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ATE: Berto,Khan vs Mayweather Jr and Much More
In this week’s Ask The Editor some of our loyal and knowledgeable readers question Andre Berto’s weekend win, Amir Khan’s intention to face Floyd Mayweather Jr and much more.
Name: Patrick MacKenzie
Question: On the Move -- S/O World Rankings wrote: "Regardless of the outcome of Mayweather-Ortiz, Berto-Ortiz II is a fight that makes as much sense in boxing as Mayweather-Pacquiao. It needs to happen. Andre Berto has more than earned his shot at redemption." I like Berto, and he was aggressive against Zaveck, but I don’t know if he earned a rematch. I saw a Berto in a fight where his opponent was waiting for him to tire a bit then started to counter punch and maybe would have beat him in the later rounds. I think Berto needs to work on pacing himself more, setting more traps for his opponents and polishing up his defense. Otherwise I see him getting beat by Ortiz again, and beat by other top-rung 147 pounders.
Clive Bernath: I see your point Patrick and there I do agree to a certain extent but I think in a way you answered your own question. Berto did wait for his opponent to tire before breaking Zaveck down and for me that’s the sign of a clever boxer.
Name: Naeem Hussain
Question: Hey guys His last 3 opponents have been carefully handpicked, big names who looked to be a legitimate threat - Marquez, Mosley and now Ortiz. Hindsight makes geniuses of us all, but it’s clear Marquez’ size and speed disadvantages rendered his skill level redundant and Mosley turned out to be over the hill. I think Mayweather knew neither of those fights were truly 50-50, but he realised the public and much of the boxing media would believe they were. Now with Victor Ortiz he again has picked a perfect opponent to boost his profile; young, strong and hungry. And a southpaw like Pacquiao. I think the longer Mayweather delays the big fight with Manny the better his chances of winning comfortably. He’s a superbly conditioned athlete who has never taken punishment in the ring, and who seems unaffected by his regular layoffs. Pacquiao on the other hand has faced bigger and stronger opponents consistently over the last 3 years. While this solidifies his status as pound for pound number one, there’s no doubt it’s also added mileage to his legs wear and tear. Even though he comfortably beat Antonio Margarito, he took plenty of flush punches from a man 17lbs heavier on the night. And against the reluctant Mosley, he showed what seemed to be the first signs of slowing down, suffering leg cramps and being unable to catch up to Shane. I think in Mayweather’s eyes, it’s all going according to plan. He fights once every 15 months, conserving his body, while he watches Pacquiao fight 2-3 times a year against either bigger men or in Marquez, an opponent who might just have his number. I really believe Mayweather will only get in the ring with Pacquiao when the odds are significantly stacked in his favour. In his eyes, he’s the greatest fighter of all time, and despite saying all the right things, he doesn’t feel the need to prove it.
Clive Bernath: Naeem, that’s very perceptible of you . Happen to think you could be right. But also think Mayweather is a super fit naturally gifted boxer and would be favoured to defeat Pacquiao regardless of when they fight. But I do think Floyd may just be guaranteeing a w by delaying the fight for another year or so.
Jason Pribila: Hello Naeem, and thank you for writing. What is so amazing about this potential fight is that boxing fans will be able to agree to disagree on: Who would win this fight? Who is to blame that the fight has not taken place yet? Who will have the better career when all is said and done?
You make some valid points, but I would like to show you how easy they are to be countered.
You claim that Mayweather is waiting for Pacquaio to slow down before he gets in the ring with him. Floyd is two years older than Manny, and based on their styles it would be much more dangerous and likely for Floyd’s slippage to show up sooner and be more detrimental to keeping his “0”. Floyd is a defensive fighter who relies on his reflexes to keep him safe from harm. He is much more technically sound than Roy Jones Jr. was, but the decline of defensive fighters is usually more apparent and irreversible. If this fight does not happen by May of 2012, I believe Mayweather’s window to beat Pacquiao will begin to close.
It is easy to look at Mayweather’s past three opponents and claim they were hand-picked, but that same 20/20 vision could also tarnish Pacquiao’s last six opponents (including De La Hoya). Oscar and Cotto are bigger men, but they were forced to drain themselves before getting in the ring, and neither were considered at their peak prior to signing the contracts. Margarito was there to take a beating. Clottey was there to collect a payday. And Mosley was given the fight after being de-fanged by Mayweather. In fact, when Mosley originally asked for the fight, Freddie Roach said Mosley would have to drop to 142lbs to face Pacquaio. When asked why Mosley would have to drop so much more weight than Oscar, Roach replied, “They are different fighters”. However, when Mosley finally showed his 39 years in the ring, he was given a spot on a major PPV. And finally, one can not use Marquez to discredit Mayweather and then serve as a feather in the Congressman’s cap. Pacquaio and Mayweather are campaigning at welterweight, and each have shown they are superior in that division than Marquez, who is at most a lightweight. I agree that Pacquiao’s dimensions and style have meshed will with Marquez in the past, but the version of Marquez that went life and death with Michael Katsidis won’t have nearly as much when he faces Pacquaio three divisions north of their last meeting.
Derek Bonnett: Naeem, I have long suspected that PBF is more obsessed with his "0" than even money. His "0" separates him from the vast majority of great fighters in history because in his mind the fact that he hasn’t lost means he cannot lose. He often brags that there is no blueprint to beat him. However, I also believe he has seen something in Manny Pacquiao these last couple of years that has made him doubt his invincibility, which is why we know see him fight Victor Ortiz instead. While I think PBF’s opposition is still fine, I agree that he is avoiding the obvious fight. I have gone on record before stating that I no longer believe the PBF-Pac showdown will happen. My mind has not changed yet. I am of the opposite mindset though. I think the longer the fight delays, the better Pac’s chances improve because he is keeping busy without long layoffs. His body has not given any indication that it is giving out on him and his lifestyle is a healthy one. PBF has complained of back issues, fights once a year at best, and has his name mixed in with copious litigations that cannot be good for his spirit. Even worse, he is losing the support of African American fans. He has disappointed them and was loudly booed and referred to as female genitalia at the Ortiz-Berto card in Connecticut. The worst thing you can do to a classic automobile is not to drive it around once in awhile. PBF is doing more damage to himself than conserving his form by remaining inactive. He still has enough to frustrate Victor Ortiz into a late round TKO, but I don’t know that he has what it will take to beat Manny Pacquiao at this stage of his game.
Name Gert-Jan van Niwmegen
The website is not online anymore, but is it possible to see the websitewww.dannywilliams.tv? Interested what information was on it! Looking forward to your reply!
Clive Bernath: Hi Gert. SecondsOut were commissioned by Danny to build his website a number of years ago. When Danny’s career became more low key his website became and less updated and eventually went offline
Jason Pribila: Greetings Gert-Jan, I was never on the website, and I am unable to access it now. Williams is scheduled to face 47-year old Al Cole in September. My guess is that the website would contain threads from fans asking what he had to gain from fighting a guy that has 1 victory (a split decision against Joey Abell) in the last 8 years. Perhaps we would even see some video of Williams working out by shovelling some dirt on the heavyweight division?
Name Bianca Brizzi
Question: I’m looking for TV Ringside footage of Ben Brizzi from the 1960s.....it’s very important to me! Any idea how I’d go about it? Thank you....
Clive Bernath: Besides what Jason suggests it may be an idea to log onto Youtube. You be able to find footage there.
Jason Pribila: Hello Bianca, I, unfortunately, don’t have any connections in the US or overseas to anyone that is willing/able to trade fight footage. I would suggest trying Ebay, or possibly looking for threads on this and other boxing websites. Good luck!
Derek Bonnett: I don’t have anything useful for Ben Brizzi, so I’ll pass on those.
Name Ben N
Question RE Mares Agbeko, has there ever been an incident when a fighter sued a referee for gross professional negligence? If some of those low blows that were not called have cost Agbeko the title, doesn’t that amount to a loss of future earning potential due to the professional negligence of others?? Or is this sort of thing covered in a standard fight contract? People make mistakes and nobody is perfect, but a doctor makes a mistake, an accountant makes a mistake, a bouncer makes a mistake and you get the point. Could this avenue ever open up? Will Don King be running out to get a law degree any time soon? (though I am sure he would have sued Agbeko for wearing the wrong cup, and injuring Mares’ hand)
Clive Bernath: That’s a very good question, Ben. There would of course have been a standard contract and then a few non standard but detailed points agreed by all parties. I certainly cannot remember off the top of my head a case where the referee was sued. I would think that the sanctioning body would have this covered. In any case an appeal process would have been heard by the sanctioning body and a decision made as to whether a rematch should be granted.
Jason Pribila: Hello Ben. Thank you for writing an excellent question. I am not aware of any legal grounds that a fighter would have as far as suing a referee, or even a judge for that matter. I think getting an immediate rematch is as good as Agbeko could have hoped for. That being said, Teddy Atlas went on a poignant rant on ESPN a few weeks ago discussing the impact that a bad decision has on a fighter. Not only does it take time away from a fighter’s relatively small professional peak, but it also forces a fighter to absorb hundreds of extra punches in sparring and fights to get back to the place that they were prior to being robbed. Hopefully commissions and sanctioning bodies will take into consideration the amount of money and damage a bad call from a ref or judge could cost a fighter, and at the very least ensure that those responsible will never be in position to again have an adverse impact on an athlete or the sport.
Derek Bonnett: Ben N., I like the way you are thinking in regard to Russell Mora’s lack of officiating, but I feel this would fall under the same realm of bad judging. There have been plenty of appeals to overturn decisions, but those come up flat. With the bad officiating of a referee, and I can’t think of an instance comparable to Mora’s shameful display, we can at least embrace the fact that an immediate rematch has been issued. I don’t see the matter developing in the legal sense unless another investigation was carried out and it was determined that there was evidence of a fix being set up by promoters, management, the sanctioning bodies, etc. Don King works with Agbeko, so I don’t see any reason to think he had a hand in this. One factor that could help rectify situations like this somewhat would be to embrace the use of instant replay between round to correct bad calls.
Name Patrick McKenzie
Question What the… freak! Amir Khan stops Zab Judah then, soon afterwards, says he’d be willing to submit to any blood testing demands to score a fight with Mayweather Jr., possibly in 2012. AMIR, did you forget you train at Wild Card with Freddy Roach and spar with Manny Pacquiao? Do you think the post-fight adrenaline/enthusiasm got the best of Khan? Because, surely, Amir didn’t confer with Roach before tossing that offer out there to Mayweather, right? I mean how is Freddy going to defend his biggest crown jewel, Pacman, from questions like ‘your stable mate, Amir Khan, is willing to submit to testing to get Floyd in the ring, how come you’re not willing, Manny?’ Do you see Khan doing a retraction/correction of that blood-testing offer if Floyd enters fight negotiations with Amir? I mean after a number of lame excuses, such as “Manny is scared of needles” and “blood testing will drain Manny”, the “we won’t let Mayweather dictate the terms of the fight” is the only defense left that seems to resonate with the boxing public. So do you see Khan’s offer as a gaff, or some sort of a political maneuver to somehow entice Mayweather into what is becoming/now two – Khan & Pacquiao vs Mayweather -- huge money fights? My own thoughts are these: Roach’s plan = send Khan into battle to scout-out Mayweather. Try out some Freddy-Roach tactics, find out what Money has left at age 35, and if not win the fight at least soften him up for the bigger dog, Pacman. (If Khan plays it somewhat safe and doesn’t get stopped, he escapes with a huge pay check, more experience, his reputation intact, and at about 25 years old plenty of time to bounce back.) Then after Mayweather cashes the huge Khan paycheck hope Floyd will loosen his blood-testing demands in negotiations with Pacquiao. What do you guys think?
Clive Bernath; Wow Patrick that’s some imagination. Maybe Amir did allow his mouth to run away before engaging thought. But lets not forget Amir is his own man and of course he’s looking for the big payday, as all top boxers should. Fair play to Amir, he’s willing to face Mayweather Jr. Lets not also forget that Manny is a much bigger draw than Amir and would command as much of the financial pie. Amir does not have as much to bargain with and will have to give ground in every way.
Jason Pribila: Hey Patrick, I do not think you will see a retraction from Khan regarding his comments about blood testing. His willingness to take the tests has nothing to do with Pacquaio. In fact, by working with the same conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, Khan passing these tests will only help lift suspicion from Manny. As you pointed out, Pacquaio’s reasons for not taking the tests had to do with his belief that it would weaken him on fight night. If Khan has different beliefs, more power to him. I do not see Khan fighting Mayweather any time soon. Mayweather does not need Amir Khan to cash huge checks, and I can’t see him crossing the pond to fight anyone. First of all, I’m not sure how many members of Team Mayweather would be given a passport; and secondly, Khan has yet to prove he is a ticket seller in the US. I think we will see Khan’s next opponent on HBO PPV on Sept. 17th. Lucas Matthysse will retire Erik Morales, and be poised for a shot at Khan’s title in December. It is an easy fight to make. Matthysse is promoted by Golden Boy, and despite losing two controversial decisions, he continues to prove he is willing to fight anyone. I am really hoping that Roach will get all the scouting tapes he needs when Mayweather faces southpaw Victor Ortiz, and nothing stands in the way of finally making Mayweather - Pacquiao in May of 2012. More likely, I’ll be responding to letters asking me,“Who’s 0 is gonna go?”; between Mayweather and Timothy Bradley
Derek Bonnett:Patrick, I don’t agree with everything you stated. First of all, Khan has every right to advance his career by making bold challenges to the best available contenders. Like his stablemate, Manny Pacquiao, the best available fighter in his division won’t fight him (Timothy Bradley) because he too wants the big payoff. Everyone from 154 down to 135 wants to be in the Pacquiao or Mayweather Sweepstakes. Truth be told, I don’t see PBF-Pac happening, so Khan is not stepping on Manny’s toes in anyway. Maybe he had some post-fight adrenaline doing the talking, but who cares? He is not my first choice for Mayweather, but he isn’t a bad option if Pacquiao is going to be avoided. Roach may be trying to manuever Khan into PBF’s path because he wants to beat PBF as much as Pacquiao. He can learned a lot from his number two charge squaring off with Mayweather, so I think you might be onto something here. Khan is not without his chances in that fight either. However, there is no way Mayweather jumps right into a Pacquiao fight just because he made some money against Khan. I think PBF is scared to death of losing his unbeaten record and that is the primary reason he has not faced Pacquiao. It is going to take an astronomical payday to get PBF inside the ring with the greatest fighter of his era.
September 5, 2011