FLOYD ON COSTAS
I am both a Mayweather fan and of course a Pacquiao fan. I appreciate Floyd’s technical prowess and ring generalship and who wouldn’t appreciate Pacquiao’s offensive style? I even defended Floyd’s reasons and what-nots (on THE FIGHT) and I even said that there’s a possibility that Manny is the one who do not want to fight Floyd but this video is a very big slap on my face (and on all of Mayweather fans out there).
He almost admitted that he’s ducking Pacquiao when Costa’s told him that the Pacquiao fight should happen in order to pump up the sport and Floyd answers, “I come first. Self preservation. I gotta worry about my family. If the fight don’t happen, so be it.” It all came down on me like a rain – drug tests, fake retirements, Manny has to leave Arum for the fight to happen, no 50-50 split, he doesn’t need Manny, it’s all Bob Arum’s fault, etc. Are these just smokescreens to cover up that he’s ducking Pacman or him being himself and selling the fight more to the fight fans? Thanks! – Dinno
I gotta be honest with ya, Dinno. I have not watched the Bob Costas interview with Mayweather and I don’t plan to. At this point, I don’t care if Mayweather’s demands and allegations are a smokescreen or his way of promoting a future super-fight. If he’s selling, I’m no longer buying. The window for Mayweather-Pacquiao is quickly closing, in my opinion. If it doesn’t happen this fall or winter, I’m done with this subject.
FROCH HAS NO SHOT?
I read in you previous mailbag that you judge fighters on who they have beaten and who their opponents have beaten. Surely then you rate the iron chinned fighter from Nottingham higher than the smartly matched Canadian counter part? Come fight night I personally think the lack of world class fighters on Butes CV will come back to haunt him and I see 12 UD for Froch.
A quick note on Peterson v Khan 2. I See a 12 UD for Khan. I thought he won the first fight and think he will box smart in the second and grind out a win. It might not be pretty though!
Keep up the good work. Drinking my morning tea and reading the Monday and Friday mailbags has come a part of my weekly routine. Regards. – Dave, Weymouth, UK
Thanks Dave. I think Bute is an elite talent, but he’s yet to prove himself an elite fighter. I rank Froch ahead of Bute on my personal 168-pound rankings. I see their matchup as an even fight, but I give a slight edge to Froch because of hometown advantage.
I also believe Khan will avenge his loss to Peterson, but I think he’s going to have to stink it out to get the ‘W.’ I hope I’m wrong because I thoroughly enjoyed watching their first fight on TV and I plan to be ringside for the rematch. I want to see another barnburner.
LEWIS, FRAZIER & SILLAKH
Now, my questions:
1) Reading the boxing forums lately I was shocked how overrated Lennox Lewis has become and how underrated Joe Frazier is nowdays. I understand that there are many British boxing fans, who are often delusional in the support of their domestic fighters, but when I see them ranking Lewis at number 3 in HW history, while leaving Frazier outside the top-10, it looks not only extremely biased rankings, but extremely stupid as well. I definitely have Lewis in my top-10 HW of all time, but I can’t rank him higher than Joe Frazier. Lewis biggest win is a win over 37 y.o. former cruiserweight, who while a great fighter himself, was washed up and was much smaller than him. Frazier’s best win is a win over 29 y.o. undefeated Muhammad Ali, who is arguably the greatest HW of all time. Oh, and Ali was much bigger than Frazier, by the way. Then look at their loses: Frazier lost to the ATG fighters only, while Lewis was knocked out by B-level fighters twice (and twice by a single punch). No way I can rank Lewis over Frazier considering their careers.
2) My countryman Ismail Sillakh – what do you think about him? IMO, he has all the tools to become the next superstar in boxing. He is fast, has very good power, great offensive skills and his fights are always exciting. But the main thing is his confidence – I’ve talked to him a couple of times, and he is extremely confident person, he is very strong mentally.
Thanks! – Bobby from Ukraine
Thank you for finally sending in an email, Bobby. Don’t be a stranger from now on.
You and I think alike when it comes to ranking all-time great heavyweights.
Regarding Sillakh, he’s somebody that I’ve been high on since early 2009. I’m also familiar with him. I know his trainer, Shadeed Suluki, well, so I met him shortly after he turned pro (in 2008). I’ve watched Sillakh spar, I’ve seen him fight live (and even helped call the action to two of his bouts – vs. David Whittom and Daniel Judah), and I have no doubt that he’ll win a major title whenever he gets the opportunity. Although I believe he hasn’t been as active as he should be, I’d pick him to beat undefeated beltholders Nathan Cleverly and Tavoris Cloud if they fought this year. And you’re absolutely right about his self belief. Sillakh is one of the most confident fighters I’ve ever met.
K-BROS. VS. THE ALL-TIME GREATS
Personally, I think the Klitschko brothers would give fits to most of the heavyweights of the past. A fight between a Klitschko and any of the smaller boring-in type of fighters [Jeffries, Frazier, Tyson, etc.] would be a bloodbath for the smaller guy–I’d not be surprised if a Klitschko killed one of them in the ring–think Rocky and Drago without the storybook ending–because those three guys never stopped moving forward and they would walk right into the meatgrinder. Ditto the semi-skilled iron fisted guys [Sullivan, Liston, Foreman, Willard, Shavers, and so on]; the K boys would pound them into hamburger with their jabs, which are truly among the great jabs ever [Vitali especially] in the heavyweight division, while controlling the action to boring decisions. Now there are a few great boxer-fighters of the past who could win against them on speed if they could get inside. I like Ali, Louis and the younger Dempsey against either Klitschko, but now you’re going to the creme de la creme of boxing history in the division. Jack Johnson would be interesting too, simply because of his style, which was laying back and jabbing and controlling the fight. And we already know what happens if Lennox Lewis fights one of them–the first one to bloody the other sufficiently with the piston-like jab will get a stoppage. – Adam S. Warshaw
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, Adam. I don’t agree with much of what you propose here. But hey, these are just mythical matchups, nothing more than make-believe. I’m not going to spend much time arguing with you (I’m too tired).
However, I do encourage you to do some research on the heavyweights of the past that you mention. Examine their records online. Find books and magazine articles on them. Look for footage of them on Youtube, or try to find a DVD/tape collector who can make you a compilation of their signature fights.
Just so you know, James Jeffries was not a “smaller boring-in type of fighter.” He was almost 6-foot-3, which was tall for the late 1800s/early 1900s. He was also quite skilled for that era.
Sonny Liston and George Foreman were not “semi-skilled” fighters. They had more than size and power. They knew how to fight. They possessed good balance, underrated blocking ability/punch parrying technique, and excellent jabs that were every bit as powerful and effective as the K-brother’s left sticks.
Jack Dempsey, who you call one of the “the creme de la crème” along with Ali and Louis, was actually more of the “smaller boring-in type of fighter” that you labeled Frazier. And you know what? I believe Frazier’s and Dempsey’s aggressive bob-and-weave forward-moving attacks would have worked well against the Klitschkos.