RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

Brian’s Boxing Mailbag (Manny Pacquiao Vs Antonio Margarito in November?)

By Brian Wilbur

Hi readers, thanks for stopping by again. Let me put a stop to the questions about what I thought of Toy Story 3. I didn’t see it, nor will I ever see it. I don’t care how good you say it is, I’m not going to like it. Cartoons are for kids. So to all of the Pixar/Disney groupies out there, shut up and go ask your mommy for a diaper change.

Anyway, on to boxing:

Looks like Antonio Margarito will be Manny Pacquiao’s November opponent. What a let down. Margarito has done almost nothing since getting stomped by Shane Mosley and then getting suspended for cheating. But the fact is there really is nobody better now that Floyd Mayweather is unavailable. Pacquiao and Mayweather have cleaned out the division.

So who do I think will win between Margarito and Pacquiao? You have to go with Pacquiao here. Margarito is too technically deficient to hang with Manny and will be schooled, probably worse than he was against Mosley. This is assuming that Antonio won’t have his hands wrapped in cement. At one point Antonio was a badass, but you have to wonder how much his cheating factored into his success.

Another promising fight that is a no go is Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin. Two and a half years ago I applauded Povetkin for not jumping right into a title shot so early in his career. With years gone by I am a little surprised to see that team Povetkin still doesn’t feel that he is ready. Alexander is 30 years old, his prime years, so I am starting to wonder if Povetkin will ever feel ready enough to take on Wladimir Klitschko and cash in on the title shot he has earned! Anyway, we get to “look forward” to Wladimir Klitschko vs. Sam Peter II.

In this week’s mailbag I answer one quick question from a Floyd basher about the failed Pacquiao vs. Mayweather negotiations to finish out that topic forever. After that I answer an email by listing out my top 10 heavyweights per decade, while giving tribute to Mac Foster and the history of boxing. I hope you enjoy.

Floyd Hiding In A Hole

For once Floyd Mayweather proved me wrong. We didn’t hear an avalanche of excuses as to why he ducked Pacquiao as I predicted, because he was so frightened he hid inside a hole without a single squeak coming out from the scared little mouse.

What are your thoughts on this embarrassing behavior exhibited by the self-proclaimed “best fighter on the planet”?



The trainer excuse, about Roger possibly not being available for a Pacquiao fight, seemed like a pretty valid one.  One wouldn’t want to go into the biggest fight of his life without your rock of a trainer who guides you, prepares you, and gets you 100% focused and ready.  I think a lot of people, including Bob Arum, were cutting him some slack, essentially letting Mayweather off the hook because of this excuse. Put Pacquiao in the same situation with Freddie Roach and you can understand.  

However the more we hear from Floyd, it doesn’t even sound like that was the issue.  He just doesn’t feel like fighting right now and is “not even thinking about boxing”.  I surmise that the extent of the negotiations on Floyd’s behalf were carried out by Al Haymon.  When Haymon reached terms he felt were fair, he took it to Floyd, and Mayweather said something along the lines of “Boxing? Nah, no thanks. Maybe later.”  That quote from couple months ago about Mayweather retiring for the next couple years looks right on the money.  

I don’t understand how Mayweather feels absolutely no sense of urgency for trying to get this Pacquiao fight done.  The bout with Manny represents a huge payday, the big name opponent to silence his critics, and more fame due to the gigantic nature of the fight.  Seems like a winning situation even if he loses. Floyd’s legacy will suffer for this.  

Mac Foster and 70’s Heavyweights


I was sad to hear about the passing of Mac Foster last week. He was a strong fighter. I enjoyed watching him fight. The 70’s was a great time for boxing, especially for the big men in the heavyweight division. When you rank all of the best heavyweights from the 1970’s, does Foster make the top 10? Who is in your top 10?

And while your at it, if you have time, who are your top 10 heavyweights from every decade?

Thanks and condolences to the Foster family.

-Robert V.

Robert V.,

Mac Foster was an intimidating heavyweight prospect and contender. Although I respect him greatly, he falls short of making the top 10 heavyweights of the 1970s. No shame in that however. The 1970’s was the golden age of heavyweight boxing. Not only did you have three of the top 10 heavyweights of all time in Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali, but you had incredible depth. There were so many top-notch contenders back then that cracking the top 10 was a huge deal.

In contrast, making a top 10 heavyweight list today is difficult because the talent pool is so shallow. You almost want to leave #3 through 10 vacant. Coming out of nowhere to beat a halfway decent journeyman might be enough to make the top 10 nowadays.

At one point in time, Mac Foster was a legitimate top 10 ranked heavyweight and he and his family should have been very proud of that fact, especially considering the intense competition of his era. Foster and guys like him are what make the 1970’s so special for fans of the glamour division. There were no easy fights if you took on anyone in the top 40.

Foster very well may have made the top 10 of the decade if he had fought in a different era. His rise reminds me a lot of Vitali Klitschko. They were both big, tough guys with and excellent amateur background. They both had unreal knockout percentages and both were a bit flat-footed and not very fluid. Look at Vitali now and he is a dominant champion. Foster fizzled out shortly after cracking the top 10, but who knows? They are similar fighters, so I can imagine a scenario where Foster would have become champ in a different era.

And your request for my top 10 heavyweights for each era is asking for a lot, but I’m in a giving mood so here you go. Please note that for most fighters I picked one decade for them even if they fought in two different decades. The two exceptions to that are Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, and Joe Louis, who were dominant in two consecutive decades so leaving them out of one of those decades would be too strange.

1. Jim Corbett
2. Bob Fitzsimmons
3. Peter Jackson
4. John L. Sullivan
5. Tom Sharkey
6. Jake Kilrain
7. Charles Kid McCoy
8. Joe Choynski
9. Hank Griffin
10. Joe Goddard

1. Jack Johnson
2. James J. Jeffries
3. Joe Jeanette
4. Sam McVea
5. Tommy Burns
6. Marvin Hart
7. Gus Ruhlin
8. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien
9. Fireman Jim Flynn
10. Al Kaufman

1. Jack Johnson
2. Sam Langford
3. Jess Willard
4. Fred Fulton
5. Luther McCarty
6. Arthur Pelkey
7. Frank Moran
8. Battling Levinsky
9. Bill Brennan
10. Willie Meehan

1. Jack Dempsey
2. Gene Tunney
3. Harry Wills
4. Jack Sharkey
5. Luis Firpo
6. Tom Heeney
7. Billy Miske
8. Tommy Gibbons
9. Paulino Uzdundun
10.Jack Renault

1. Joe Louis
2. Max Baer
3. Max Schmeling
4. Jim Braddock
5. Jack Sharkey
6. Primo Carnera
7. Tony Galento
8. Bob Pastor
9. Ernie Schaaf
10. Tommy Farr

1. Joe Louis
2. Jersey Joe Walcott
3. Billy Conn
4. Elmer Ray
5. Buddy Baer
6. Arturo Godoy
7. Abe Simon
8. Lee Savold
9. Bob Pastor
10. Tami Mauriello

1. Rocky Marciano
2. Ezzard Charles
3. Floyd Patterson
4. Ingemar Johansson
5. Archie Moore
6. Rex Layne
7. Roland LaStarza
8. Nino Valdes
9. Tommy Jackson
10. Jimmy Slade

1. Muhammad Ali
2. Sonny Liston
3. Ernie Terrell
4. Oscar Bonavena
5. Jimmy Ellis
6. Zora Folley
7. George Chuvalo
8. Eddie Machen
9. Doug Jones
10. Cleveland Williams

1. Muhammad Ali
2. George Foreman
3. Joe Frazier
4. Ken Norton
5. Jerry Quarry
6. Jimmy Young
7. Ron Lyle
8. Joe Bugner
9. Earnie Shavers
10. Duane Bobick

1. Larry Holmes
2. Mike Tyson
3. Tim Witherspoon
4. Michael Spinks
5. Mike Weaver
6. Trevor Berbick
7. Pinklon Thomas
8. Gerry Cooney
9. Tony Tucker
10. Buster Douglas

1. Lennox Lewis
2. Evander Holyfield
3. Riddick Bowe
4. Oliver McCall
5. Ray Mercer
6. Ike Ibeabuchi
7. David Tua
8. Hasim Rahman
9. Tommy Morrison
10. Michael Moorer

1. Vitali Klitschko
2. Wladimir Klitschko
3. Chris Byrd
4. John Ruiz
5. David Haye
6. Lamon Brewster
7. Sam Peter
8. Corrie Sanders
9. Ruslan Chagaev
10. Nikolay Valuev

Don’t agree with my lists? Shoot me and email and we can duke it out. Take care everyone.

To Email Brian Wilbur a Question For His Email Bag

Leave a Reply