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30 AUGUST 2014

 

ATE: Cotto v Malignaggi and Hopkins v Tarver




COTTO WASN’T THAT BAD!
First Name : greg
Last Name : masten
Country : USA
Your Question : If you want to be recognized as a good boxing newsite, try to not to be so biased. The write-up on the Miguel Cotto - Paulie Malignaggi fight was the most biased artice I have ever read. Not only have I noticed this but so have people that read boxing forums on a daily basis.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I’ve never met - or even spoken to Malignaggi - so there was no bias, buddie. I just called it as I saw it. You saw it differently - by I’m not gonna scream "You are biased!". It was a very close fight, with two fighters using vastly differently styles to try and win.

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COTTO AND HATTON SIMILAR STRUGGLES

First Name : Tony
Last Name : Bandis
Country : USA
Your Question : now Cotto came within two rounds of losing to a guy who REALLY cannot punch, can people stop writing in to ATE claiming that Ricky Hatton was exposed by Collazo? Comparatively, the two performances were very similar: both Ricky and Cotto got an early knockdown but were outboxed for periods of the fight. Only difference is, Pauly is not a world champion and Collazo had beaten better opposition. Lay off Hatton!

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Fair point, Tony. You could also argue that as Hatton was the one stepping up in weight that he had the tougher job against Collazo.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Solid points, Tony.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I agree Tony. It seems to slip everyones memory that Hatton BEAT Collazo. It was close, but Hatton won more rounds.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It’s amazing how so many fans expect boxers to be perfect all of the time. A loss sends a fighter, most of the time, back to the bottom of the list of contenders or also rans. Even a win is not the most important thing to many either. If the boxer wins, but struggles in doing so or is not pefect in some way, the critics come out and declare that he is not that good at all. The majority of our elite boxers only fight two to three times a year, if that. They don’t get any entire season of NBA, NFL or Premier League Football games to have a bad night, but then avenge it the next week. The boxer has to be perfect all of the time. People forget that all boxers, just like Hatton and Cotto, are human. They make mistakes, have off nights and fight when they are not really 100% fit. It just shows once again how tough the sport of boxing really is.

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COTTO WASN’T THAT BAD III

First Name : Michael
Last Name : Rainey
Country : USA
Your Question : Mr. Evans, I found your Cotto-Malignaggi postfight report to be horribly biased and misleadig. You give the impression that, except for the last three rounds, Cotto was nothing but an ineffective, stumbling sloth being peppered by a nonstop barrage of lightning combinations delivered by a grinning foe who hadn’t had so much fun ever before in his life. You fail to mention the enormous amount of holding done by Pauly, which was hardle "electrifying". While he wasn’t particularly impressive in this fight, Cotto was far more effective than you gave him credit for, with the possible exception of one or two rounds. At the postfight interview, Malignaggi himself gave full credit to Cotto for having clearly won. Pauly looked like he had been run over by a truck.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: We can all read a fight poorly, Michael, and a couple of times I’ve totally changed my view of how a fight played out. HOWEVER - having watched the fight again I still think my report was reflective of what happened in the fight. And I DID give Cotto plenty of credit: "awesome punching Cotto", "Cotto’s punches to body and head continued to hurt and lacerate", "swept the last three rounds easily". I also stated that Cotto made a real mess of the challenger’s face and noted that his "terrific" work to the body ensured Paulie would slow down in the later stages. Overall, I noted the fight was "an excellent 12 rounds of pugilism" and I went out of my way to get the point over that Cotto was not at his best because he is, in my and his own opinion, fighting at the wrong weight. I also made Cotto the winner. What else do you need?


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PAULIE FUTURE?
First Name : zoran
Last Name : panich
Country :
Australia Your Question : were do you see paulie in the future.....and with a few more fights do you think he’ll be the man at 140 scince the other guys are all movin up...and could he beat cotto in a rematch if he had a few more fights with some better class opoents......

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: I think he’ll win a title at 140lbs very soon, Zoran. I was very impressed by his speed, skills, physical strength and punch resistance.

CLIVE BERNATH ANSWERS: Hi Zoran. You can never tell if Pauly will win a major world title or not but as you say if Cotto, Hatton move up then yes. Maybe if Pauly had had a couple of tough 12 rounders against world class opposition beforehand then he may have gained the experience to make the Cotto fight closer as well.

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WHAT NEXT FOR 175LBS CLASS?

First Name : Gary
Last Name : Whiteside
Country : Australia
Your Question : Where does Tarver’s loss put Paul Briggs in the scheme of things now that there is no outright claimant to the linier championship. Also is there any chance that Hatton could fight a live contender such as the well performed Cotto?

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Depends on Hopkins. He may want to stick around for a fight or two, considering how easy he won Saturday. A fight with the winner of Woods v Johnson III would have interest, for example, but my money is on B-Hop going out on top.

And, Gary, there already is a legitimate linear light heavyweight champion. His name is Zsolt Erdei and his beat Julio Gonzalez, who beat Dariusz Michalczewski, who beat the defending and genuine champions of the WBO (Leeonzer Barber), WBA/IBF (Virgil Hill) and WBC (Graciano Rocchigiani). Erdei isn’t the best fighter in the division nor the most famous, but he IS the linear champion and there’s nothing HBO, the Ring nor anyone else can do about it until the moment he is defeated.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Paul Briggs is fighting a tune-up this Friday night in Brisbane. After that he will rematch WBC champion Tomasz Adamek, or fight for the vacant title if Adamek will not fight him. If Briggs can get the WBC strap around his waist, there will be opportunities for him to fight some of the names in the USA. Whether Tarver remains at 175lbs is a big question mark though.

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AUDLEY INFECTED TARVER!
First Name : David
Last Name : Beckett Country :
United Kingdom Your Question : Is it just a coincidence that Audley Harrison starts training under Buddy McGirt and then Antonio Tarver turns up in the ring with McGirt and is, like Harrison, petrified of even throwing a punch in anger? Is A-Farce’s pacifism contagious?

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Now, THAT is funny! It’s almost as funny as Clive’s line about Harrison "beaming back up to Planet Audley" rather than accept the reality of his defeat to Danny Williams. Have any other readers got any Audley Harrison jokes? If so, please send them in!

CLIVE BENRATH ANSWERS: I like a man with a sense of humour.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: Hilarious. Perhaps Tarver used Audley for sparring.....

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Maybe, maybe not David. But what Hopkins vs. Tarver did show was that Tarver beat an old, past his best Roy Jones Jr.

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HOPKINS - WILLPOWER WAS THE KEY
First Name : Paul
Last Name : Wickes
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : I was delighted that B-Hop won the fight. He is an example of a real fighter. Blue collar. I think in the Taylor fights he had simply lost interest, although I thought he won the first fight. Against Tarver he had a real challenge, and he wasn’t favoured to win. His tactics were superb but I think Tarver may have had a bit of the Roy Jones factor in him, slimming down from heavyweight after his fight with Balboa (sorry, couldn’t resist!) and losing some strength, some luster. Hats off to Hopkins. Calzaghe-Hopkins, anyone? Personally I can’t see it happening but it would be nice.

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: You may be right about Tarver losing strength, Paul, but he can’t have it both ways. Tarver has always maintained Roy Jones wasn’t weakened at all when RJJ came down from over 200lbs to lose to him in 2004, and he can’t use that same excuse now without looking very stupid indeed.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: Before watching Tarver/Hopkins, I would have agreed with you about Hopkins losing interest in the Jermain Taylor fight (although I thought he won the second fight and drew the first). However, after watching his masterful display against Tarver, I am now convinced it was because Hopkins stayed at middleweight for too long, and has been physically drawn for a number of years. Hopkins looked incredibly zippy at Light Heavyweight, and carried the extra poundage extremely well. Perhaps he should have moved up after he fought Trinidad in 2001 (as Hopkins himself said he had considered).

I do think Tarver coming down in weight affected his performance. Hopkins prepares for fights as meticulously as NASA does in launching rockets. To beat him, you have to have one serious game plan, or freakish speed like Roy Jones did when they fought. Tarver is not particularly fast, so he could not rely on physical attributes to beat Hopkins, despite being the naturally bigger man. Because he spent so much time losing weight, he had less time to prepare strategically. Against a fighter as disciplined and intelligent as Hopkins, this is absolute suicide. Hopkins just did his homework better, and the results were decisive.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I agree with you Paul. I think taking the weight off hurt Tarver just like it did Roy Jones. It was one of the reasons why I picked Hopkins on points to win.

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HOPKINS SIMPLY STUNNING!

First Name : Calum
Last Name : Steedman
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question : I was in no way expecting such a world class performance from B-Hop and I really feel he proved to me that he is truly a HOF fighter. I think the two fights with Jermain Taylor were both poor tactics and, in the sedond fight especially, bad luck. I for one hope B-Hop sticks to his promise and retires on a very high note. Paulie Malignaggi against Miguel Cotto was a very exciting and enjoyable fight. Paulie showed massive heart in being willing to trade with Cotto but I wonder would he have fared better if he boxed and moved? He fought the best fight he could whilst standing toe-to-toe and still lost, I felt a more conservative approach could have perhaps won him the fight? It was still an awesome performance from him, and another average showing from Cotto compared to what Bob Arum wants us to believe. Cotto Hatton at 147lbs next? Cheers guys.

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: I wish people would read my prophetic fight previews!!!!! I thought Hopkins would take a clear cut decision as he is a more complete fighter than Tarver. I agree with you that Hopkins should retire from boxing. Unless James Toney comes down to Cruiserweight (the chances being 1 in 469 billion), Hopkins has nothing else to prove. As for going into the HOF, his place is guaranteed.

In regards to the Cotto/Malignaggi fight, and think any fighter who aims to stand and trade with Cotto has got their tactics wrong (unless you are Ricky Hatton). The guy is one of the most dangerous punchers in the game, and if you cant punch hard, then boxing is always the best bet. However, fighters are funny people, and sometimes they feel they need to stand up to aggression. Everyone thought Delahoya should have jabbed and moved against Mayorga, but he had other ideas. Sometimes, doing the opposite of what is expected can confuse an opponent, and shock them out of their game plan. Perhaps it would have been worse for Malignaggi if he had run around the ring all night. Who knows....

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Looking back, I think Hopkins would be kicking himself that he wasn’t more aggressive against Taylor. He could have won those two fights convincingly. Maybe moving up in weight helped Bernard be a lot stronger going into the fight with Tarver. Whatever it was, if Hopkins fought Taylor like he did Tarver. I think he wins.

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B-HOP ONE OF BEST OF ALL TIME!

First Name : David
Last Name : Marlin
Country : Australia
Your Question : A quick question for Ant… How are you going to try and play down Hopkins imposing win over Taver? If SecondsOut had an award for the most dominate performance over 12 rounds “The Executioner” would win hands down! It was a clinical display of a perfect plan executed flawlessly. Let’s not forget that this feat was achieved against the universally recognised light heavyweight champion of the world. This was a magnificent win from a legendary boxer. He will go down alongside Roy Jones Jnr as one of the greatest boxers of all time!

BEN COHEN ANSWERS: Wait for next week guys, we’ll start hearing from Ant that Hopkins avoided Steve Collins, so can’t be considered a great.....(just kidding!!!)

ANT EVANS ANSWERS: Funny kid, that Bennie, eh guys? Hi David. I’m man enough to admit I was totally, utterly wrong about this fight. I thought Hopkins would do well if it went late, because Tarver has a stamina problem, but B-Hop just beat the hell out of Tarver right from the off. I can’t recall reading a fight as poorly since I predicted Gonzalez to beat Bowe back in 1995 (oh, the shame!). Hopkins was simply sensational, just awesome, and I think this was actually THE win of his career - at 41! There aren’t superlatives enough to do justice to what Hopkins did Saturday night.

PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Whatever Hopkins is using as his fountain of youth, put me down for some. How could he look so good at 41? Simply amazing. Last week Hopkins declared he could fight on and win for a few more years. I believe him. He doesn’t look or fight like a 41 year-old. That dedication to diet and fitness really works. Forget all these USA conference calls in the early hours of the morning, esteemed Editor. I got to start running at 4am in the morning again! (PS. After watching Hopkins win, I turned down some chocolate cake at my sister’s birthday party yesterday. I’m on the road back baby...)




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