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23 OCTOBER 2014

 

ATE: Older Boxers on PPV, Best Mexican Boxer, Mijares, Diaz-Katsidis, Calzaghe on Graham, Federer-Nadal and More


Don King with his latest boxing talent: David Martin/DKP
Don King with his latest boxing talent: David Martin/DKP

In this week’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we look at why the older names are still occupying the majority of spots on boxing pay-per-view cards, consider who is the best Mexican boxer today and look at the future for Cristian Mijares. We calculate Michael Katsidis’ chances of beating Juan Diaz, pick ourselves up off the floor after hearing Joe Calzaghe’s recent comments on Herol Graham, speculate on who would win a boxing match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and much more.

Name : Luca Biason
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Hello guys! Some of the points raised in the latest ATE had me wondering. Is the older generation of boxers attracting more PPV interest because they box more traditionally, whereas the younger ones (at large) have developed into a professional version of the straight-punching, points-scoring style that is so characteristic of the new generation of young boxers? Are we seeing the effects of this “improvement” in amateur boxing that, in my view, has a bit denaturalized the all-roundness required in previous years? I have been watching the Olympics with great interest and frankly I believe that nowadays there are much greater differences between the two styles, and that has to count for something. On a different matter, I struggle to understand why any credibility could be given to a DLH-Pacquiao fight, leaving the 50/50 issue aside. They fight in two very different weight classes and physically are worlds apart. If PBF looked small next to DLH, then what about Manny? Maybe I am just being polemic for the sake of it, but to me it’s like matching Hatton with Pavlik, or J.C.Chavez with Ricardo Lopez, where neither makes any sense at all.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Luca. As far as the next generation of > boxers is concerned I just think many of them lack both the star quality and talent required, but just as importantly the likes of HBO etc are not investing in new talent and seem happy to throw money at the old guard. This brings me onto De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao. Personally I think this fight will not do the reputation of boxing , HBO or De La Hoya any good whatsoever. Here we have a 5ft 10 solid 154lbs fighter against a 5ft 6 135lbs boxer (when soaking wet and fully clothed). Enough said.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Luca, to respond with one answer for both of your points…PPV interest usually comes more from boxer’s charisma and/or knockout potential rather than technical style, and that’s the case with Pacquiao and De La Hoya. Unfortunately, these two PPV boxing stars aren’t the right size to be in the same ring.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It takes time, money and effort to build a real superstar boxer. Promoters and television networks seem reluctant to invest in younger boxers today. They want instant success now. Thus they are sticking with the older names instead of doing what is necessary to promote the next generation of boxers who could be superstars. The main reason Oscar is fighting Manny is so that if the ‘Golden Boy’ wins, he can retire and say he finished his career as the No.1 boxer in the world pound for pound.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Olympic boxing is officially a complete joke, Luca. A pathetic scoring system and all round foolishness that has poisoned what was once a great event. As far as De La Hoya vs. Pacman, I couldn’t agree more. The size difference will be massive and I can’t see Pacquiao overcoming what will be an incredible challenge.

Name : Oscar Medina
Country : Mexico
Your Question :
Which of the current Mexican boxers is the best in all weight divisions?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS:
Oscar, this is how I see it:
Heavyweight – Chris Arreolo
200 – Ramiro Reducindo
175 - Iran Rodriguez
168 – Librado Andrada
160 - Enrique Ornelas
154 - Alfredo Angulo
147 – Antonio Margarito
140 – Juan Lazcano
135 – Julio Diaz
130 – Juan Manuel Marquez
126 – Jorge Solis
122 - Israel Vazquez/Rafael Marquez (tie)
118 – Abner Mares
115 - Cristian Mijares
112 - Julio Cesar Miranda
108 - Ulises Solis
105 – Raul Garcia

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: For me, I like Juan Manuel Marquez, Israel Vasquez and Christian Mijares.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: The best Mexican boxer around now is Juan Manuel Marquez. There are many snapping at his heels, though, including Christian Mijares, Israel Vazquez, Rafael Marquez and Antonio Margarito.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Juan Manuel Marquez and Antonio Margarito are the two best Mexican boxers competing today.

Name : Luis Diaz
Country : USA
Your Question :
I see Cristian Mijares is now in some experts pound for pound top ten lists. He has the WBC/WBA world titles at 115lbs and the more I see of him, the more I like. Mijares needs to win this weekend, then he should be in a big unification fight. Who would you like to see him fight next? WBO champ Fernando Montiel or IBF champ Vic Darchinyan?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Luis, after Mijares beats Sasakul, and he should; I would like to see Mijares versus Darchinyan because I think it will yield the most two-way action and power punching.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Mijares’ win over Jorge Arce really impressed me. I’d be very happy to see Mijares-Darchinyan. That’s a great fight. I’ve heard some rumours that there is interest in making that fight for the Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones Jr undercard.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Mijares is a fantastic fighter, Luis, and he deserves his place on the lbs for lbs standings. I would love to see him fight Vic Darchinyan – wonderful clash of styles and as intriguing a match-up as any for 2009.

Name : Stacey White
Country : Australia
Your Question :
I need your thoughts on the Michael Katsidis vs. Juan Diaz fight. Can Katsidis blow Diaz away? De La Hoya needs to fight Cotto or “The Tijuana Tornado” to show he has a big set of marbles! Who will “The Man” Mundine fight next? It is time to step up now! Your thoughts?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Diaz will have something to prove having surprisingly lost his title against Nate Campbell last time out, so I feel he will put in a big performance and force a stoppage late in the fight. Lets be honest De la Hoya should be fighting Cotto, no question.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Stacey, I like Diaz to beat Katsidis to win the vacant IBO belt because Diaz is fighting at home in Houston, so Katsidis will need to press too much for a knockout. As you know, De La Hoya is fighting Pacquiao in December. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mundine fight the Taylor-Lacy winner.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think Michael Katsidis can win, but I’m not sure that he will be “blowing Diaz away”. It is a well matched fight. I like Katsidis on points. I think he learns a lot from the loss to Joel Casamayor and comes back much better for it. Looks like we’ve got De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao instead for December 6. Oscar wants to be able to retire saying he beat the pound for pound No.1 fighter in the world today. Anthony Mundine said during the Solomon Haumono-Cliff Couser television telecast on Wednesday night that he will be fighting Peter Manfredo Jr or Kassim Ouma in November.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I doubt if Katsidis will blow Diaz away but it should be a great all action fight and could go either way. Looks like DLH is going to fight Manny Pacquiao simply because he’ll win big and make a hat full of money in the process. Mundine definitely needs to roll up his sleeves and get a meaningful fight before it’s too late – very few boxing fans outside Australia really know or care who he is.

Name : Andrew Morris
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I nearly spilt my tea when I read Joe Calzaghe’s comment that he felt a prime Herol Graham would have given him a tougher fight than a similar condition Collins, Benn or Eubank. Herol was a very good boxer, but please, he wasn’t on the same level as those three. Has Joe now taken too many punches in his long career?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: I’m afraid I agree with Joe, Andrew. Graham was a master at the art of defence. In his prime you would be hard pushed to hit him with a bag of rice, he would have given Calzaghe a real awkward night. Why do you think just about every top middleweight in the world including Marvin Hagler avoided him? Joe would have had his work well and truly cut out with all of them in their respective primes and lets not forget arguably the best of them all, Michael Watson.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Andrew, I agree with Calzaghe. Herol Graham was an "uncrowned" champion. The fight with McCallum could have gone either way and I think fights against Collins, Benn and Eubank would be "pick ‘em" bouts. Now, as far as Calzaghe’s decision to fight his farewell bout against Roy Jones, Jr. in New York City; I am not sure if that’s going to turn out to be his best decision…time will tell.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: If Herol Graham was that good, is Joe admitting that he ducked him?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: That’s Joe Calzaghe. He’ll say anything for a giggle.

Name : Richard Francis
Country : USA
Your Question :
I read on your website that Don King is involved in Nike’s promotion of the U.S Tennis Open. If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal put on the boxing gloves for real, who wins?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: On a clay boxing ring, Nadal would knock him out in the middle rounds. On a hard ring, Federer wins by split decision. The grass rubber match would end in bizarre fashion when both contestants fail to come out for the eighth round, electing instead to eat bananas and drink pink milkshake looking things on their stools.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Richard, I would pick Federer on points. The Swiss would have too much height and reach for the Spaniard.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think Federer has the reach and height advantage. Nadal may be stronger on the inside. I’m going to predict a twelve round draw!

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Having just read your article about the abject failure of the American Olympic boxing team, I have to ask how bitter are the likes of Shelly Finkel! As an Englishman I have to point out a few things. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with the scoring. So many of those interviewed blamed the scoring but it doesn’t bother Cuba, Russia, Kazakhstan or Great Britain. All of these highly successful Olympic boxing nations all go by the same system. Secondly, as for the issue with having one nominated coach and not allowing any other coaches contact with the fighter, well we have had our Terry as the sole coach for a long time and our fighters are doing almost perfectly. The third point is that the Americans seem to be justifying their failure by making the point that guys who stay amateur gain more experience against the young Americans who turn pro quickly. Look at the professional game now, it is littered with champions who were former Olympians from outside the U.S. (Cuba is the obvious exception but without the mesmerising brilliance of Cubans it wouldn’t be the Olympics would it?) I am pretty certain that all the British lads will turn pro after this games and we still rest comfortable in the knowledge that we will get at least another three medals in 2012. There is a problem with the American boxing system I think but don’t try and blame the rest of the world. It is not the scoring, its not the pro/amateur issue, it probably isn’t even the coaches. Maybe, just maybe it is the fighters themselves? For example, if an Englishman had of surrendered a point down like the American flyweight, he would have to emigrate!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Thomas. I agree partly with your first answer about the scoring. The concept of the scoring is OK but I would question the qualifications of those pressing the buttons. I know the referees also doubled as judges but a lot of the officiating was very poor. Secondly, I disagree. To have one man looking after the entire team is ridiculous. Anyone that has boxed amateur or pro at the highest level will tell you that having a familiar face in your corner is a massive boost. Also, these coaches brought these kids through from start to finish and know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s a no brainer. And how can you say ’our fighters are doing perfectly’? Frankie Gavin never made the weight and the two Saunders boys and Joe Murray never performed to the best of their abilities.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, I think bottom line with the deterioration of American amateur boxing is that talented young American athletes have so many more options now in team sports. You can’t blame a kid for going to football camp in hopes of a prep school or college scholarship instead of taking hard knocks in a boxing gym. There are always going to be American kids who only want to fight, but boxing is becoming a less and less attractive option.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You may have a point Thomas. You would expect truly great boxers to be able to adapt to the fighting conditions they have been given. Then again, there is no doubt that some boxer’s styles better suit the scoring system than others. I don’t like the Olympic scoring system, but I’m not sure what is the best alternative either?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Not a problem with the scoring??? The scoring was a joke, Thomas. I watched at least half a dozen fights that had me scratching my head every single round. It was pathetic.


Name : Peter Daniels
Country : USA
Your Question :
I have just been looking at all the big fights coming up between now and Christmas. While there is no huge De La Hoya-Mayweather type fight, it is a pretty good list. I’m very interested to see how Vitali Klitschko looks against Samuel Peter. I always felt he was more exciting to watch than his younger brother Wladimir. I’m also looking forward to the Joel Casamayor-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. Which match that has been announced interests you the most?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Believe it or not I’m looking forward to seeing how Kelly Pavlik handles the defensive genius of Bernard Hopkins and how Joe Calzaghe fares with Roy Jones Jr.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Peter, I’m salivating for Nate Campbell-Joan Guzman on September 13.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I am interested to see how Vitali Klitschko does in his comeback against Samuel Peter, while the Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi fight could be a real messy battle.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I love the Casamayor-Marquez fight, Peter, but the fight that most sticks out for me right now is the Hatton vs. Malignaggi contest this November for the junior welterweight title. Hatton has shown vulnerability against better boxers and Malignaggi has been buzzed in his last couple of fights – could go either way and I’m excited about it.

Name : Bill Jennings
Country : USA
Your Question :
I am interested in your opinions as what you think was been the best career win of Evander Holyfield?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: For me it was the win over the teak tough Dwight Muhammad Qawi via 15 round split decision for the world cruiserweight crown in only his 13th fight in 1986 and then the win over Buster Douglas in 1990. Both wins I believe made Holyfield the big name he is today.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Bill, I gotta say Holyfield’s win over Riddick Bowe in their second fight. Bowe had Holyfield’s number, but somehow Evander found the right style and rhythm that “Fan Man” night to squeak by his biggest rival.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I’m going to let Evander Holyfield give you the answer in his own words. “In 1996, they were trying to stop the Mike Tyson fight. They said it was wrong, that that man was gonna wind up killing Evander Holyfield. They were trying to put out petitions and march against Don King because they said it was a shame that he was gonna let that man just kill poor Holyfield. And I beat that man and it was, ‘Oh, how did this happen?’”

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: There have been many wonderful wins for Holyfield, Bill. I’d have to say his eleventh round stoppage against Mike Tyson in their first meeting probably stands out as his most spectacular victory.

Name : Graham Lengthorn
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
With the Olympics just passed and every gold medallist tipped to be the future of boxing and the next superstar, who apart from Audley Harrison would you say have been some of the biggest gold medal flops who was supposed to take the pro ranks by storm but never lived up to the hype? Also, if we had Ricky Hatton vs. Amir Khan next year who do you think wins and why?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Talk about putting us on the spot, Graham. The one that sticks out the most for me is Howard Davis Jr. Howard won the Gold medal at 132lbs at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. He won the Val Barker trophy for best boxer and when you think that Ray Leonard and Leon and Michael Spinks also won Gold, you can imagine what an achievement that was. Davis turned pro with a US$1.5 million signing on fee but never won the elusive world title expected of him. Hatton vs. Khan, Hatton all day long I’m afraid. I just feel Hatton would be too battled hardened and experienced for a light punching Khan.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Graham, considering his size and natural skills, I think heavyweight Tyrell Biggs could have had a much more successful pro career. However, considering the terrible beating he took from Mike Tyson in 1987, Biggs was probably never physically the same…so some bad luck with historical timing might have played a big role.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS:How about Mohamad Abdulaev? After beating Miguel Cotto at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in the first match and going on to win the Gold medal, he was being tipped as being the next Kostya Tszyu. It didn’t exactly pan out that way. Abdulaev lost to Cotto and Andreas Kotelnik in 2005 and hasn’t fought since. His records stands at 15-3 (12). Right now, Hatton would beat Khan. But in a year or two, Khan might be ready to take Hatton.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: There is no shame in not successfully making the jump from amateur to pro - no matter how good a fighter was in the amateur ranks. Many have failed in making the transition so I think the tag of ’flop’ is a little unfair. The difference with Harrison is that he ran his mouth off even when it was clear that he couldn’t cut in at the elite level and the fans and media got sick of him. I like Hatton over Khan - Khan is just not ready for that level of opposition yet.



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