There were so many emails on Pacquiao-Hatton, my column on Pacquiao vs. the five all-time greats, Mayweather-Marquez, and other PacMan-related subjects from the weekend and the early part of this week, I HAD to do an extra mailbag. I'll have more of your emails, including some on Dawson-Tarver II, in Friday's bag. Enjoy!
MAYWEATHER VS. MARQUEZ
What's there to say that hasn't already been said about Paquiao's impressive victory over Hatton … So I’ll turn my attention to Floyd Mayweather vs. (the small) Juan Manuel Marquez:
Finally, Marquez gets paid.
Floyd’s got speed, size, and defense advantage on Marquez. But Marquez has heart, determination, will, and has faced better current opposition, while Mayweather will come in rusty.
I would say they are just about even in skill, ring intelligence, and power.
At best Mayweather will run to a boring decision, or get a controversial decision. But I hope Marquez wins. I’m just amazed at how many experts are seeing this fight as an easy win for Mayweather. Dude! That is so not the case, I give you props for being one of the few to give Marquez a decent shot.
Oh, and if Pacquiao vs. Mayweather happens then I think Pacquiao is the favorite and Mayweather would be the underdog. Mayweather doesn’t have the power to get Manny's respect and keep him off for 12 rds. That’s just my opinion.
(P.S., If Paul Williams cant get another fight, why not go up one more division and face Carl Froch? That’s one fight I’d pay to see.)
Take care Dougie. — Jorge, San Diego
Williams is willing to step up to super middleweight, but he and his handlers are calling out Bernard Hopkins, who happens to be calling out Froch.
I don’t know if any of those fights can be made because, let’s face it, Nard isn’t the easy human being out there to negotiate with. He’s coming off a great win, he’s certainly not hurting for money, and he’s got a bright career as a broadcaster ahead of him. Hopkins is not desperate for anything, so he’s not going to step back into the ring unless everything favors him.
But there are other super middleweights who would love to test Williams at 168 pounds. One of them is Allan Green, who is coming off a nice KO victory. Green’s advisor Greg Leon prefers Williams over IBF titleholder Lucien Bute as his fighter’s next opponent. If that fight was made (Green-Williams) it would be interesting to see how P-Will would handle the Oklahoma native’s size, speed and power.
Pacquiao is on such an awesome run I wouldn’t be surprised if he was installed as a slight favorite over Mayweather if and when that super fight happens. But odds makers and most of the boxing media are in love with Mayweather, and he would have to beat the respected JM Marquez to get the fight with Pacquiao, so my guess is that it would officially be an even-money fight.
Call me crazy — I’ve been called a lot worse (especially from nutty PacFans lately) — but I see Mayweather-Marquez as an even fight. Both vets have styles that will trouble the other.
I've been reading plenty of articles from you and a lot of the answers you have given in response to many boxing fans mail, but one answer you gave really bothers me. Why are you making more excuses about Manny's opponents because of the obliteration they received? One which I will really discredit you is, 'why put Manny down?' It's like there's no end to Manny satisfying any analyst. When he beats Oscar into submission, they said he was weight drained. It's not Manny's fault Oscar was drained, it was Oscar's fault and his team's fault. Give credit where it's due. And again, when Pacquiao defeated, what many analyst called Ricky Hatton, a prime fighter at the top of his game, you discredit Pacquiao again, saying Hatton was and I quote “a weight-drained Brit.” that Ortiz, Valero, etc could beat him too.
Cmon, everyone knew Pacquiao was going to win, but they said it'd be tough, but when the fight started and ended so quickly, it left all you analysts looking for excuses of how that happened so quickly. Now, Hatton's too washed up from trying to make weight. What happened to all the hype every analysts made? 'Oh Hatton's never lost at 140 lbs, don't under estimate his speed, he looks better training with Floyd Mayweather Snr. You guys are all great analysts, but you guys are all not giving credit for the true greatness of Manny Pacquiao. It's not bad defense, bad training, bad conditioning, or bad night. It was perfected Manny. — Suchi
You're being too sensitive. Please mellow out and get a grip on your emotions. I imagine that you have a high shrill whine of a voice when I read this email and it makes me cringe.
Please read these words carefully: EVERYONE is giving Pacquiao ALL the credit he deserves for obliterating De La Hoya and Hatton. That's why everyone in the media says he's not only pound for pound No. 1, but an all-time great. What more do you want us to write and say!?
If De la Hoya and Hatton struggle to make weight and look like french-fried dog doo-doo at the weight-ins, we can't ignore it. It's our jobs to report on these kinds of details. Don't ask boxing writers not to do their jobs because it makes you uncomfortable or insecure. And PLEASE don't ask me not to give my opinions on ANYTHING boxing related, period. If I think Victor Ortiz, Edwin Valero, or any of the other fighters I mentioned would have KO'd Hatton in two rounds, it's MY opinion and you better believe that it's an educated one. If you don't agree, fine. Tell me how I'm wrong. Tell me why those fighters wouldn't KO Hatton. Debate me if you have the knowledge, but don't cry to me about “discrediting Pacquiao”. (Seriously, if you knew anything about the sport, my writing that Ortiz and Valero would KO Hatton wouldn't seem like a slight to Pacquiao. In fact, you'd realize that it makes him look good because you would know that Ortiz is a natural 140 pounder — a huge, powerful junior welterweight at that — and that Valero is freakishly hard puncher. Pacquiao is a former flyweight, who fought at 130 pounds just last year, now KOing junior welterweights and welterweights.)
Everyone else seems to realize this, for God's sake. The entire boxing world — and even the mainstream U.S. sports media — has Pac-Man Fever. He (and his trainer, Freddie Raoch) are the darlings of the sport. You have NOTHING to whine and complain about. NOBODY is discrediting Pacquiao, including me.
Everyone — and I mean everyone in the media that I've talked to — believes that Pacquiao would have beaten De La Hoya and Hatton even if they weren't dried out. And I certainly believe that.
I also believe Pacquiao's a great fighter. I thought that BEFORE the De La Hoya and Hatton fights. I thought he was pound-for-pound No. 1 long BEFORE Mayweather retired. So please, kiss off if you think I have some kind of agenda against Pacquiao. The truth is, I recognized his greatness long before a lot of you hyper-sensitive Pac-Fanatics did.
At this point in time, would you say that Manny Pacquiao's fanbase bears a striking resemblance to Felix Trinidad's circa 2000-01?
I feel like they're getting carried away with the all-time great thing, and as I write this, I suspect that somebody on an internet message board is earnestly writing up a thread about how Pacquiao could have beaten Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran, in succession. — gopal rao
You nailed it. Pacquiao’s diehard fans are just as delusional and caught up with their hero as Trinidad fans were of the Puerto Rican badass following Tito’s consecutive big-fight victories over David Reid, Fernando Vargas and Williams Joppy. Nobody knows this more than me. I started the Mailbag column because I was spending too much time answering an endless flow of emails from Trinidad fans who earnestly wanted to know how their idol would have fared vs. Sugar Ray Robinson (and got pissed off when I told them the truth). I figured if I was going to take the time to answer them all (and I tried my best to do so) I should get credit for my insight (and patience) in the form of an extended, free-form “Letters to the Editor”-style column. The rest is history. And history, as we know, has a way of repeating itself — especially in boxing.
I’ve bumped heads with the Roy Boys, the Tyson Terrorists, the Golden Girls, the Trinidits (I love that one), the Pretty Boys, and now I’m doing the same with the Pac-Maniacs. Here’s how you know you are dealing with delusional fans of a particular boxer: you can give their guy all the respect he’s due for what he’s accomplished, even laud him as the best fighter in the world, but if you don’t write that he’s the G.O.A.T. and would have stomped all the greats who preceded him they consider you to be a “biased hater”.
Tyson fans threatened to kick my “p__sy ass” if I wrote that Muhammad Ali would have schooled him. Jones fans took offense if I wrote that he didn’t rank with the likes of Billy Conn, Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore, Bob Foster and Michael Spinks. De La Hoya fans said I was “just jealous” if I wrote that The Golden Boy was no Sugar Ray Leonard. Trinidad fans were outraged if I wrote that Robinson would have taken him out. Mayweather fans (all eight of them) claimed I was a “racist” if I wrote that anyone had a chance to beat their man.
I used to go toe-to-toe with the all the whack jobs, but I’m a father of two kids and I’m pushing 40. I don’t have the time, energy or desire to debate fans who don’t know enough about the sport or its history to even make an educated argument in favor of their fighter.
So I’m happy to let the Pac-Maniacs go crazy over their idol. Let them have their day. You and I know it doesn’t last forever.
DOUG AND FLEETWOOD: VOICES OF REASON
I've tried to argue this point with the Manny Nation (I was outnumbered at the party) and they just don't get it. In fact, most have no clue about boxing or his record prior to '06. I think his fans are already as bad as Money’s and RJ's were back in the day. This whole thing on “one of the greatest” makes my stomach turn. It's almost if no one remembers Sanchez or the first JMM and Morales fights. Okay, he's come a long way but it says here that Mosley (145-147), and JMM beats him. Oh wait, JMM beat him already, at least IMHO. Geez, had to get that off my chest and type it before I hear the wifey ask if I'm still looking at ^&%$#@ boxing on the internet. — Sean in Hellay, MO
I don’t know if Pacquiao would “revert” to his “old ways” if he got caught a few times, but I suspect that he won’t look as devastating when he fights a smart fighter with good legs and reflexes. The winner of Mayweather-Marquez will provide the current pound-for-pound king with such a foe. I’m probably going to piss off Manny Nation (I like that) even more than I already have with this statement, but I think someone like Kendall Holt would give Pacquiao fits and even threaten to beat him.
Holt is a counter-puncher with very fast hands and good power. What makes him dangerous to Pacquiao is that it’s not in his style to lead or to be overly aggressive. Fighters who mindlessly follow Pacquiao around the ring will get gradually chopped up (like Diaz and De La Hoya); fighters who jump right at him like a spaz, will get KTFO (see Hatton). However, fast, reflexive boxers who wait on him, and make him lead, are another story in my not-so-humble opinion.
I’ll probably get 20 emails from insecure PacFans just for that last paragraph, but so what? It comes with the job. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t waste your time with Manny Nation. You are absolutely right about most of them being ignorant about boxing and even their own hero prior to 2006. I’ve covered most Pacquiao’s major fights in the U.S. beginning with his first fight in America (the IBF 122-pound title win over Lehlo Ledwaba) — including his training camps — and I vividly remember the days when he had NO fans, and when many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans were skeptical of his potential. I was ringside for this title fights against Agapito Sanchez and Emmanuel Lucero. His current jock-riders weren’t. You watched those fights on TV. They didn’t. So just keep that in mind and save your breath (or cut down time in front of your laptop) if the New Generation PacFan wants to argue with you.
PAC @ WELTERWEIGHT
Do you think Hatton quit or was he knocked out cold? For some reason, I feel like Ricky didn't want anymore punishment and remained down. Which, you know, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Also, how do you see Manny fare up to Cotto and Mayweather at welterweight? Will he clean up the division? Best Regards. — Ángel
Hatton was out so cold I thought he might be dead for a few chilling seconds. Homeboy definitely didn’t quit. What happened to him was the definition of KTFO.
Honestly, I think Pacquiao can do well at welterweight against both Cotto and Mayweather as long has he doesn’t weigh-in too heavy.
ALL TIME GREATS
Those top 5 fighters you mentioned were all time greats in there weight classes. When Pacman was in those weight classes he was not in his prime. You have to consider that, when talking about other fighters in other classes and comparing Pacman with them. He has morphed into a much more well-rounded fighter. Pryor is the only one you can really compare to Manny, since he is closer to his prime in the 140 lb class. I still don't think we have seen the best Manny. And by the way, you said depending on his fight with Hatton, you will be revisiting your 5 all time greats. He demolished Hatton and did way better than you expected. So why are you so pissed at the people e-mailing you? — Jose M.
Didn’t you read my story? I absolutely considered that Pacquiao wasn’t fully developed as a fighter at 122 and 126 pounds. That’s part of the reason he lost those mythical matchups. People who don’t know a left hook from a fish hook know that Pacquiao “has morphed into a much more well-rounded fighter”. You’re not telling me anything I didn’t already know.
Why is Pryor the only all-time great I can compare Pacquiao with? They were MYTHICAL matchups! It’s all imaginary, kid! Lighten up! I can match Pacquiao with Wolverine or Nightcrawler from the X-Men if so choose.
And by the way, you are misreading the tone of my email responses in the Mailbag. I’m not pissed at all. I get a little bit annoyed with belligerent Pac-Maniacs, but who wouldn’t? Read the next email and then imagine getting 80 of those a day since Sunday. That’s what I have to deal with every time I go into my inbox.
LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD
I think youre a stupid, Hard-to-pleased, racist bigot…. PACMAN is a different animal.. maybe just because he is asian you think He is a lesser fighter than your Stupid Fantasy fighters.. The PACMAN doesnt fight for you PRESS people, He fights for us true Boxing Fans! — Christopher
You are not representing Pacquiao or his fans very well, Chris.
THE MYTHCIAL FIVE
No offense, Pauez, but who died and made you Manny Pacquiao?
Why can’t I or anyone else rate fighters we haven’t seen live? If I’m familiar with their records, who they fought, the level of their competition, and I’ve seen many of their fights (in their entirety) on tape or DVD why can’t I or any other knowledgeable boxing fan rate them with or against other fighters we are familiar with?
It’s just an opinion. You don’t have to agree with it. All I ask is that if you want to debate me on it that you do as much research as I did before I ranked or compared the fighters. You admit that you are not “the genius of boxing history”, and you are obviously a very passionate Pacquiao fan. Why don’t you just leave it at that. By being a hardcore PacFan, I already know that you either truly believe nobody in history can beat the best version of Pacquiao, or that you don’t even want to broach the subject, even if it’s purely hypothetical.
I don’t have a problem with that. Just don’t impose your rules as a fan on me, the boxing writer (and amateur historian).
By the way, many real boxing historians — most notably Mike Silver (author of the Arc of Boxing)– will tell you that, on average, skill and technique among professional fighters has been on the decline for decades. Apart from a few exceptions, I tend to agree with Mr. Silver.
ATGS, HOW CAN WE TELL?
But after the blowout on Saturday I was thinking; we've all seen footage of these ATG's you mentioned. But it seems the names that come up in the top 10 and 20 p4p lists are old timers. How can we rate Harry Greb when NOBODY has seen him fight? The same can be said of Benny Leonard, Barney Ross EVEN to an extent Henry Armstrong. My question is how can you form a detailed opinion simply from a few clips? I'd also like to know your own top 10 p4p list (of all time). Thanks! — Richy P., Yeovil, England
I agree that it’s hard to rate and compare the REALLY old timers (pre-1930s) like Harry Greb and Benny Leonard (or Joe Gans and George Dixon) with fighters of the 1950s on to the present. On top of the fact that there isn’t a lot of film footage to observe and study, the sport and boxers’ styles were different than what we see today. However, you have to give those turn-of-the 20th Century and 1920s-era fighters props for their activity and the caliber of opposition they were forced to fight. The records of the hall of famers from that era always reveal that they fought numerous fellow hall of famers, almost always more than once. I’ve been lucky to know boxing enthusiasts who are old enough that their parents saw the likes of Greb, Leonard and Gene Tunney fight live. I take their word for it when they tell me those fighters were great. If you have any doubts about the merits of Greb and his peers, I suggest you read everything you can about them. That’s how I first learned about them.
However, I realize that today’s boxing fans don’t want to hear anything from anyone older than they are, and they don’t want to read (God forbid) about a fighter’s greatness. They want to see it.
That’s why I used great fighters from the 1970s and 1980s with last week’s Pacquiao column. If a fan who is new to boxing really wanted to see how Pac’s mythical competition fought, it wasn’t impossible for them to find footage or even entire fights online.
It’s interesting to note that the sport has changed even during my lifetime (I was born in 1970). An X-factor to all five mythical matchups is what rules the fighters fought under, 1970s/80s or today’s rules. I assumed that readers would assume that the fights were 12 rounders in which the combatants weighed in the day before the fight. However, if we went by the ‘70s/’80s rules, fighters would weigh-in the day of the fight and the bouts would scheduled for 15 rounds. I think those rules would favor my mythical five.
SPEAK THE TRUTH!
“This ain’t Carlos Baldomir, a faded Oscar De La Hoya, or a made-to-order Ricky Hatton, this is Juan-Mother-F__king-Marquez he’s stepping in the ring with, the man who gave Manny Pacquiao pure hell last March and then knocked out Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz.”
Amen brother! I’m not Mosley-Margarito sure but I will be taking Marquez as what I think will be an underdog line that is severely bloated. All you idiots that think Floyd is going to walk through this keep writing in….just gets me better odds! This will be a terrific tactical fight. As long as JMM doesn’t take any on the chin (everyone says Floyd has more power than meets the eye), he’s in this fight.
My one concern: EVERYONE wants Floyd- Pac. So, if this fight is close, which I think it will be, they’re going to rob JMM. — Tony, LA
They better not. The difference between Marquez’s fight with Mayweather and the close decisions that did not go his way in the past (vs. Freddie Norwood, Pacquiao and Chris John) is that on July 18 he’ll actually have a significant diehard fan base in the seats cheering for him.
MARQUEZ HAS NO SHOT!
I noticed you mentioned twice in the mailbag that Hatton was weight drained, I never read that. Do you have some evidence, and come on, we used that excuse for DLH, lets not pi$$ on Manny's parade, he earned it, nobody thought he would do that and there were no excuses before the fight. — JB
Hey, I give Pacquiao 100% credit for wiping his little butt with Hatton’s fat head, but all you had to do was look at pics of the Brit at the weigh-in to know that he was totally dried out. His cheeks we’re sucked in and you could see his entire ribcage. Here’s some insider info for ya: Hatton had eight to 10 12-ounce bottles of electrolyte-replacement drinks set up just behind the weigh-in stage that he downed in succession immediately after weighing in. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that ain’t a good sign.
Regarding Mayweather-Marquez, when I heard the fight was taking place over 140 pounds, I had the same thought you did, that it’s no longer a fight. It’s just Marquez and his people cashing out. But then I had dinner with Kirk and Darryl — you’ve read their names in my mailbags and Steve Kim’s frontline diaries; they’re the Marquez brothers’ biggest gringo fans — Friday night, before news of the Saturday press conference broke. I told them what I thought about the “potential” matchup and Kirk told me not count out Marquez. I said “Come on, Marquez was pushing it at 135 pounds.” Darryl asked me to explain in detail HOW Mayweather beats Marquez.
I thought about it and thought about it, and the more I did, the more I realized that Mayweather isn’t going to impose himself physically on Marquez or put forth a sustained attack (he never does that, at least not to an intelligent world-class fighter), so the weight isn’t that much of a factor. The best I could come up with was that “Mayweather will be faster at 144 pounds and he’ll beat Marquez to the jab and then avoid getting hit for the rest of the round; he’ll repeats this every round.”
Darryl reminded me that Marquez doesn’t have to weigh-in at 143 or 144 pounds; he could come in at 138, or whereever he felt comfortable. Kirk asked me if Mayweather basically stinking it out was enough to win the fight. Truth be told, even if it is (and it could be), Mayweather is not going to dominate Marquez boxing like that. And I think if Floyd gets a little too froggy, he could get clipped like Joel Casamayor did.
Last year I was all set to pick Casamayor to outpoint Marquez because I figured he was just as experienced and ring savvy, but naturally bigger; plus I thought his chin could take anything Marquez could dish out. Kirk talked me out of picking the Cuban vet and I’m glad he did.
Both Kirk and Darryl talked me out of assuming a Mayweather victory on July 18. Let’s see if you can reason me back to giving Marquez no shot. Tell me how Mayweather beats Marquez. Seriously. I’m curious to hear some detailed reasons from anyone beyond Mayweather’s size and undefeated record.