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Brian’s Boxing Mailbag (Heated Debates About Floyd Mayweather, David Haye & Manny Pacquiao)

By Brian Wilbur

Greetings ladies and gents. I welcome you to my boxing mailbag. You can’t miss this week’s column because things get raw, especially when talking about Floyd Mayweather’s legacy. Before we get to that I quickly want to congratulate Tavoris Cloud and Devon Alexander for putting on good shows, gutting out two tough wins on Saturday night. At a time like this when boxing is down, the sport needs good competitive championship fights like that to keep fans satisfied.

Now for the first email of the week, a reader takes offense to my list of top 10 heavyweights from the 2000s decade that I posted in a previous mailbag.

David Haye Does Not Belong


David Haye doesn’t belong on any heavyweight list as he has had only a handful of fights at heavy. Despite the fact that he is a belt holder, he beat faded versions John Ruiz and Monte Barrett (well after Klitschko beat him), gained a gift decision against Valuev. This man has not built an impressive – some would even argue credible- resume at heavyweight. This man definitely belongs on a cruiserweight listing but not a heavyweight listing.

-Chris Petrill


I see your point and agree that David Haye has done very little at heavyweight.  But I ask you, who else would you put there?  That is the problem that I ran into.  The pool of candidates is so weak.  Guys like Eddie Chambers, Sultan Ibragimov, Shannon Briggs have accomplished even less than Haye during the 2000s.  The top 10 list for the 2000s is embarrassingly weak and highlights the underlying problem in boxing right now: the best rarely ever fight the best.  Without selecting tough opponents, today’s heavyweights are not daring to be great and as a result have extremely weak records.

Unless you can make a convincing enough argument to put someone else in his place (which is possible) I will stand by my selection of David Haye. I picked Haye because nobody else blew me away. A group of a dozen were about equal in their mediocrity, so I picked Haye because he at least has captured the imagination of boxing fans.  

Mayweather Nuthugger Spins Reality

I know it sounds better on paper, but let’s be honest, Manny’ is at most equal to if not inferior. Like you say, don’t just look at the names, look at the situations and circumstances.

List of Floyd’s top opponents…
De La Hoya

List of Manny’s top opponents…
De La Hoya

Right off the bat you can see Floyd has way more top opponents on his resume. You can even exclude Hernandez if you want, though I don’t see why you would. Anyway, there’s more to it. Both Barrera and Morales were coming off of WARS with each other. I don’t care what anybody says, you don’t come out of fights like that in tip top shape.

But if you want, that can be ignored in the case of Barrera who was coming off some good victories. Let’s just say he beat Barrera no excuses.

What next? Marquez. In that fight he got his butt kicked, whether you think he won or lost, he got his butt kicked. By all means an immediate rematch was necessary. But instead he makes him wait 4
years. *first black mark*

Then he fights Morales, who was coming off a loss to Barrera (a lot of people say it was a close fight, but IMO, of their trilogy, that was the easiest to score in favor of Barrera). He loses (funny thing about that is this is when I rooted for him. When I want him to win, he loses, when I want him to lose he keeps winning). There was a whole bunch of excuses, but let’s not get into that.

Then he gets himself a tune-up fight and fights Morales AFTER Morales got out boxed by Zahir Raheem. Of course he wins (taking into mind he was doing pretty good until he got tired). Then what? Immediate rematch. Funny how he gives a guy he just KO’d an immediate rematch, while Marquez has to wait 4 years.

Clearly on the decline, Morales goes on to lose to David Diaz, and as a result, retires. Losing 5 of his last 6 basically highlights that he was on the downside of his career even by their first fight. *second black mark* as Morales wasn’t in his prime and still gave him two hard fights, winning one.

(Skipping the second Barrera fight, which did not need to be) After Morales he gives Marquez another go, and again, get’s his butt beat. Wins, but most boxing experts, including some in the Philippines, thought he lost. Based off that a fighter truly attempting greatness would have given Marquez an immediate rematch just to prove a point, which he does not. Officially at this point, his career is forever stained. *2 black marks*. First for the fight ending controversially. Second for not giving him a rematch.

Then he fights Oscar De La Hoya, who at this point in his career had no business being below 154 pounds. In fact, Pacquiao actually entered the ring as the bigger man because of how weight drained Oscar was, somewhat dropping the notion Manny always fights big men. *fifth black mark* as De La Hoya was clearly dehydrated.

Then we got Ricky Hatton. I’ll ignore the fact that Mayweather may have damaged him mentally by KOing him. The reality is he had something else going on in his head. At this point he just started with his new trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. who was basically completely changing his fighting style. With only one little bit of practice in the Malignaggi fight, it’s hard to believe Ricky could have possibly mastered the slick defensive boxing style by the time he was fighting the OTHER #1 p4p fighter in the world. Yet that’s the game plan he came in with. Clearly uncomfortable as the bugs from his old style were creeping in, and you could just see him fighting the urge, he gets destroyed. *sixth black mark* as Hatton wasn’t mentally prepared

Then he fights Cotto after Cotto came off of a horrendous outing against Joshua Clottey, and prior to that he was basically beat to death by two bricks against Margarito. Obviously the hype was there, even I thought Cotto would win. But that doesn’t escape the fact that Cotto wasn’t the same fighter. For example, when he had Manny against the ropes literally allowing Cotto to hit him. Cotto seemed hesitant. Something was wrong, be it mentally or physically. *seventh black mark*

Now let’s look at Floyd’s top opponents. Hernandez was 32 years old. Old but by no means too old. He hadn’t been beaten since Oscar De La Hoya, and even then, he wasn’t dominated as badly as he was by Floyd. But let’s just say it was age. But like I said, we don’t have to count him. As a result, I’m not giving him a black mark for this.

Diego Corrales was considered the OTHER top super feather weight in the division. He made complaints about making weight, and was apparently in trouble with the law by the time of the fight. *black mark* due to distractions not because of the weight considering he went back to that weight no problem even after doing a stint in prison.

Jose Luis Castillo was the lightweight champion. Mayweather beats him controversially. But no black mark considering Floyd gives him an IMMEDIATE rematch just to prove a point. And I’m sure there were no complaints about who won the second fight.

Judah was easily the top welterweight at the time. Let’s be serious, his loss to Baldomir was a fluke. Just to prove a point, Floyd even beats Baldomir to shut the whiners up.

Then he moves up in weight to fight De La Hoya. As much as I love De La Hoya, Floyd won that fight easy. Most of the rounds anyone gave to Oscar were because they liked him and they hate Floyd no way around that. *black mark* as De La Hoya apparently wasn’t in his prime. As a result, Pacquiao gets an eighth black mark for the same reason. Up to you.

Then Hatton. There’s really no excuse with Hatton. A lot of people say it was because Hatton had to move up in weight, but the reality is, the guy balloons to 180+ between fights. I’m sure dropping down to 147 from 180 is a lot easier than dropping down to 140. The reason Hatton doesn’t have as much success at 147 is because he no longer possesses the ability to bully his naturally smaller opponents, because his opponents are about equal naturally if not bigger. In the case of Floyd, I’d say they were naturally equal. If not, than it’s safe to say Hatton was the naturally bigger fighter. The rounds were close, but most of them were going to Floyd before the KO.

Then he retires, comes back and fights Juan Marquez. What’s tricky about this one is we have to consider the fact that Floyd WAS coming off of a 2 year layoff. Most people coming off of long retirements fight journeymen or weak contenders. Floyd chose to fight the #2 p4p fighter in the world who was just coming off an amazing victory over Juan Diaz.

AFTERWARD everyone was all claiming the fight was a mismatch from the beginning. But before, it was just as much a toss up as Pacquiao/Marquez. Anyway, people miss the point. Sure Juan was not in the best shape, but look at how Floyd beat him. He didn’t really impose his size by wrestling him around, or throwing real damaging power shots. He basically beat him the same way he’d beat him at 135. Using his speed, and his skills. Sir Marquez may not have been as sharp at 147, but let’s acknowledge the fact that Floyd at 147 was not as sharp as he was at 135 either. I just can’t see why I would give Floyd a black mark for a tune-up fight.

Then we got Shane Mosley. Not much to say about this. *third black mark” just because Mosley had over a year out of the ring. I’m not gonna mention the fact that he’s 38, because at 37 he KO’d Margarito so really it was the year out of the ring that aged him.

There you go… 8 to 3. or 7 to 2 depending on your decision about De La Hoya).

Now I know there’s a bunch of black marks you wanna give Mayweather for NOT fighting certain fighters. Most notably Kostya Tszyu, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and Paul Williams. But let’s not forget that Pacquiao also skipped out on a few worthy opponents as he moved up. For example, at lightweight why didn’t he fight Casamayor, Nate Campbell, or Juan Diaz? Why didn’t he fight champ Bradley after beating Hatton?

Just for the record, I’m one of those people the thoroughly believe if Mayweather and Pacquiao don’t fight because of something Mayweather does along lines. BOTH of them will forever have shattered lagacies. Some people think Pacquiao would still deserve to be put on the pedestal with Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Sugar RayLeonard, etc. But the reality is, without Mayweather he has nothing but that 8 titles 8 division things. But in today’s era, belts are everywhere, and in the case when fighting Pacquiao, you may not even get to weigh the limit of the division you hold a belt at.

-Jad Easy


You are simply wrong. You are so far off base that I had trouble reading your email all the way through without vomiting. I don’t even want to counter your points because it might give some credibility to your arguments. I feel like I am having déjà vu from when I was trying to argue with hardcore Mike Tyson fans saying that he was not the greatest heavyweight of all time yet getting nowhere.

I can’t resist the temptation and can’t resist rebutting a couple of the false statements in your email. First, you cannot blame Manny Pacquiao for not giving Juan Manuel Marquez an immediate rematch after their first fight. Team Pacquiao offered Marquez one million dollars; a career high pay day by far. Marquez refused because he was not getting a 50/50 purse split and ended up settling for a fight with Chris John for less than $100k. This is well documented and widely regarded as one of the worst managerial decisions of all time by Nacho Beristain, not a “black mark” on Pacquiao.

And why are you calling the excuses of losing opponents as black marks on Pacquiao’s record? All boxers come up with excuses when they lose. Your take on Miguel Cotto is especially horrendous. Cotto looked like himself in his fight with Pacquiao, he just wasn’t good enough. We could still see more big wins from Cotto as he is once again a title holder.

Manny Pacquiao has not put together the resume to put him in the top 10 all time with guys like Sugar Ray Robinson, however he has done enough to be placed ahead of Floyd Mayweather due to his consistently strong level of opposition.

You may get a better response to your comments on a Floyd Mayweather message board. Give that a try.

Movie Mailbag


How about we tackle movie ideas this time? I was writing something in response to our waning interest in the fight game a couple of weeks ago but got sidetrack and, really, with the Manny/Floyd showdown looking as good as dead I’m not too keen on the fight business right now. Margarito has nothing to do with Pacquiao. Manny should just retire if Floyd doesn’t want to fight or close a trilogy with Marquez – now that’s business that isn’t finished. Apart from the circus of Randy Couture vs. James Toney, there really is no other fight that piques my interest. By the way, I saw your statement about Toy Story III. I’m shocked man! Have you no inner kid? “To infinity and beyond”? No? Come on…!

Anyway, what say you about these:

1. Predator vs Jason of Friday the 13th? Some host suggested this and I thought “crazy” and liked it. Who’s better than Jason? Aliens vs Predators was passable but that was a WWE rip-off. Predator vs. Jason is a more legit match-up me thinks.

2. Zohan vs Edward Scissor-hands? I don’t know, I just thought well since they’re both good with scissors…

What else?

Pacquiao vs Godzilla? Nah.



We have the same feelings about boxing right now my friend. Knowing that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is dead I have a hard time getting excited about boxing. I openly invite discussions about movies. Here are my picks for your mythical match ups:

1.Predator vs. Jason – I’ll take Predator over Jason because the alien warrior is more versatile, and sometimes invisible. You can’t beat that. Although Jason never seems to die, so his apparent invincibility could allow him to stick around and score a come from behind knockout (sorry, I’m always thinking in boxing terms).

2.Zohan vs. Edward Scissor-hands – I’ll go with Edward Scissor-hands because…it’s just a much better movie. Love that flick from back when Tim Burton made quality movies.

3.Pacquiao vs. Godzilla – Pacquiao is good at fighting bigger opponents so he would make things interesting for the first few seconds. Then Godzilla would step on him.

Thanks for reading! Come back next time!

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