JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Personally, I don't want to see this fight be for The Ring belt. I think Amir Khan thoroughly deserves his number No. 2 contender position. I'd rather see the winner of this fight square off with Amir later in 2011 for The Ring belt. As that fight is a very real possibility I think that is the decision the panel will make.
(P.S., have you seen The Fighter yet? It doesn't open in cinemas down here until January 20 but I'm looking forward to watching it.)
Over and out. — Choppa B, Sydney, Australia
I haven’t seen The Fighter yet, but I plan to soon, perhaps this Saturday. I’m looking forward to it, and given the film’s positive reviews I may even try to persuade my wife to see it with me.
I’m also looking forward to watching the television drama “Lights Out” on FX, especially after reading Eric Raskin’s feature on the actor playing show’s lead character. The entire 13-episdoe season was mailed to me a few weeks ago by the network’s PR department but I haven’t had the time to watch any of it. That’s OK, I prefer to see it live in its original time slot (Tuesday’s at 10 p.m.).
Regarding THE RING-title status of the Bradley-Alexander fight, the magazine’s editorial board has not yet made its decision. I expect them to do so in the next two weeks. I’m sure Editor-In-Chief Nigel Collins has already received a lot of input from members of THE RING’s Ratings Panel and will take it all into consideration.
I’m a member of the panel but I haven’t emailed my thoughts on the matter because I don’t really have a strong opinion of it. I'm fine if the winner of Bradley-Alexander earns THE RING's 140-pound title and I'm OK with the championship remaining vacant until Khan is in the mix.
Bradley is hands-down the No. 1 junior welterweight in the game and I believe it can be argued that Alexander is just as accomplished as Khan is at 140 pounds. If these guys are all going to fight each other in the near future, as you and many others beleive, what difference does it make when THE RING title is up for grabs?
Wouldn’t it mean more to Khan to take THE RING title from Bradley or Alexander than to fight for the winner for the vacant belt?
PACMAN ARGUABLY THE G.O.A.T.
Tennis fans can argue that Pete Sampras is the G.O.A.T because he has the most Wimbledon crowns, or Rod Laver because he won all four grand slams in a single year, or Roger Federer because he has the most GS crowns. These arguments are accepted because of their achievements.
It’s the same in boxing. Ray Robinson is the greatest because of his one-punch KO of a number of HOFers, Joe Louis because of the length of his championship tenure, or Julio Cesar Chavez because of his longest unbeaten streak at the highest level of competition or Pacquiao, yes PacMan, because he holds the record of the most championships in different divisions. For me he has the case to be included with those names.
Personally I’d prefer him to retire if he can’t meet Floyd Mayweather in the ring, but you can’t blame a man who grew in the streets to earn as much money as he is (even though his has a LOT by now) to continue fighting. Another reason for him to continue would be his fans in his native country. Even though his two last bouts were hardly a match, the country stood still for the fights. Crime rates during the bout are nearly zero and even the rebels in the mountains stop fighting according to the local news. If Pac wants to keep fighting it is OK with me.
Keep up the good work. — Ariel, an outrageous PACFAN
Well stated, Ariel. I don’t have a problem with Pacquiao continuing to fight even though I’m not excited about his upcoming bout with Shane Mosley.
I don’t have a problem with Pacquiao’s fans, members of the media or wannabe boxing historians claiming that he’s the G.O.A.T, either, but I don’t agree with that opinion at all. Can it be argued? I guess, but I don’t think one can rationally make a very good argument for Pac being No. 1. It’s much easier to simply argue that he’s one of the greatest boxers of all time than to try to call him the best or claim that he’s one of the top 10 to ever lace on a pair of gloves.
I agree that his accomplishments are incredible. He’s the first flyweight title holder to win the featherweight crown; the first featherweight champ to win the junior welterweight crown. He’s won eight titles in eight weight classes, but it must be noted that only some of the belts he won were true “championships.” If Pacquiao’s fans want to compare him to the likes of Robinson and Henry Armstrong they need to acknowledge that those old timers fought in an age of eight weight classes and only one true championship belt in each division.
His victory over Chatchai Sasakul for his first “world” title, the WBC flyweight belt, was impressive considering that he was only 19 and the Thai belt holder was considered the best 112 pounder in the sport. (And boxing writer/historian Cliff Rold points out that the belt Saskul held was the “linear” title.) However, Pacquiao only defended it once before abdicating it on the scales prior to his fight with Medgoen Singsurat, who knocked him out.
He beat a good fighter (Lehlohonolo Ledwaba) for the IBF 122-pound title, which he defended four times, but nobody considered that belt to be THE junior featherweight championship and Pac didn’t do enough at the weight to earn recognition as the man.
The recognition he gained as featherweight champ by beating Marco Antonio Barrera was legit. Barrera beat Naseem Hamed who gained universal recognition as the real champ by beating all the fighters who held the four alphabet featherweight titles.
The 130-pound title Pacquiao won by narrowly out-pointing Juan Manuel Marquez was also legit. JMM beat Barrera for it and MAB had defeated Erik Morales, who defeated two top-rated RING contenders (Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez) to unify two alphabet belts and gain THE RING’s recognition as the champ.
The lightweight title he won from David Diaz was just that — a title, a belt, and Pacquiao didn’t defend it. THE RING’s 140-pound title he took from Ricky Hatton was the legit championship, as the popular Brit won it from Kostya Tszyu, who had unified three alphabet titles to gain universal recognition as champ. Unfortunately, Pacquiao opted not to defend the title.
The WBO welterweight title he won from Miguel Cotto was just another belt. The Puerto Rican picked up the vacant title (abdicated by Paul Williams) by beating the unworthy Michael Jennings. The vacant WBC junior middleweight title Pacquiao earned by beating the crap out of Antonio Margarito is also just a belt. It was yanked from Sergio Martinez and put up for sale by the WBC. Margarito was an undeserving title challenger and even Pac’s most diehard fans know this.
This title belt timeline is a very long-winded way for me to tell you that I don’t put that much stock in Pacquiao’s world record of winning eight belts in eight divisions. It’s an amazing accomplishment that can be used in one’s argument of Pac being the G.O.A.T. but it can also be “argued” that only three or four of those titles were undisputed like the championships the all-time greats of the past fought for. (It should be noted that many members of the press do not recognize Pacquiao’s flyweight title as a “linear” or undisputed championship and some sports writers refuse to believe that he won any title at all when he beat Barrera because the Mexican did not hold any alphabet hardware at the time.)
Anyways, I’m not stating all of this to try to talk you out of believing that your favorite fighter is the best that ever did it. If calling Pacquiao the all-time greatest fills you with pride and makes you feel good, so be it. Good for you.
I’ve come to realize that trying to argue that Pacquiao is not the G.O.A.T to a Pacquiao fan of Filipino descent is akin to trying to explain to a 14-year-old girl that The Beatles’ White Album or The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland is superior to the latest CD put out by Justin Bieber. Bottom line: They ain’t trying to hear that, so we should all save our breath.
Dougie, you made this statement about middleweight beltholder Gennady Golovkin in a previous mailbag:
“Golovkin — an amateur world champion and Olympian from Kazakhstan who beat the likes of Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Matt Korobov, Yordanis Despaigne, and Andy Lee in major competitions — is still under the radar.”
With that resumé, how the hell is that even possible? — Jon
LOL. I don't know, but it's true, sadly.
Golovkin doesn't fight in the U.S. and he’s never been featured on American TV. That's at least part of the reason. However, he often trains in Big Bear, Calif., so I've heard of him and the stories coming out of the gym about this Russian badass are scary. I heard from a good source that he ran Alfredo Angulo out of the gym in Big Bear and I’ve never seen anyone really beat up on “El Perro.”
Hopefully, he keeps winning and one of the U.S. networks with boxing programming gets wind of him and put him on air in the States. I don’t think it would take long for him to gain a buzz among American hardcore fans and I think he could make an interesting challenger for the real champ, Sergio Martinez.
2011 MATCHUPS FOR THE TORNADO
As further validation and vindication for Margarito for those who think he can't fight unless he has got loaded hand wraps, I looked up some punch stats for several of his latest fights. In the Pacquiao fight Margarito landed 135 power punches averaging 11.25 per round. In the Mosely fight he landed 78 power punches averaging 8.7 per round. Now look at a fight that people say he cheated in, the Cotto fight. Margs landed 237 power punches and averaged 21.5 per round, nearly double the Pacquiao fight and 159 more than the Mosely fight. Loaded gloves don't help you land a punch. Let's face it, Cotto was easy to hit. If Margs had landed 237 power shots on the Pacman, Pacquiao would have for sure been KOed. Margarito was outclassed, but he hurt Pacquaio. I for one, don't think Margarito had loaded gloves in the Cotto fight and would still pick him in a rematch. So here are my dream fights for Margarito in 2011:
1) Margarito vs. Cotto: My pick is still Margarito. If he can find Cotto, he will hurt him.
It’s a HUGE understatement to say that boxing writers are “bitter” toward Margarito. Dude, most of my peers f__ing DESPISE him and wish he’d spontaneously combust.
To paraphrase the great Tommy “the Duke” Morrison, my good buddy and spiritual adviser, they wouldn’t spit in his ass if his guts were on fire.
I’m know I’m in the minority (what the heck, I am a minority), but I still like Margarito.
However, I think the God-awful beating he took going 12 rounds with the Pac-monster burned out whatever he had left after getting KTFO by Shane Mosley and taking all those flush power shots to the dome that he absorbed from Kermit Cintron (in the rematch) and Miguel Cotto. I won’t fault him for continuing his career (what else is he going do, pursue a degree in fine arts from the Universidad de Tijuana?), but I wouldn’t favor him in any of the three matchups you proposed.
I view the Cotto rematch as an even-money fight now that the Puerto Rican star has Emanuel Steward in his corner.
Excuse the ugly pun, but I think Angulo would beat the dog s__t out him at this point in their careers.
And Berto is just too damn fast for him. I’ll give Marggy a slight chance to upset the young gun if he can back the Haitian-American into a corner or to the ropes with any consistency, but the more likely scenario is that Berto will pot-shot bomb him at will from mid-range in the center of the ring.
THE RING'S FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
I’ll keep it short and simple. The Ring’s Fighter of the Year was an absolute disgrace. Sergio Martinez clearly should have won!
All the best. — Matt
THE RING’s Fighter of the Year hasn’t been announced yet.
You must be referring to the Fighter of the Year result of RingTV.com’s year-end polls hosted by yahoo! Sports. Yeah, I know, Pacquiao won it going away. Big surprise, but who cares?
Polls are popularity contests and there are arguably more PacFanatics for Pacquiao worldwide than there are “Beliebers” for my main man Justin Bieber, the winner of MTV’s Music Video Award for New Artist of the Year (which — surprise, surprise — is voted on by fans).
Poor Sergio didn’t have a chance. But don’t worry I’m confident that THE RING’s Editorial Board will make the right choice for Fighter of the Year and the middleweight champ of the world will receive the 2010 honor.