. I agree, at 28, and with his fighting style, Katsidis has a narrow window of opportunity to safely make a living in boxing.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You make a blunt assessment Danny, but you use some logic there. My biggest concern is for Michael’s eyes. He already has sustained some bad cuts and it makes it hard to beat the best boxers in the world when you have blood and swelling clouding the vision in both eyes. Michael and his trainer Brendon Smith are very astute and will be working on plans to reduce the damage Michael is sustaining. To give him a better chance of winning, it is something they must address.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Katsidis is a raw, all-action fighter. That will certainly shorten his top-level career and there is no chance of that changing now. People will tune in to watch him and if he can get a win over a marquee name soon and retire after a couple of subsequent big money fights he’ll be fine. He should have beaten Casamayor and fought Diaz very close a couple of weeks ago (not sure what fight Harold Lederman and the HBO crew were watching). So, he has the talent and marketability to do well for himself over the next couple of years – a man with his style better know when to quit, though.

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hi Guys. Firstly having read your replies to my comments on the U.S national team I would like to clarify some points. Clive Bernath mentioned that it put these kids at a huge disadvantage having one coach and not their club coach taking them to the Olympics. I would agree if every other nation brought one coach per fighter to major events such as the Commonwealth games, world championships, Olympics etc. But I only saw one coach looking after the Cuban team (who okay didn’t do well this year... but better than bigger more economically powerful nations such as America still) there was only one coach looking after the GB team one coach looking after the Irish etc etc. As far as i could make out, and I stand to be corrected, almost every nation just has one head coach? I believe I saw the French team having two different coaches but may be mistaken. There for the U.S team is at no disadvantage. Also, about the comment about our boys doing almost perfectly, Gavin failed to make weight that is his fault nothing to do with the team, coaching or scoring and the Saunders boys failure, well that was the almost! And Michael Norby put forward how disgusted he was with the scoring, again I disagree. I think if you took each bout and scored it with a panel of three judges in the traditional professional way, I think the majority of decisions would go the same way that the computerised scoring did... and besides it is all subjective how many pro decisions are shameful? Without actually having an in depth knowledge of the U.S amateur boxing system it is hard for me to say with any certainty what the problem with it is. It is obvious that there is a problem though, but I don’t think that just because the American amateur (and pro) boxing scene is failing to produce successful talent doesn’t mean world boxing in general is in crisis. The balance of power, or certainly depth of talent, is spreading around the world Klitschko is a king in Eastern Europe, Calzaghe a hero in Wales, Pacquiao worshipped in the far east, I think maybe it could be a good thing that now the Americans can’t automatically assume dominance even in their pet divisions and tournaments such as the heavyweight/middleweight classes and the Olympics.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, for U.S amateur boxing, I think it all goes back to being a sign of the times. We’ll probably never see another team like the ones in 1976 and 1984. One coach or ten coaches won’t make a difference. There are more opportunities for U.S kids in other sports now and the Eastern Europeans are stronger than even – making it a much more even the field.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: If a boxer has real talent, he will adapt to the rules and system put in front of him. The competition between sports for athletic talent is the real fierce battle in the U.S. Boxing is rarely getting the best out there.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: That’s an excellent email, Thomas. You are correct that the scoring system would be imperfect no matter what format it takes. However, there were a ridiculous amount of clean, criteria meeting punches that were not scored for some reason – hopefully that will be addressed because I’m not watching that crap anymore if nothing has changed by 2012. I know the infamous Roy Jones case was scandalous, but I like scoring the more traditional way. Just score a punch fairly if it lands, have a look at five scorecards and let the best man win.

Name : Matt Caulfield
Country : Australia
Your Question :
John “Hoppa” Hopoate vs. Audley Harrison. I must be the only person in the world that actually thinks Audley Harrison can win a world title... there you go I said it! I know he talks, and his performances of late have been poor but I just think he must have more to offer then he has shown so far, and if he can stay focused and fight regularly, he can reach his full potential. I think a great fight would be John “Hoppa” Hopoate vs. Audley Harrison. I think it’s such an unpredictable fight. Two big heavyweights who can really bang. Both have suspect chins which makes it very exciting. ’Hoppa’ knows only one way to box and that is to come forward and knock his opponent out. This forces Audley to fight and not shy away like he’s done in his previous contests and hopefully fight like he did with Danny Williams It would be a credible win for each opponent and a great confidence booster for the next level. Also, the fight could be made in Sydney, Australia where Audley won the gold. I think it would be a big sell out over here. What do you guys think?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: I don’t Matt, sorry. If Audley Harrison had anything else to show we would have seen it by now. Unfortunately, Audley is a typical example of an Olympic medallist that get big money to turn pro then loses the hunger to compete.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Matt, I think primarily you’re a big Hopoate fan hoping for a high-profile fight that your man might win. I’d certainly watch a Hopoate-Harrison fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Matt, Audley has way too much experience at the moment for Hopoate. John is only starting out on his career and will need another two years of experience and improvement before he really steps up against international opponents. He has only been boxing for a couple of years, so let’s not rush him. For all the potential he possessed, it amazed me that Audley Harrison fell so far, so quickly.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: There are two people in the world that believes Audley Harrison can win a world title, Matt. You and Audley Harrison. It’s not going to happen.



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