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18 NOVEMBER 2018


ATE: Pacquiao-Hatton Superfight, Valuev-Holyfield Final Thoughts, Wladimir Not OK, Klitschko-Haye, De La Hoya’s Defeat, Pathetic Undercard and More

Pacman is No.1:
Pacman is No.1:

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we take an advanced look at a possible Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton superfight, give some final thoughts on this weekend’s Nikolay Valuev vs. Evander Holyfield match and ask if Wladimir Klitschko really did fight well against Hasim Rahman. We look at the Vitali Klitschko-David Haye fight, consider Oscar De La Hoya’s defeat to Pacquiao in further detail, hear from a boxing fan who calls the Dream Match undercard “pathetic” and much more.

Name : Andy Edgeworth
Country : UK
Your Question :
I cannot wait for 2009! Ricky Hatton versus Manny Pacquiao. Will it happen in the UK? What chance do you give Ricky of beating the pound for pound No.1? De La Hoya was old and weak against Pacquiao, but the Hitman will be ready to smash the Pacman!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hello Andy. As it stands, I understand the fight will take place in Las Vegas when/if it gets signed. Judging by the way my predictions have gone lately can I plead the fifth on Pacquiao vs. Hatton?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Andy, it looks like Hatton and Pacquiao are indeed on a collision course. Should be an amazing fight and I think it’ll end up happening in Las Vegas.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Agreed. Pacquiao-Hatton is one of the fights I want to see in 2009. I’d be making Pacquiao a very slight favourite at this stage. He looked great against De La Hoya, but Oscar had nothing left. Hatton is going to be a completely different story. I can see some thrilling exchanges with someone going down.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Hatton will pose a much greater threat to Pacquiao, Andy. Oscar looked dreadful last week, probably due of his preparation and the resulting, unusually light fight night weight of 147lbs. You could see it in his performance – he was drained, slow and completely out of sorts. Hitman vs. Pacman will be a war.

Name : Jerry Silverstone
Country : USA
Your Question :
Of all the heavyweight champions holding titles today, I give Evander Holyfield some hope of beating Nikolay Valuev this weekend to win the WBA strap. What are Commander Vander’s chances?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: As I said above, Jerry, can I plead the fifth? Lol. Seriously, I just can’t see Holyfield pulling this off. Lets be honest, Holyfield is a legend, but he has not produced a decent performance for years and at 46? But judging by the upsets of the last few months, would you really be surprised if Holyfield won?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Jerry, I think Holyfield will be outpointed by Valuev. I don’t think Evander will be able to sustain enough of a pace to rattle or offset the Russian giant.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Holyfield has to follow the lead of Ruslan Chagaev and stay mobile. Don’t try to muscle the big Russian and keep him moving. In and out flurries will help Evander the most. Not that it will be easy. Valuev on points is the most likely outcome.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Valuev is the least skilled of the heavyweight champions and I would give any of the top ten big guys the upper hand against the Russian. Evander is a different kettle of fish, though. In his prime I would favor him by a wide points margin, but today’s Evander is old, slow and I can’t see his stamina holding for twelve rounds against such a large, heavy opponent.

Name : Graham Barber
Country : USA
Your Question :
And about time too! Finally, the Doctor Wladimir Klitschko shows some steel by going on the attack against Hasim Rahman and taking him out. None of you really give David Haye a chance of beating him do you?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Graham, looks like David is now fighting Vitali Klitschko and not Wladimir. I like the way David fights. He’s a good solid, honest crowd pleaser and will definitely give every ounce of blood, sweat and tears. Unless he can really utilise his speed and get inside Klitschko’s guard early, I fear he will get slowly broken down.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Graham, I think Haye has a chance against Wlad…it will come down to who hurts who first.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It looks like it will be Vitali facing Haye instead of Wladimir. I like the match-up. It should be interesting. I’m not sure that Haye can get inside and hurt Vitali without being tagged himself, but that’s why we watch. To see what will happen.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I don’t think Haye would beat either Klitschko, Graham. His performance against Monte Barrett was a nice way to hop back into the heavyweight division with a win, but in no way prepares him to battle Wladimir Klitschko.

Name : Matthew Karasiewicz
Country : Germany
Your Question :
After reading in Paul Upham’s article that Wladimir Klitschko put on a much needed entertaining performance, I began to wonder if we had seen the same fight. Perhaps this was really true and we had seen a top heavyweight after one of his better performances.... How sad for the sweet science! Wladimir is big, strong and technically well versed, especially his jab, but lacks finishing qualities and excitement unless he himself is hit. This apparent flaw makes him too cautious as seen against Rahman, who spent considerable time against the rope without hitting back, yet was mainly the target of jabs. Klitschko would kill a fly by pulling apart each limb and wing separately instead of squashing it with his hammer. My question is therefore: Have we gotten so used to mediocre performances by heavyweights that the slow beating up of a passive and intimidated overweight Rahman, past his prime, is considered a good performance? Compare that to the excitement of a fight like Cotto-Margarito. And where in the heavyweight division do you see an interesting and exciting match-up?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Matthew I do see your point. I’ll answer your question about this ‘good performance’ another way. I was in a friend’s restaurant the other day and had a newspaper open on the sports page that said ‘Vitali Klitschko agrees to face David Haye’. My friend turned to me and said, “Is this what its come to. Haye and Klitschko have one heavyweight fight each in the last two or three years and they fight for the world title?” And of course he’s right. You’re right, give me Cotto vs. Margarito any day.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Matthew, you won’t catch me jumping on the Klitschko brothers’ bandwagon nor going out of my way to catch any Valuev or Chagaev title defenses. To me, this is indeed a mediocre period for heavyweight boxing. That’s why I’m hoping David Haye can shake things up a bit. First things first however, the reigning champions have earned the spotlight for now.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Matthew, I was only comparing Wladimir’s performance to some of his recent snoozers. No, you can’t compare last weekend’s fight with the action we see in other weight classes. But by Wladimir’s recent work, he showed a lot of aggression against Rahman. The point is that the heavyweight division is very weak when compared historically to other times. I don’t see that as being any real breaking news to even the average boxing fan. Though, Haye vs. Vitali Klitschko could be interesting.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Klitschko’s performance was very good on Saturday evening, Matthew. I thought he used his assets wonderfully and systematically dismantled Rahman throughout the duration of the contest. Wladimir is never going to stand toe to toe with an opponent and treat fans to a war – he’s not that type of fighter so I wouldn’t expect fireworks any time soon from the big guy. Interesting and exciting match-ups in today’s heavyweight division are hard to come by but what about David Haye vs. Chris Arreola?

Name : Joseph Lim
Country : Canada
Your Question :
Wow! I’m not certain if it was the same for the team, but all I could do was sit there in stunned silence Saturday night, watching a brilliant Pacman utterly dominate the aged (not aging) De La Hoya. I was certain that ODH would be too strong for Pacman, and predicted an easy nights work for Oscar. Wrong! The boxing clinic that Pacquiao put on was impressive. Almost surreal, I felt like I was watching Bugs Bunny vs. the Tasmanian Devil! My question is this: Who should Pacquiao fight next? I would love to see him coax Floyd Mayweather Jr out of retirement for a super fight at 147, and if that bout can’t be made, Ricky Hatton at 140. Both fights in Las Vegas since Pacman shouldn’t have to travel across the pond. He has emphatically stamped his claim as being P4P numero uno.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: I’m not fussy Lim, I’ll take Pacman against either Hatton or Mayweather.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Joseph, I agree with you. I couldn’t believe my eyes while watching Pacquiao-De La Hoya, nor could I believe how it ended. Pacquiao versus Hatton seems like a natural for the next big fight.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It was almost the perfect performance from Pacquiao. You couldn’t ask for much more from him. Not interested in Floyd Mayweather Jr coming back, for me, I want Pacquiao vs. Hatton next. I think you will find that the UK crowd support will see Hatton-Pacquiao held in the UK.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: You were not the only one who had that reaction, Tim. De La Hoya did not put himself in a position to win that fight. As good as Manny was, Oscar’s pre-fight choices ensured an uphill struggle. I would like to see Manny fight Juan Manuel Marquez next but I think he’ll take on Hatton.

Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I am delighted that I will not be needing to eat my hat as I promised to do unless De La Hoya was murdered in a ATE letter a few weeks ago, to me it was so obvious that Pacman would kill him and I am now very excited about the prospect of Pacquiao vs. Hatton at Wembley Stadium in London. Do you think the fight will happen and whom would you be picking? I personally feel that it is the fight that can save Hatton’s career, the reason being that is obvious to everybody in the world except the man himself that he simply cannot fight at welterweight. He can’t even beat well a poor champion of class welterweight and I’m looking at it and thinking that unless he gets Pacman, which will probably be at light welter, he will go back up and disappoint all of his fans again with another shoddy fight and possibly another loss. However at light welterweight he is a force of nature and I think a battle with Pacquiao at that weight would be a ‘fight of the year’, filling out Wembley (around 90,000 people), propel Hatton back in to the universal lbs 4 lbs ratings and set him up for another mega fight.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Thomas, if the fight is signed and I think it will, I understand it will take place in Vegas. Personally, I’d have to give Hatton the edge, purely on natural strength. Oscar I feel was very weak at the weight. Ricky will be a very strong 140lbs. Great fight though.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, I got to hand it to you for predicting Pacman’s domination of De La Hoya…great pick! Pacquiao-Hatton will be amazing, but I think the fight it will be contested in Las Vegas rather than the UK.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I think Clive served up his own hat as a side dish last week Thomas!

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Hatton is a big puncher at 140lbs, Thomas. He’ll be able to hurt Pacquiao for sure but Manny has the combination of speed and power that would cause anyone trouble. It would be a pretty even fight, but I’ll lean towards Hatton to out-point Manny in a highly entertaining battle. De La Hoya’s capitulation last week is the best thing that could have happened to the proposed Hitman vs. Pacquiao promotion.

Name : Riaz Uddin
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Did everybody really believe that ODLH would dominate the P4P best boxer in the world? In comments on this site earlier, I did say that I thought ODLH would win but that it would be a close twelve round decision but Pacman truly shook up the world. What now of De La Hoya? No rematch with Mayweather (ODLH won the first fight!) and no fight against Hatton. Should Ricky take the fight against Pacman, or should he leave it to Mayweather and Pacquiao to duke it out?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Riaz, I didn’t think De La Hoya beat Mayweather, although it was a close, albeit boring fight. Oscar will fight on…not sure against who, but he’ll fight again. Pacquiao will fight Hatton, with Mayweather possibly fighting the winner.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Yes, many did Riaz. A lot of people lost a lot of money betting on De La Hoya to win. Oscar will fight again. He isn’t going to retire on that note. He’ll be back in May 2009. Give me Hatton vs. Pacquiao NOW! Floyd Mayweather Jr can stay retired for now. He doesn’t bring the fan base that Hatton and Pacquiao do.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: There is no way that Oscar will bow out on that sour note. He blew it and it was a highly embarrassing defeat. He’ll fight on and secure a final ‘superfight’ against a Felix Trinidad, or someone of that ilk, late next year.

Name : Barnaby Chesterman
Country : Italy
Your Question :
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again now given Pacquiao’s victory over De La Hoya. Is this not proof enough that boxing has too many weight divisions and would be better suited to reducing them? Pacquiao came up a long way and De La Hoya dropped down a fair bit to make this fight happen, but that might not have been necessary if there were fewer divisions. People would already be fighting in the same division and this kind of clash would be a more regular occurrence and would stimulate interest in boxing. I don’t buy the view that boxing is dangerous so you need many divisions. A chin is a chin and if you get smacked on it you can either take it or you can’t. Even in any one weight division there are some people who can whack and other who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. A welterweight with an iron chin doesn’t suddenly have a glass jaw when he steps up to middleweight. Also, if a guy steps up to a higher weight I actually think he’s less likely to take punishment because he’s more likely to get knocked out by the bigger man and bigger puncher. Less weights means better fights as far as I’m concerned. More top fighters getting in the ring and not able to avoid each other by staying in different divisions. The Pacman has showed the way, what chance boxing authorities taking heed?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Barnaby, you make some great observations, but as long as the four or five dominant sanctioning bodies remain prevalent, there will always be too much money to be made with the current 17 weight class proliferation, to change things.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You may have a point Barnaby. But at what weight should they have fought? If it was 154lbs, maybe Oscar comes in a lot fresher, bigger and stronger and finds a way to win. I’d still pick Pacquiao to have beaten Oscar at junior middleweight.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I get what you’re saying, Barnaby. In fairness, though, most fighters campaign at their optimum fighting weights. There can be no real argument that deviation from their optimum fighting weight has no affect on performance. There are exceptions to this rule of course; Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones etc. possess raw talent that knows little boundary, but for the most part I think the weight classes work as is. The number of champions in each weight class is the real problem.

Name : Danny Johnson
Country : Australia
Your Question :
I have always understood and totally respected the right of people to voice their opinions on any given subject, regardless of whether I agree with their sentiments or if I believe they are completely wrong. What does get on my goat, however, is a person who not only voices their opinion loud and clear, but speaks what they think as though they have a right to be listened to by everybody and that what they say absolutely MUST be right. Thomas Peak’s previous contribution to ATE, in which he labelled Oscar De La Hoya as overrated, really annoyed the hell out of me if for no other reason than the fact Thomas so obviously knows NOTHING about boxing whatsoever or he would never have been so naive and stupid as to sit at his little desk and write insipid, boring emails to ATE in the first place. OK, granted. Oscar is a far cry from the best boxer the world has seen, but for his generation he was certainly one of the best. He may not have been quite as good as fellow superstar, Sugar Shane Mosley, who he fought and lost to twice, but he was still a class above most other boxers in his generation and, despite his devastating lass to Pacquiao, Oscar shades Manny in terms of talent and ability as well. Like I have already said, De La Hoya was not the greatest ever. He’s no Robinson, Duran, Leonard, Hearns or Benitez (those guys would have killed Oscar), but he still took on and mostly beat every other big name, so what are you on about Thomas?

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Danny, Mr. Peak has a right to his own opinion regarding the career of Oscar De La Hoya. I wasn’t a big De La Hoya fan early on, but he eventually won me over because he was willing to take on anybody. That being said, I was very disappointed the way Oscar surrendered against Pacquiao. Fighters as accomplished and celebrated as De La Hoya need to fight to the bitter end…not quit is their corner.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: But he (De La Hoya) still took on and mostly beat every other big name. Oscar lost to Trinidad, Mosley twice, Hopkins, Mayweather and Pacquiao. In some people’s opinions, Thomas Peak might have a point that Oscar is a little overrated. I have heard many boxing industry people say it. I can see your point Danny. Oscar’s career is very hard to define. There certainly is a lot of quality wins there. But all those superfight losses have to mean something. Thomas Hauser sums up the problem in rating Oscar in his brilliant story De La Hoya-Pacquiao and the Business of Boxing here at this week.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Fans are entitled to their opinion, Danny. On one hand, Oscar has been the face of boxing for the last number of years and, in his prime and at his best, could be as good as anyone. On the other hand, with the exception of Ike Quartey, De La Hoya lost to all of his truly meaningful opponents, so some people may see this as a major stain on his career.

Name : Jeff Sampson
Country : Australia
Your Question :
So it seems that the only SecondsOut member to pick this Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight correctly was Derek Bonnett. Something stinks about this one. If and that’s a big IF this fight was on the level, Hatton will get smashed. Do you see any chance of a Hatton win on that performance from Pacman? Also for Paul, is it time for Lenny Zappavigna step up and fight overseas?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Jeff, I honestly don’t think Hatton will get smashed. If anything, Ricky could have the advantage in natural strength. He may just out tough Pacman.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Jeff, I would tend to favor Pacquiao over Hatton, but I certainly think Hatton has a chance to upset Manny.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Look, I love a great conspiracy theory as much as anyone, but I just can’t buy De La Hoya throwing the fight with Pacquiao? What would he possibly have to gain from that? Bob Arum has 95% promotional rights on Pacquiao. Golden Boy reportedly only retains 5% on profits. I can’t accept people suggesting that De La Hoya would purposely throw away part of his reputation to build up a Pacquiao-Hatton fight. You only had to look at the stunned expression of shock on Oscar’s face after the fight to see how devastating the loss to Pacquiao was for him. Oscar wanted to win that fight real bad. As for Lenny Zappavigna, he is progressing nicely and will move further onto the world scene over the next twelve months. His team are not rushing him.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I do think that there is a possibility of Hatton winning the contest, Jeff. He’ll give Pacman a different look and will be an infinitely more energetic and dangerous opponent than De La Hoya proved to be last week. As great as Manny looked, Oscar’s performance was horrible.

Name : Paul Carpenter
Country : Australia
Your Question :
Hey guys, I’d just like to say the website is looking great and very informative. Congrats to Pacman for a brilliant win, he proved a lot of people wrong. What are your thoughts on Pacquiao vs. Hatton if it does happen? I find Manny a hard guy for anyone around that weight to beat. I feel it would be a great fight but I think Manny may cut him up a bit. Anthony Mundine vs. Shannan Taylor? Are you kidding? What the hell is Mundine doing? He has the goods whether people admit it or not and he goes and fights a guy that started sliding down the ladder before he even had his first pro fight. Shannan Taylor was a great Aussie fighter, but he has not been at the top of his game for a long time. When will Mundine stop name dropping and actually take one of the top rated fighters on? If Green fights him again I will be more pissed with him than Mundine, as it will prove he is only there for the money and I feel he will get beaten again. Mundine needs to step up or shut up.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Paul, I think Pacquiao beats Hatton in a very competitive fight. I’m not sure you can say Mundine has never stepped up…he did fight Kessler, but I would like to see Mundine take a fight in the States for a change.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Right now I’d be tipping Pacquiao, but that may change closer to the fight. Beating Hatton at 140lbs will be hard. I want to know the venue and fight time before I lock my pick in. You make some valid points about Mundine. In fighting Taylor he is attempting to prepare himself for the complete move down to middleweight. Mundine at his best will beat Shannan, but can Mundine make 160lbs comfortably? He hasn’t done it yet. As for Green, maybe he really has retired for good. I rang him the other day and he was going for a two week surfing trip with his family over the Christmas break. It didn’t sound like he was in heavy boxing training getting ready for a comeback.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: A Pacquiao vs. Hatton fight should be a lot more competitive than what we witnessed on December 6. De La Hoya’s failure may be the best thing that could have happened to the Pacman-Hitman promotion.

Name : Ronnie Anderson
Country : USA
Your Question :
The Pacquiao-De La Hoya undercard had to be the worst, I repeat, the worst of any big fight card I have watched in the last twenty years. Pathetic! Who makes these fights and who at HBO approves them? The average boxing fan sitting at home could have made better matches.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Of course the average boxing fan could make better matches but you try making a half decent undercard with very little money left in the pot. I could be wrong here and stand corrected, but I would not mind betting there was not a massive budget allocated to the undercard.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ronnie, PPV undercards are always a crap shoot, but I’ll agree that the De La Hoya-Pacquiao undercard was rather weak.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: A lot of people have criticised promoter Don King over the years, but he always gives you extra world title fights and name boxers on his undercards. They weren’t always great fights, but you felt like you were getting a little extra for your money and seeing other leading boxers you would not normally have seen. With the proliferation of today’s world titles, surely they could have put on at least one competitive fight on the Pacquiao-De La Hoya undercard. You have all these extra people tuning in to watch the biggest fight of the year and they could have been presented with a little more boxing entertainment.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: It was pathetic, Ronnie. This is a big part of what is ruining boxing and driving away fringe fans from the sport. The promoters involved and the broadcaster should be ashamed of themselves for ‘treating’ fans to one of the most dreadful pay-per-view cards in recent memory.

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