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20 AUGUST 2014

 

ATE: Remembering Arturo Gatti, Pacquiao, Haye-Klitschko, Agbeko, Showtime’s 168lbs Battle, Best Ring Announcer and More


Gatti vs. Ward: Tom Casino
Gatti vs. Ward: Tom Casino

In today’s edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we remember the great warrior Arturo Gatti, talk more about who Manny Pacquiao should fight next and work out which Klitschko brother David Haye is actually fighting. We sit up and take notice of Joseph Agbeko, praise Showtime’s super middleweight tournament, select our favourite ring announcer and more.

Name : Nate Richards
Country : USA
Your Question :
I can’t believe the great Arturo Gatti is gone. I grew up on his fights loving boxing. So sad to see such a great fighter go so young. He gave everything he had every time he stepped into the ring. I’ll never forget him.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Could not have said it better myself, Nate. Gatti did leave everything in the ring and that’s why we loved to watch him. We label fighters throwbacks far too easily nowadays but Gatti deserved that label as much as anyone.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Nate, I’ll never forget Gatti either…what a fantastic fighter with a magnetism that put people in the seats…two traits few boxers possess today.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Was there any other fighter over the last twenty years who consistently gave such great value for money? That was one of the reasons why he was packing the fans in at Atlantic City. Arturo was never the best fighter, but he had a world champion heart that was the equal of any other.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I was in an airport in New York City when I read the news and just couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was travelling alone and looked around at the hundreds of people walking around the terminal going about their business - most of whom probably didn’t know much about Arturo at all, never mind the shocking news of his death. I called our Editor Clive Bernath to talk about it a little and boarded the plane thinking about my favorite Gatti fights. It’s just shocking.

Name : Ronny Wilson
Country : UK
Your Question :
Shocked and saddened to read of the departure of Arturo Gatti. What a fighter! My sincere best wishes to his family and friends. Of Gatti’s so many thrilling fights, which do you rate as his best?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Gatti was involved in so many great fights, Ronny. Ruelas was just one, but the three fights against Micky Ward are what I will remember most. It was not just about what went on inside the ring, that was sheer brutality and bravery beyond the call of duty, we know that. Boxers may well practise the most brutal of sports but the humility, respect and friendship they displayed towards each other afterwards is a humbling feeling to us all. The Gatti-Ward trilogy was a perfect example of that.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ronny, I’ll never forget Gatti-Gabriel Ruelas in Atlantic City…was that electric or what?

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I never saw Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward 1 live that night as I was in Las Vegas for Kostya Tszyu-Ben Tackie. But when I sat down to watch the battle - it was one of the most inspiring battles I have ever seen.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Gatti had many spectacular fights but for me the first epic battle with Micky Ward was my personal favorite.

Name : Trevor Metz
Country : China
Your Question :
Here is the thing, I read your article about who you think Pac-Man should fight next, but I am a little confused. Anyone that watched the Marquez fights should know that Manny lost both of those fights. The scoring malfunction that gave him the draw in the first one was shameful, so to his credit he fought him again. I watched the Filipino feed on satellite for the second fight from Beijing and even those announcers knew Manny lost the second fight. As for Cotto - he was gifted the decision with Clottey. This argument that Clottey somehow gave the decision away is nonsense. Cotto is not nearly the fighter he once was and I honestly think the fix was in on that fight. It is not like this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the reputable sport of boxing. So I guess I just can’t figure out how anyone could pick Cotto for the next fight. SSM, Marquez, PBF, or Clottey would seem the obvious choices.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Trevor, I vote for Pacquiao-Mosley next. I don’t know if anyone can hang with Pacquiao these days, but I think Shane will make it interesting.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: The fix was in, that’s a great old boxing saying that people love to throw around! Are we talking brown paper bags in dark alleys, or do judges just come up with those scores, or did they just lean one way in a close round? One person who loves the idea of a Pacquiao-Cotto fights is promoter Bob Arum. Of course, he has both boxers. I don’t have a real problem with Pacquiao-Cotto, but I’d rather see Pacquiao-Mosley. You are correct. Juan Manuel Marquez has given Pacquiao more trouble in recent times than anyone else. Maybe that is a reason why a third fight between them looks no closer to happening.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: The Cotto vs. Clottey contest was extremely close and I would not have been surprised if the Ghanaian had been awarded the decision. I don’t think, however, that you could seriously argue that the result was fixed. I agree with you that Pacquiao’s next two opponents should be Mosley and the winner of Marquez vs. Mayweather.

Name : Rick Stevens
Country : USA
Your Question :
Bob Arum can try and put any sort of spin he wants on it, there is only one fight for Manny Pacquiao on November 14 and that is against Sugar Shane Mosley. Cotto is damaged goods. Arum knows it. The fans know it. Pacquiao knows it. The only one who doesn’t is Cotto himself.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Rick, I too would love to see Pacquiao vs. Mosley but that fight looks dead in the water at the moment. Not so sure Cotto is damaged goods. One thing I will say is Pacquiao’s hand speed will always be a problem for whoever he faces.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Rick, I don’t think Cotto is quite the same either, but I’m not ready to bury the Puerto Rican yet…Cotto may still surprise people. I just think Mosley presents a better fight for Pacquiao.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Yep, give me Pacquiao-Mosley anytime, but if I have to watch Pacquiao-Cotto instead, I’m still going to enjoy it. Cotto has been rusty in recent times, but here is his chance now to beat the best fighter in the world pound for pound. Time for Miguel to step forward and grab it.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I was extremely impressed by Cotto’s resilience and courage in his last fight against Joshua Clottey. He is a terrific fighter and I think he would give Pac-Man a hell of a fight, but he doesn’t come close to matching Pacquiao’s speed. I have to agree with you on Mosley, and I think most boxing fans would agree also.

Name : Brian Collis
Country : UK
Your Question :
I don’t think it could be more confusing. First, David Haye was going to fight Vitali Klitschko. Then it changes and Haye is going to fight Wladimir Klitschko. Then Haye gets injured and the fight is off. Now, rumour has is that Haye is now going to fight Vitali Klitschko again. Has one fighter ever had so many opponent changes at the top level in such a short time?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Brian, you’re probably right. There has been a bit of a change around. I expect the only thing to be ironed out for a Vitali fight is Haye’s end of the purse and what TV he brings to the table.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Brian, there have been many top-flight fighters who have endured several opponent changes, but I’m glad Haye is finally going to get a crack at one of the Klitschkos. I want to see what the Hayemaker can do to shake up the heavyweight division.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I actually like the David Haye-Vitali Klitschko fight better. Vitali is always in more exciting fights compared to Wladimir. It is going to be very tough for Haye trying to deal with Vitali’s height and reach, but if he can get inside and land one heavy shot on Vitali’s chin, it could be very interesting. It will be exciting while it lasts.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: It has been a bit of a merry-go-round for Haye over the last number of months, Brian. You have to hand it to him, though. He’s not content to fight the flotsam and jetsam of the division – he wants to fight the best and the two brothers are at the top.

Name : Tony Rodriguez
Country : USA
Your Question :
I was impressed with the performance of Joseph Agbeko on Saturday night. I have enjoyed Vic Darchinyan’s performances of late, but Agbeko simply shut him down. I just hope Don King doesn’t hide this new star away now for another 12 months!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Tony, I think the win over Darchinyan will now open a few more doors. So I expect to see Agbeko in bigger fights.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Tony, I hear that Yonnhy Perez will be inserted as Agbeko’s mandatory defense. Perez is an undefeated Colombian fighting out of California. He’s handled by American promoters (Thompson Boxing), so we should be seeing Agbeko again sooner than later.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Agbeko fought a smart fight. He is tough, has good punches and a solid chin. Mr King, I want to see more of Agbeko...NOW!


Name : Sam Martens
Country : USA
Your Question :
This new Showtime super middleweight tournament looks the goods. Amazing how they have been able to put together so many fights so far ahead. Great concept with the points table. Who do the team see as the favourites before the first fight?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: It is a great achievement, Sam. But a no brainer really. Think about it? It took the promoters long enough but they got there in the end. This concept means the boxers get to fight three times, win, lose or draw. For the first time in boxing history a boxer is guaranteed three big paydays. If I had to stick my nose out, I’d have to go for Kessler, Abraham and Froch

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Sam, I’m going out on a limb and picking Andre Ward to win Showtime 168 lbs. tournament.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Congratulations to Showtime and the promoters for making this tournament happen. It is often hard to make one big fight with only two promoters and two boxers involved, but to get six of them to agree is almost a miracle. It just shows you the good things that can happen in boxing when people really want to make it happen. I’m elevating Showtime to my No.1 TV Boxing Network ranking this week! Anyone for Kessler vs. Abraham?

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I’m really excited about this tournament, Sam. I covered a similar Showtime tourney a couple of years ago with Anthony Hanshaw and Jean Paul Mendy fighting to a draw in the finale. Granted, the names were not as impressive, but the concept was brilliant. I would make Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler the frontrunners for this upcoming tournament but the line-up is extremely solid.

Name : Ryan Ticehurst
Country : Hong Kong
Your Question :
Interested to hear all of your thoughts on who is the best ring announcer today. Is it a showdown between Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jr, or are there some other serious contenders out there?

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: No disrespect Ryan, but I have no time or energy to waist on who is the best ring announcer. I fully understand ring announcers contribute to the big fight occasion but when I hear some so called celebrity announcers get paid nearly as much money than boxers taking part in a lower weight world title fight something has to be wrong. Even then they only announce two or three fights on the night.

GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Ryan, that’s a tough call. I like Buffer and Lennon Jr. Each guy has his own style. I miss Mark Beiro.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I’m with Greg, Beiro had his own unique style which I enjoyed. As for Buffer vs. Lennon Jr, do you like Let’s Get Ready To Rumble or It’s Showtime, more? Tough call. I enjoy them both. Give me Lewis vs. Tyson. Buffer introduced Lennox and Lennon Jr announced Mike. That fight was special in so many ways.

MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I like them both, Ryan. As far as an heir to either throne - I really like Lupe Contreras. He’s a quality ring announcer.


Photo of Arturo Gatti & Micky Ward by Tom Casino


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