In this edition of Ask the Editor, we talk about Chris Byrd’s return to Germany to face Big Wlad, there’s more apathy for Mayweather v Judah, Hatton v Mayweather is on the agenda again and one reader questions whether Barrera really wants any more of the Pac-Man. Enjoy.
BYRD WILL GET ROASTED IN GERMANY
First Name : Johnboy
Last Name : Walton
Country : USA
Your Question :
Byrd v. Klitschko 2 is really risky for Byrd. Byrd has no chance of knocking Klitschko out, and the fight is taking place in GERMANY. Germany’s reputation for stinky hometown decisions is infamous. If the fight is remotely close and goes to the cards, it is almost certain that Byrd will get robbed.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Byrd’s performances have been slipping and now at the age of 35 and with only one fight in the last fifteen months, Wladimir would appear to have a very good chance of winning again. He beat Byrd convincingly nearly six years ago. I agree, it will be hard for Byrd to change things around. But then on the other hand, Wladimir does not appear to be the prospect he was when he last beat Byrd. It could well be that the winner of this fight will continue to struggle in the future. But with the level of competition around at heavyweight, who truly knows?
ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Byrd feels that Klitschko has gone backwards and that he himself is punching harder than he was in 2000, which is probably the case. However, it is very difficult for me to envision anything other than a Klitschko win here, Johnboy. How’s those dimples doing, anyway?
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Chris Byrd has had to fight Don King for so many years with regard to securing championship fights, trying to secure a respectable payday and just having DKP’s keep to their agreements, he may be exhausted at this point, mentally worn down. Chris Byrd is known in boxing circles as a true gentleman, a very liked man of character... he just doesn’t excite a broad base of boxing fans... now in his mid-30s he’s either decided to roll the dice with respect to his career or he’s more confident than we might understand. Few sports give evidence to the paradoxes that boxing does, so it might be a case of a bit of both. Perhaps the Michigan Magician feels that Klitschko is now slowed considerably, his stamina not what it was and perhaps, just perhaps, he’s not the monster in Germany he was say, five years ago. Generally, Byrd is banking on Klitschko feeling the pressure of renewed expectation, which would be greater in Germany than any where outside of the Ukraine for Klitschko the Younger. All of these elements are present; but, in what ratios? Byrd, we must remember, has felt like the underdog in most of his fights, for most of his life. He’s going to Germany to gamble with the balance of his money making career, perhaps having been given an effective ultimatum to do so and perhaps confident enough to accept what looks like a harsh destiny.
CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Johnboy. Wladimir is the IBF No.1 contender so Chris Byrd would have to fight the giant Ukrainian at some point anyway. Also I doubt Chris Byrd has too many options left open to him after his court case with Don recently, either.
MAYWEATHER v JUDAH IS POINTLESS
First Name : ANTHONY
Last Name : VIRAMONTES
Country : USA
Your Question :
Do you think the Mayweather vs. Judah fight will be as big as Tito and Oscar, like King and Arum say? In my opinion, not even close. I don’t think that Mayweather has ever been a big pay per view draw. To me it seems very basic, Floyd knocks out Judah quickly and easily. Judah is the type of fighter who is a great fighter, but can never take it to the next level of superstar status. People like Vargas and Gatti have that same problem.
ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I know what you are saying Anthony, but Judah is not a ’great’ fighters and I think he isn’t even a ’very good’ one either. Clive thinks the hype for Mayweather v Judah will result in a big buy-rate for HBO PPV but I am not so sure. Mayweather needed Gatti to do a good PPV number last year and Judah isn’t no Gatti when it comes to excitement or popularity. Add heart to that list, too...
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Well, Anthony, Gatti is a very big star in boxing, just below the 2006 version of Oscar... Vargas is below that level and Mayweather below him and Judah below all of them... Mayweather and Judah is what passes for a big fight in 2006 or the fight would never have been made... the numbers for "big fights" has been tumbling for over 7 years now and a pay per view buy rate of 350,000 constitutes a solid venture now... a decade ago those were "what when wrong" numbers... so, there’s a larger context here...
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I could give a detailed response to your question looking at the facts, but in one word, NO! Zab is nowhere near the same level as Oscar or Tito. Let’s not even try to make an argument for it. One thing I find interesting now about Mayweather vs. Judah, is that there is no pressure on Zab. Everyone expects him to lose badly. Will this help his performance? Will it hinder Mayweather’s? If Floyd doesn’t destroy Judah, how does this affect his perception as being the best boxer on the planet? While many people are writing this off as a mismatch, and maybe it will be, there is another scenario playing out. Can Floyd Mayweather Jr deliver exactly what is expected of him?
CLIVE BERNATH ANSWER: I agree Anthony, Judah is not a ppv fighter and Mayweather will win. Also I don’t see the ppv sales going too good either. Maybe HBO should think about selling the pre-fight build up on ppv. I have a feeling the verbal sparring between motormouths Mayweather and Judah and King and Arum will be more competitive than the actual fight.
PAC-MAN COULD BE 5 TIME CHAMP
First Name : Primo
Last Name : MItal
Country : Philippines
Your Question :
Paul Upham wrote that he would like to see the PACMAN beat Barrera and Marquez.
Do you realize that if Barrera wins vs Chavez and Marquez wins his belts back from Chris John...Manny would become a 5 time World Champion in 5 different weights if he beats these two guys?
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Good point Primo and if it did happen, no one would begrudge Manny the accolades that would be heaped upon him. Pacquiao is one of the best boxers in the world today, but I just want to see him take care of two outstanding issues; Barrera again, and Marquez.
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Primo, you have to contest a fight at a weight to be champion of it... but... there are belts a plenty if that is his/your standard of excellence... Manny is primed and in a central position generationally and in terms of his remaining competition to make a huge statement about his legacy in the sport... frankly, Barrera is in tough against Chavez and might now win... it remains to be seen what emotional baggage he’s carrying around right now after his fight with Leavander Johnson, who died following their 11 round epic battle... Thee real fight would be a rematch with Marquez, since it was almost thee signature knockout of his career which turned into a very difficult fight for him... an interesting set of ironies there... but it’s not a fight fans are burning to see... Barrera is the fight many in North America would be pumped to see... but Barrera seems willing to fight everyone BUT Pacquiao...
SICK OF SECONDSOUT HATE
First Name : Moses
Last Name : Pascal
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I love this website and I think it’s the most informative and well-balanced boxing site out there. HOWEVER, I simply cannot believe the level of bile directed at Zab Judah since his arguable defeat against King Carlos. It’s one thing to express an opinion that Carlos should be fighting PBF next, but it seems to me as though there is a personal dislike of Judah within SecondsOut and it makes me sick! So, he walked into the ring shouting out Brooklyn, is that really such a crime?! And how else can you explain all SO writers to a man, giving Judah absolutely no chance against PBF in April?! I agree that PBF is a favourite, but I would not be at all surprised to see Judah win, as he has the speed and power to trouble PBF. After all, if Chop Chop Corley can hurt PBF, what could Judah do to him?! I actually want Judah to knock out PBF now, just so that his bitter, hate-filled critics can eat their words.
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Moses, hate for Judah? No. Bewilderment turned to denegation, probably. If you are a long time fan of Judah you will remember how big the hype was surrounding this guy 6 years ago... he loved it all and lived it large... the speed, the power, the physical talent, it seemed an amazing package... yet there is also the character of the man... and since his loss to Tszyu, we have learned quite a lot about Zab Judah and for many boxing fans, he’s come off as a problem child, often annoying, ready to blame and defame and ridicule, even when he’s the one in control, as we saw in his pre-fight denegration of Baldomir... Judah’s vitriolic insults were right out of the James Toney or Bernard Hopkins play books... thing is... he didn’t win. But frankly, if he gets over one of those booming shots crosses of his or catches Mayweather inside with a cracking hook and shocks the world, well, then will have deserved it... that’s the simple math here... but, champions are more than their punishments delt and absorbed.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Moses, I cannot speak for my fellow writers, but I have no personal dislike of Zab. Rather, it saddens me that a boxer with such natural gifts has not utilised them to the fullest. Zab’s concentration and focus on the job at hand has let him down along with his refusal to fully respect his opponents and the sport. I can’t see how anyone could tip Judah over Mayweather. That’s not to say that Zab can’t win, but the evidence at hand on every level suggests that Mayweather will win. The only two things I could possible weigh in Judah’s favour is his slight size advantage and everyone expects him to lose, so there is no pressure on him. The well worn saying ’styles makes fights’, should always be taken into consideration. But so should ’recent form’ and ’boxer career momentum’. See Pacquiao vs. Morales II.
CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: First of all, Moses I’m glad you like the website and thanks for the kind words. Everyone is entitled to their opinion as indeed you are yours. Personally, I feel that Judah having lost to Carlos Baldomir should not be able to just walk straight back into a major fight. HBO obviously believe they can sell the fight, I guess though well just have to wait and see if the public agree with them.
ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Thanks for the kind words, Moses. In dealing with your point re Zab Judah, unlike most other major sites, SecondsOut has an editorial panel consisting of writers from all corners of the world. There opinions are their own and they are free to express them under our editorial policy. We don’t have meetings for conference calls to determine ’the party line’ on a fight or fighter. So, that most SecondsOut writers are independently penning negative pieces about Judah, his childish attitude, his overrated abilities in the ring and latest woeful performance tells me more about Judah than the SO team. Sorry buddy, but it is what it is...
IS DUDDY FOR REAL?
First Name : Gerard
Last Name : McLaughlin
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Hi guys, my question is about a young Irish fighter John Duddy. I see he is going for his sixteenth straight win and the seemes to be a real buzz around this lad. Unfortunately I havent been able to see him televised yet so Im just living off press reports. Have you seen him and is he as good as some make out. I know that Irish fighters in America can be over hyped. Also, my favourite boxer in the world is Erik Morales. His guts and heart and skills sum up what boxers should be about. As much as I would hate to see him retire - now might be the best time before his no fear attitude gets him in serious trouble. And all the credit to Pacquiao, this man is an awesome fighter and very much in the Morales mould. P.S. Awesome site and Morales to win the rubber match :)
ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Duddy has been featured on Eurosport, Gerard. In fact, he was on last Thursday night on the Sam Peter undercard. Look out for him there! And I really fear for Morales in the rubber match, I wish he’d retired.
PATRICK KEHOE ANWSERS: John Duddy is a high octane, gives-a-show kinda fighter with all the tools and commitment to make life difficult for his ring opponents... yes, he’s a very exciting fighter normally... he’s one of those guys what makes fans smile and yell... what can ya say?
CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Gerard I too must confess that I have not seen Duddy fight but hear very good reports about him. Yes, Erik Morales is a real credit to the sport and an excellent ambassador.
HATTON, JUDAH, MAYWEATHER
First Name : Adam
Last Name : Ellison
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
In regards to the up and coming Judah v Mayweather and proposed Hatton v Baldomir fights I find the timing of both strange. I feel firstly that Mayweather is a small welterweight and his move up in weight leaves him at a disadvantage as prospective opponents Hatton and Cotto are much tighter at 140 than Mayweather was and bigger men, so a move up in weight to 147 would suit them against Mayweather.
Judah is a small welter and Mayweather should beat him handily but
because of this Mayweather is putting himself in a no -win situation. Also if the Hatton v Baldomir fight comes off and Hatton as I expect wins he is again the man who beat the man at 147 as he was after the Tsyzu fight at 140.
It would have made more sense for Judah to have fought a top 10 contender on the same bill as a Mayweather v Baldomir match up making a fight between the two a much bigger fight and for the unified title if they both won. Mayweather may be the best p4p fighter but in his past 2 weight classes his legacy will be affected as he won’t be the man who beat the man and Hatton has said he will follow Mayweather up in weight to get the fight but I can see Mayweather moving to 154 if he can get a fight with De La Hoya. Mayweather needs a Haton fight at this stage more than Hatton when it comes to each of their legacies.
CLIVE BERNATH ANWERS: I see your point Adam. I too would like to see Hatton vs Mayweather. It’s a natural for the division and the big money fight. I know that Hatton fancies the Baldomir fight and I really admire Ricky for stepping up to the challenge and fight the man that beat the man. But Baldomir I feel could be too strong for him. Financially the big money comes against Mayweather.
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Adam, you have packed a lot in here... sooooo... here is goes... the fear is Judah might not make it to a Mayweather fight; he’s marginally vulnerable, if you like, so there’s a cash in element to the match-up... but to the point, Mayweather and Judah HATE each other... yes, the emotion is that deeply felt and of long standing... so it’s a grudge match on the scale of Morales-Barrera... combine those two factors and you have part of the solution to why things are proceeding as they are... also, since Gatti’s last win, he’s got the leverage to make - have HBO make - a fight for him/with him for the welterweight championship with Baldomir... Gatti’s a HUGE draw, bigger than Mayweather or anyone else at welterweight, so that detemines a lot here... Hatton might have to content himself with looking to fit into a ’fight the winner’ situation... frankly, media in North America don’t know Hatton... he needs a North American coming out party BEFORE taking a title fight, HBO are trying to sort out the logistics of just how that might work... Cotto was a more critical piece of the puzzle a year and a half ago, but he’s not the heir very apparent he was, thus his Top Rank, his promoters, don’t have quite the leverage with him any longer... Gatti’s the fulcrum at this point, Mayweather’s the genius, Hatton is the looming threat, Cotto is the ’X’ factor, Baldomir is the sacrificial lamb slash spoiler and Judah’s hanging around the last chance saloon...
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Adam, the tendency in professional boxing is to build towards big fights rather than putting them together straight away. After defeating Kostya Tszyu, Ricky Hatton is entitled to some easier fights before taking on Mayweather, the boxer most consider the best in the world. Boxing is a business and it comes down to balancing risk and reward for each fight. I would say that Hatton and Mayweather need each other on equal terms. Hatton is the true world champion at 140lbs, and if Mayweather doesn’t fight him, it will be held against him after he retires. Having said that, if Hatton wants to be considered a true great, he needs to beat Mayweather who is the most obvious challenge out there for him. The fight will happen, just not straight away.
BARRERA WILL GET KO’d AGAIN!
First Name : Cj
Last Name : Caparas
Country : Philippines
Your Question :
To Mr. Nuestro, I agree with you 100%. You see, I myself am a Filipino, and I agree completely that we are being underestimated by the boxing commission. If critics would think about it, there is at least 1 Filipino in every Pac-Man undercard that knocks out an opponent in the first round. All they say is it’s just luck. Well i got news for you MAB, fight Pac-Man again, and i bet my life that you will get knocked out in the 7th or 8th. GUARANTEED!!!! What do you guys think about Pac-Man’s victory over MAB in their second fight? Will it be in 5 or will he last longer? Definitely NOT a decision. MAB won’t go the distance.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: That’s a BIG guarantee! Right now, Pacquiao would be favourite to beat Barrera in a rematch. Marco would have to pull put a vintage performance to avenge his loss. But Barrera being Barrera, he could do it. That’s one of the reasons I want to see Pacquiao-Barrera II this year. Is Barrera over the hill, of does Manny just have his number?
PATRICK KEHOE ANSWERS: Cj, you know... to be honest with you that is THEE fight in boxing I would love to see... Barrera is certainly taking his sweet time about facing Manny again... compare his reaction to taking a rematch with Morales and you see a lot about the two gentlemen... Manny certainly won’t be afraid of Barrera when they hook up again, but, we are all starting to wonder about Barrera now, the longer this ’no-rematch’ situation lingers...
ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Totally agree with my man Patrick. Barrera doesn’t really want to fight Pac-Man again, he tried to quit the first time and took a fearful beating en route to the first authentic KO loss of his career. Chavez is a very dangerous fight for MAB, too, but at least, from Barrera’s point of view, they go into the ring 0-0. Pac-Man has huge psychological advantages for the reason Patrick stated above.