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15 NOVEMBER 2018


ATE: Winky, Calzaghe v legends (and Kessler), A Force win

In this week’s Ask the Editors, we field questions regarding Winky Wright’s win over Ike Quartey, Joe Calzaghe v the 168lbs icons (is Joe the best super-middle ever?) and Joe’s obligation (or lack thereof) to fight Mikkel Kessler and/or Jermain Taylor. Plus, what do the SecondsOuters make of Audley Harrison’s impressive stoppage win over Danny Williams?

First Name : J.Frank
Last Name : Hernandez
Country : USA
Your Question : In the recent Wright-Quartey fight, Ike appeared to be winning the second round pretty handily when he was knocked down by Winky late in the round. Questionable call on the knockdown, but that’s another story. My question is, why should a round that appeared to be 10-9 for Quartey at that point become 10-8 for Wright because of a late knockdown? It seems to me that it should have been 9-9 since Quartey was clearly winning the round. I know this logic only applies in certain cases, but this seems like one of those cases.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Yes, judges have the leeway not to award a 10-8 round to a fighter who has scored a knockdown if the round was otherwise going the other way. I also believe that the second round knockdown accredited to Wright was a slip and I would have scored it 10-10.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: A knock down almost always merits a 10-8 round, and I think that is almost always fair, unless the round is completely one sided. In that case it should be a 10-9 round. I thought the Quartey knock down was questionable, but regardless, I think it was correct to score the round 10-8 to Winky. It was a close round, and Quartey did not do enough to warrant a 10-9 scoring. Knocking a fighter down is not easy to do, and it should be rewarded.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Excellent point! It is actually one of the bigger misconceptions in boxing. How many times do you see a boxer getting an automatic 10-8 round for a knockdown when they lost the round? Plenty of times! And nothing is usually said. The key is seperating the knockdown itself and everything else that happened in the round. Score the round as you would normally do, then take off the point for the knockdown, remembering that the winner of the round must get the 10.

First Name : Chris
Last Name : Dolan
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : Instead of talking a lot of BS Palle should be trying to get his fighter Kessler more exposure by fighting a top American himself if he wants Calzaghe. There are a couple of reasons why Joe is the No 1 SM in the world (well apart from your website) firstly he beat at the time the No 2 Jeff Lacy and secondly he has been world champ for nine years. Kessler has gone to Australia to beat Mundine I give him credit for that but Lucas, Siaca and Beyer are not any better then Brewer, Mitchell and Woodhall. Palle has to build Kessler up as a serious threat to Joe to give him a reason to fight him because a the moment he is just a beltholder. Like to know your thoughts?

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I agree that Kessler’s CV is not what Calzaghe’s is if you make a direct comparison. But then again Kessler has been a champ for just two years while Calzaghe has reigned for nine. That’s of enormous credit to Joe, but you can’t blame Kessler for not having beaten more than contenders when he’s only just got to world level.

Whether or not you have Joe or Kessler at No.1, there’s not question that each has to fight the other in order to settle who the main man at 168lbs is.

Surely you accept that Mundine (away) and Lucas and Beyer are bigger and better wins for a new champion than Bronco Sobot, Juan Carlos Gimenez and Robin Reid (a fight some believe Joe lost)? And I’m sure you’ll agree that Beyer was way better than Bika and that Kessler’s next opponent - Librado Andrade - is leagues above Joe’s next assignment against undersized Contender loser Peter Manfredo.

But, yes, Kessler has to keep fighting the best available opposition if he is to make HBO notice him.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You make a good point Chris. But I think Kessler and his promoter are doing everything they can so far. They won the WBA title, added the WBC title to Kessler’s waist. Mikkel clearly called out Calzaghe after beating Beyer. Because of the European rivalry, of course Kessler is going to be after Calzaghe as opposed to anyone else in the USA. I think Calzaghe has the claim to being the best super middleweight in the world. But by beating Kessler who has the WBA and WBC titles, he can re-enforce his reign as being the world’s best. I have said this before in ATE. We all saw the talent Calzaghe has in his win over Lacy. Why waste such gifts against Peter
Manfredo, when he could have faced Kessler and won two more world titles?

First Name : Thomas
Last Name : Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : After reading mikel kesslers’s promoters argument on your website for Kessler being the best at super middle and after seeing Joe Calzaghe’s response on BBC sports personality of the year when asked why he was fighting a reality TV star I have to ask the question is he ducking the best? I disagree with camp kessler in that Lacy v Calzaghe was a foregone conclusion I truly believe it was far and away the greatest sporting performance of a British sportsman for years. However prior to that fight Calzaghe only usually fought fighters a couple of bouts after Sven Ottke had already beaten them and I truly believe that regardless of what HBO think Joe should pick his own opposition and fight the best as he already has all the money he needs and its his legacy he should now concern himself with.

Mikkel Kessler is the only fight at super middleweight for Joe Calzaghe. If he was to beat Kessler, especially to do it in Denmark, he would become automatically the best ever at the weight he would supass James Toney, roy Jones, Nigel Benn, Steve Collins and Sven Ottke overnight. Whatever he did after beating Kessler would become extra. So if Joe wants to be reme bered as the best ever then he should fight Kessler ASAP and after he’s fought and beat him as I believe he would as long as he fights him very very soon he can then go on to box these American light middle weights and Id love to see him destroy Jermain Taylor for one just as a little revenge for the robbery’s of one Bernard Hopkins.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I’m not sure you can put Joe Calzaghe above Roy Jones or James Toney if he beats Kessler (particularly Jones at 168, the man was as near to invincible as you are ever likely to get), but I see your point. Calzaghe would gain huge respect if he were to take the fight, I just dont think he will. I believe he wants a big American name if he is going to take a risk, and Kessler is a big risk with not as much reward.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Great email, well thought out and considered. A win over Kessler will unquestionably put Joe over the top in terms of being the best super-middleweight ever (although there’s a powerful argument that he’s No.1 already). Roy Jones wasn’t at the weight for long enough and Toney not only got shutout by Jones but also came close to losing other fights. Jones and perhaps Toney have done more in their career, but within the 168lbs division, Joe is the man. I just wish Calzaghe would have fought Beyer, Ottke and now Kessler instead of the Rick Thornberry’s and Tocker Pigswills.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Good email Thomas. The fact is, Calzaghe fighting Manfredo is a business decision. By facing the American who has a good name after his experience on The Contender, Calzaghe can get a good pay day and USA exposure on the HBO network. Calzaghe doesn’t have to face Kessler. Nobody can force him to. If he were to retire without facing Kessler, boxing fans and history will ultimately be the judge of Calzaghe’s decision not to fight the obvious challenge to his reign as super middleweight champion of the world. What was it that Kessler said to Joe after beating Beyer, "if you dare?"

First Name : Chris
Last Name : Lewis
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : When is Morgen Palle going to bring forward a credible argument for Mikkel Kessler being the number 1 at Super Middleweight? I have just read his latest diatribe against the recognised number 1 Calzaghe and yet again it has the usual inaccuracies, bullshit and accusations against Joe which could easily be levelled at Kessler. Lets make this clear once and for all, Kessler in his last fights has beaten Beyer who was shot and got knocked out by Catley years ago, 35 year old Eric Lucas, Manny Sciacca, Andre Thysse who was ko’d by light punching Brian Magee and Julio Cesar Green(25 of 34 fights at middleweight)! Hardly a distinguished bunch and hardly the names you can use to state Kessler has fought top fighters whereas Joe has fought no-one. Secondly Kessler has fought only twice away from home, so has Joe.

So again the argument that Kessler travels for the tough fights whereas Joe doesn’t, does not stand up. Lastly he talks about Joe fighting built up, rubbish Middleweights yet Bika fought for a world title at Super Middleweight as well as Middleweight, Ashira fought for the MIddleweight world title and Lacy and Mitchell were super middleweight world champions. So recent defences have been good fighters. Not the fighters we want to see Joe in with, but certainly comparable in quality to Kessler’s opponents. Incidentally everyone now says Lacy was poor but no one wanted to fight him last year did they?! Calzaghe is unbeaten, the longest reigning world champion and deserves respect. If Palle is going to denigrate his achievements surely he has to produce arguments that withstand even the slightest scrutiny!! He may think Kessler could beat Joe and he’s entitled to his opinion, but when it comes to comparing achievements and opposition Kessler is clearly second best! What do you guys think?

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I think you are spot on Chris.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: The difference between Kessler’s and Calzaghe’s travel habits is that Joe went abroad to Denmark to fight a bum in Will McIntyre and a guy he’s already KO’d in one in Mario Veit (and only then because his promoter lost a purse bid); while Kessler went to Australia to fight a Mundine many believed would defeat him.

Yes, like I said above, a CV v CV comparison favours Calzaghe but then so it should. He is at the end of his world title career (he’s hinting at retirement) while Kessler is but two years into his aged 27. But, again, in terms of quality of opposition, there’s not much in it because Joe’s record is padded out with also-rans and stiffs. If Kessler keeps on fighting the level of opposition he has been doing until he is 34, there’s no question he’ll eclipse Calzaghe’s reign.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Let’s not forget, fighters fight and promoters promote. Of course Kessler’s promoter is going to push his case. That’s his job. The reason for Calzaghe to fight Kessler is because he has two world title belts and is undefeated. Joe doesn’t have to fight him. That is the business of boxing. But if you are a fan of Calzaghe, wouldn’t you love to see him knock off Kessler? Lennox Lewis told me this year that when boxers only fight for money, they are setting themselves up for a fall. You have got to fight for history. Calzaghe beating Kessler and winning the WBC and WBA titles is history making and will add to his legacy.


First Name : Mark
Last Name : Skene
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : I was wondering who you guys thought would win if Jermain Taylor and Joe Calzaghe fight next year. I personally feel that if the fight is in the next 12 months Calzaghe wins a relatively comfortable points decision. Beyond 12 months it’s a question of how quickly Calzaghe ages. I’m even more confident of this after Taylor’s win over Ouma last weekend. Never before have I been so unimpressed by a champion scoring a near shut out victory. If Ouma hadn’t been naturaly at least one and probably two weight divisions below Taylor I feel he may have walked through his wide arm punches and lazy back foot style. I was prepared to give Taylor the benifit of the doubt against fighters of the calibure of Hopkins and Winky Wright. He found an uninspiring way to win (dubiously) against Hopkins and draw (i felt he did win) against Wright but against a middleweight as small as Ouma he really should be imposing himself a bit more. Easier said than done I know aganist such a game opponent but he should at least be trying to take charge in his home town. I really don’t see how his wild telegraphed punches will do anything but provide a fighter as fast as Calzaghe with anything other than the perfect opening to land his own combinations. At 12 stone Talylor looses the main advantage he has had in the Ouma and Wright fights, his size. His hight and reach are still marginally bigger than Calzaghe but too close to make a real difference. I really hope Calzaghe gets over his fear of fighting in the states as it would be a much bigger win than the Jeff Lacy fight but there’s no way Taylor is going to come over here to fight him, especially after what happend to Lacy.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I think Joe Calzaghe would smash Jermain Taylor to pieces. Joe turns 35 next March but he’s got loads more stamina than Taylor will ever have, he’s faster, he’s much more skilful, he’s much the bigger puncher and, above all, Joe is a natural fighting man while I now doubt whether Jermain really is. I think Calzaghe will stop Taylor late on or take a one-sided decision. I just can’t envision a Taylor win under any circumstances v Joe. It’d be a slaughter, in my view.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I don’t agree with Ant that Calzaghe would smash him to pieces, but I do think he would out box him convincingly, and give him a bit of a beating for good measure. Taylor is one tough man, but his technical deficiencies would give Calzaghe opportunities galore. I think they are probably equal when it comes to punch power, but Calzaghe is too speedy and too confident to be given serious problems. I could see Taylor making a fight of it, but Calzaghe is one step above him in class if you ask me.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: If Calzaghe faces Jermain Taylor at the MEN Arena in Manchester at 2am in the morning to suit a live HBO coverage, Calzaghe wins on points comfortably. The real questions is, will Calzaghe fight in the USA or will Taylor fight in the UK? Who will be the one to give up home country advantage?


First Name : Declan
Last Name : Cronin
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : Hi guys. Just wanted to say how hacked off i am that Audley Harrison won at the weekend. His post-fight interview showed him in full flow in terms of arrogance and continuing to bleat on about all that Olympic crap. .like anyone cares anymore! He reminds me of Shannon Briggs in that he thinks he can start shooting his mouth of again now that he has had one good result. He won’t convince me till he’s 2 or 3 more against decent opponents. Williams was clearly at the end of the road. I don’t doubt Harrison’s talent etc but he seems to be much the same person as before so I wonder if anything has really changed. My attentions are firmly focused on Khan and Mitchell whose attitude I just love. What do you guys think?

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I hear you, Declan. Audley was basically instructing the British public to support him, but it just doesn’t work that way. If and when Harrison fights Skelton, I think the fans will be lusting for a Skelton win, big time. Harrison has rubbed too many people the wrong way for too long for one good win to wash the ill-feeling away.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I saw the fight, and I have to be honest, Danny looked a million miles from the fighter that destroyed Mike Tyson in 2004. Yes, Audley looked good, but I think its a bit premature for him to be talking about Wladimir Klitschko. He beat a fighter who had prepared for 1 week, and been on the end of some of the most fearsome punches ever thrown in a ring. Danny has gone to war at least 4 times too many, and just could not take punches like he used to. Audley definately sensed this and took advantage, but he has to do alot more to get the public behind him.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Agreed Declan. Now that Audley has showed what he has got, let’s follow up with another win over a top ten opponent. A win will then shoot him into world title fight contention. No time to waste. Let’s get moving!

First Name : graham
Last Name : lengthorn
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : after i watched Audley Harrison win ths weekend and although it was a good win all the talk about being heavyweight champion in 2007 seamed a bit over the top for me, lets not forget that Danny Williams was a late replacement, 1 good win in 23 fights does not earn you a world title shot and i assume he will fight matt Skelton next I dont think he will have the fight all his own way there, I know the heavy weight division is not great but do you guys think he will even fight for a belt in 2007 and how do you think he would do against the current champs.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I think the Harrison we saw Saturday can win a version of the world title, yes. I’d tip Harrison against the useless con-man Briggs anyday, and think he could well outbox Maskaev and Valuev on a good day But I think Wladimir would hammer him, though.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: If that Audley Harrison showed up, I’d give him a very good shot against all the title holders. However, it’s useless to speculate, as one good performance doesn’t mean a great deal.  Buster Douglass produced one of the most stunning performances in the history of the ring, and based on that one fight, he could have beaten any fighter in any period. However, it was a one off, and he didn’t amount to much afterwards. Consistency is the key to judging a fighters chances in title shots, and Audley has to show some for critics and fans to take him seriously.

First Name : Chris
Last Name : Dolan
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : Well, well, well Audley actually can fight after all. I was not really expecting a good fight for Harrison Williams 2 but for the three rounds that it lasted it was exciting stuff. Hopefully Aud can go on from here now he has the confidence given the state of the heavyweight division he must have a chance at one of the big four belts. Didn’t like the booing much at the end, for god sake there is some pretty small minded people around . Anyway how far do you guys think that Audley can go?

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: See above for my picks on Harrison v world champions but re: the booing. I think the stoppage could have looked a little too soon for the fans at the back of the hall and, well, the British public just don’t like Harrison...

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I’d like to see Audley go all the way, I really would. I think he could be a great asset to British boxing, but he needs to back his talk up with more action. He performed superbly against Danny, but once again, it was one good performance after several bad ones. As for the booing, I don’t like it when anyone does that to fighters. I think that kind of disrespect is totally uncalled for. It is also a good indicator as to exactly whom in the arena has never boxed before.

First Name : Andy
Last Name : James
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : Hi guys, At the moment, I am absolutely loving the Welterweight division. I think there is the potential there for many,many big fights involving the likes of Margarito, Cotto and co. I was very impressed with Cotto’s Welterweight debut. Which leads me on to my first question; being as though I am in the UK, I haven’t seen much, if at all, of Paul Williams, but I have heard a hell of a lot. Just how good is he? Can he realistically beat a Margarito or a Cotto, if they are on top form? And another sneaky Q; I’m a big fan of both Junior Witter and Ricky Hatton. Who in your opinion(s) would win a fight between these two, bearing in mind it would be at light welterweight - (who knows - maybe throw in the WBC, IBF, IBO Welterweight titles as well) - could be a brilliant fight.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Williams is a very tall, all action puncher with a lot of variety and who can fight on the inside. I don’t think he’s done enough yet to justify his hype as the new Tommy Hearns but if he beats Margarito next he’ll have convinced me.

I think Hatton v Witter is a mismatch. There was a time around 2000 - 2003 when I went back and forth on who’d win but no more.

Put it this way: if I said Fighter A had forced Kostya Tszyu to quit on his stool, beaten the man who was coming off the KO and Upset of the Year (Maussa) and then moved up in weight at six weeks notice and still beaten of the best young champions at that higher weight (Collazo). And he’s in against Fighter B, who is five years older, less experienced at world level, hasn’t scored single KO against a decent opponent, has terrible stamina, who struggled to beat an average British fighters (Lynes), needed a gift decision to beat EBU level Andreaes Kotelnik, who would you put your money on?

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I think Paul Williams is the real deal. I saw him hammer Sharmba Mitchell, and I have to say, it was a Tommy Hearnsesque performance. I could quite easily see him beating Margarito and Cotto given his incredible physical attributes. He punches incredibly hard, and is very skilful as well. If I were any of the other guys at 147, I’d stay well away from him.

I think Hatton vs Witter would make an interesting fight, and I sway back and forwards as to whom I think would win. I think Hatton is a better fighter than Witter, and by far the more accomplished, but Witter has an extremely tricky style that would give Hatton fits. I’d probably make Hatton the favourite, but not by a long way.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I don’t think we will know for sure about Williams until he fights for a world title, but right now he looks like a great addition to the welterweight elite. Let’s see him into the mix as soon as possible.

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