RESPECT FOR BRADLEY AND PACQUIAO
Hey Dougie, first time sending in here from Toronto, ON, avid reader of Ring Magainze.
1) After reading this month’s article in Ring Magazine about Tim Bradley not getting the respect he deserves, I have a new found respect for him, not that he needs it. He is a warrior. Win, lose, draw or controversial decision, this man has proven he can fight and it is entertaining! In 20 years from now his epic brawls will be spoken about often when all the great names are mentioned.
2) Speaking of credit deserved and earned… Nobody has fought top-tier opponents and given the fans what they wanted more than Manny Pacquiao has over the last decade or more. He is more active than most fighters and does it in a classy manner. Isn't that the reason he is still in the top 10 pound for pound category after a string of bad fights and not having scored a knockout in a while? So why do people still knock him and rule him out as a has-been? This guy embodies what fighting is all about.
3) I would love to see a Manny vs. Floyd Mayweather match-up. But at the same time I don't. Why are boxing fans still demanding this fight over half a decade after it should have happened? The fight would garner more PPV buys than any other fight in the history of boxing and Floyd would easily win, hands down. The problem? The same people who lobbied for the fight to take place in the first place, and then purchased the event at a crazy high price would just complain afterwards that the fight was no good because it should have happened years ago. Am I right or am I right?
4) What exactly was Bob Dylan doing in Manny Pacquiao's training camp?
–Steve Wilson, ON, Canada
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Steve. I’ll respond to your statements/questions in order:
1) I agree that Bradley is a warrior, one worthy of our respect. He can indeed fight (and box) and he’s usually entertaining. His fight with Ruslan Provodnikov will definitely be remembered 20 years from now. I’m not so sure about his other major fights. I enjoyed his WBO 140-pound title defense against Lamont Peterson and I was impressed with his effort against Kendall Holt in their WBC/WBO junior welterweight unification bout. I also appreciated the skill and strategy he employed against Juan Manuel Marquez. However, his other 140-pound unification bout, against Devon Alexander, was totally forgettable. As were his fights with Nate Campbell, Luis Carlos Abregu and Joel Casamayor. To be honest, the most memorable thing about the first fight with Pacquiao was the shocking decision. However, I think the rematch will be much better.
2) I’m not a pound-for-pound fanatic but I assume that Pacquiao’s amazing body of work is the reason he’s still ranked in the top 10 (No. 7) of THE RING’s mythical rankings despite being one fight removed from getting KTFO. The Filipino hero is arguably the most accomplished fighter of the previous decade as his half dozen major title belts and 2006, 2008 and 2009 Fighter of the Year awards from the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America (BWAA) and THE RING indicates. Pacquiao also won The Fighter of the Decade (2000-2009) honor from the BWAA. Why do people knock him? I don’t know. Maybe they just got sick of hearing about him (and his fans laud him like a demigod). Why do people call him a has-been? Maybe it’s because he set the bar so high with his accomplishments and performances from 2006-2010 that merely being world-class is like being “finished” for him.
3) I don’t think hardcore boxing fans are clamoring for Mayweather-Pacquiao. Most of them moved on the moment Pacquiao’s face hit the canvas at the end of the sixth round against Marquez. I think the media (both boxing and general sports) is obsessed with it. And I think American casual fans are into the fight. Why? Because Mayweather and Pacquiao are the only crossover stars on the U.S. boxing scene. I agree that Mayweather would defeat Pacquiao handily at this stage of their careers. And, of course, if did happen in the near future most of the fans who wanted to see the fight and paid to watch it live would say that it should have happened years ago – that’s because it should have! By the way, if Pacquiao beats Bradley (legitimately, of course) next Saturday, you can expect renewed interest in a Mayweather showdown from hardcore heads.
4) Dylan was just being a boxing fan, which he’s been for decades (and helping to hype up the fight, of course).
Dougie, I've been an avid follower of this sport for nearly 30 years now but I don't think I've ever been as disappointed in it as I am now. I'm not sure if it's the promoters, managers, fighters, or networks that are mostly to blame, but it doesn't seem like anyone wants to make compelling matchups. There are plenty of good fighters out there but I'm tired of waiting on fights like Sergey Kovalev-Adonis Stevenson, Mikey Garcia-Yuriorkis Gamboa, Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara, Sergio Martinez-Gennady Golovkin, and all of the HBO-Showtime matchups that can't even be considered. In their place, we get showcase fights like Danny Garcia-Mauricio Herrera, kovalev-Cedric Agnew, and Keith Thurman-Julio Diaz.
I wouldn't put up with this in any other sport, and I've finally hit my breaking point with the sport I love the most. So I'm taking a break – I'm canceling HBO and Showtime and I'm done ordering pay-per-views until something changes. –Ryan
I think that’s probably the only way for fans to get the attention of the network executives, promoters, managers and the fighters – yes, the fighters have a part in significant fights not happening, too – and encourage them to work together more often for the benefit of the sport instead of breaking up into warring tribes for their own benefit.
ERA OF BORING BLACK FIGHTERS
Tim Bradley, Mayweather, Zab Judah, Alexander. They have no balls and don't want to knock anyone out. They never take a chance and they’re dreadful to watch. They stink out the joint. They don't knock anyone out. Look at Canelo, must see. Black fighters have gotten boring. Close the f__king show. Jeez. – R.Solis
While I agree the days of thrilling African-American prize fighters, such as Joe Frazier, appear to be gone for the most part, I strongly disagree with your characterizing the active black boxers you named as having “no balls.”
Anyone who laces on the gloves for a living has “balls.” The men you mentioned have all faced badasses. They’ve entered the ring many times – as amateur and pros – against fighters with the strength, power and ability to do serious physical damage to them and they dealt with in their own way.
I agree that Mayweather doesn’t want to knock anyone out and it’s true that all of the guys you mentioned have been involved in stinkfests (Bradley-Alexander was particularly stinky). Muhammad Ali and Pernell Whitaker were never hell bent on knocking anyone out and they were in their share of boring fights but nobody can deny that their balls were bigger than most fighters. They were fearless. I’ll say the same for Chris Byrd.
I think Bradley and Alexander try to knockout most of their opponents. Bradley was one-half of the Fight of the Year in 2013 because he tried to take Provodnikov out in the early rounds. Judah knocks guys out all the time. He’s scored some thrillers over the years and he’s also been knocked out in dramatic fashion. He actually made for a mildly entertaining fight against Mayweather.
Judah’s last fight, against Paulie Malignaggi, was uneventful. I’ll give you that, but since you just went off on a racial rant against black fighters, I’m going blame it on the white boxer.
I’m also going to remind you that James Kirkland is arguably the most exciting fighter in boxing. And Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, Curtis Stevens, Bryant Jennings, Lamont Peterson, Peter Quillen and Shawn Porter generally make for entertaining fights.
FILIPINO FLASH VS. EL TERRIBLE
I'm a big fan of your mythical match ups. You should start a mythical matchup column. Whether I agree or disagree, I can't help but visualize how these fights would play out.
Anyway, I have a couple friends that happen to be huge Nonito Donaire fans. Whenever we get together, our conversation always turns to boxing. We end up talking about mythical matchups and things get interesting when they mention how Donaire would've handled Erik Morales pretty easily, that he might even stop him. I can't help but laugh. I think El Terrible would destroy the Filipino Flash. I don't think they know how good Morales was when he was at his best at 122 pounds. Please educate my narrow minded friends and tell them what kind of talent Morales had at his best.
Some match ups:
Chavez Sr vs Cotto at 140
Ricardo Lopez vs Michael Carbajal
GGG vs Gerald McCllenan
De La Hoya vs Cotto 140 or 47
Keep up the great work!!! – Ozzie, Garden Grove
Thanks for the kind words, Ozzie.
Morales wasn’t gifted with the natural talent and athletic ability that Donaire has but he was a far more complete fighter with better technique and a more active style.
If we’re talking about a mythical matchup at 122 pounds, we have to keep in mind that Donaire began his career at flyweight and probably peaked at bantamweight. I think he lost some of his phenomenal speed and world-class power once he stepped above 118 pounds. Morales, on the other hand, was at his fastest and punched hardest at 122 pounds. I think El Terrible may have had some trouble with Donaire’s speed, movement and unorthodox style early in the fight but once he got warmed up I think he’d outwork and punish Donaire to a unanimous decision.
Your other mythical matchups:
Chavez Sr. vs Cotto at 140 – Chavez by UD or late TKO in a very good fight.
Ricardo Lopez vs Michael Carbajal – Lopez by clear UD in a good fight.
GGG vs Gerald McClellan – Golovkin by late TKO.
De La Hoya vs Cotto 140 or 147 – The Golden Boy by clear UD at 140; by unpopular SD at 147.
GGG VS. JUNIOR
This is the second time I write to you. The first letter was not responded; probably automatically directed to trash box (fingers cross for the nicer reason) XD
First of all, I love your comments on current boxing news. You have your opinion, yet are not obsessed with them. Many boxing columnists out there have too strong of words against the fighters they don’t like. Where are the respect?
Anyhow, I just finished reading your newly released mailbag. I just had one question: Why would you want to see GGG vs Chavez Jr.?
I am a casual supporter of GGG and watched his past four fights. He is really a down-to-earth talented boxer and seems like a real nice dude. I seriously don’t want Top Rank to destroy him.
The reason that I am not a fan on this match-up is because I do not think GGG can knock the much bigger guy out. Let's face it, I think Junior will come in much heavier than GGG and I expect GGG to appear at the right weight. I also won’t believe that Junior can stop GGG. Therefore, it will go to the judges' scorecards which will be in favour of Junior despite the fact that GGG is much more talented and a better boxer. I can see another controversial win for Junior unless GGG can make the bout similar to what happen between Maidana and Broner.
Besides, I really wanna see GGG clean up middleweight division first then move up!! Cheers. – David
The problem with the 160-pound division is that none of the beltholders or top-five contenders really seem interested in fighting Golovkin at the present time. Chavez Jr. is the first “name” fighter who seems willing to fight Golovkin, and at age 31, GGG doesn’t have time to wait for the well-known fighters in his division. Kudos to Junior. I’m sure he thinks his greater size (which is considerable) will be the equalizer to Golovkin’s superior technique and punching power.
Who knows? He might be right. You might be right. GGG’s KO streak could come to an end if they fight, and the fighter with the famous name might get another undeserved decision.
However, if the fight lands at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., as Top Rank and K2 are planning, I guarantee you that GGG will have a lot of fans (including Mexican fans) inside the newly renovated arena to cheer him on. And crowd support often influences judges – although I don’t think the undefeated middleweight titleholder will need any help.
I think Chavez’s size will make him an easier target for Golovkin’s body shots, which I believe is the key to stopping Junior (because the big goof does have an anvil for a chin). GGG is used to sparring with bigger guys, including Sergey Kovalev and Anatoliy Dudchenko.
But we won’t know who’s right about this matchup unless it happens.
Email Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer