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Brian's Boxing Mailbag ( Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman, UFC Recap, and Always the Mention of Manny Pacquaio)

Email Bag Hosted by Brian Wilbur

Welcome faithful readers to another edition of my boxing mailbag. Although last week was not a particularly slow week in the fight world, all events seem to still be overshadowed by the potential showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The carrot has been dangled in front of sports fans and now no other fights will satisfy our craving for the best. In the words of the great Christopher Walken, “Guess What?! I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell Pacquiao vs. Mayweather!”

The biggest boxing match over the weekend was Vitali Klitschko’s optional title defense against Albert Sosnowski. Everyone knew that Vitali would win by KO, and that ended up happening, but Sosnowski was much more competitive than expected. Sadly, most fans and experts tabbed the competitiveness to Klitschko looking past his best instead of giving kudos to the over-matched Sosnowski for putting up a spirited performance. The fight was reminiscent of Chuck Wepner’s Rocky inspiring effort against Muhammad Ali.

Though I was not thrilled with the opponent selection, there was not much else available for Vitali and at least Sosnowski came to fight and was in shape, which seems like a first for a Vitali Klitschko opponent. The older brother had to stay busy until a real challenge emerges. Hopefully we get to see David Haye fight one of the two Klitschko brothers to make a long overdue marquee heavyweight fight.

Headlining the big UFC PPV over the weekend, Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans partook in a classic battle.  Dana White has to be pleased with the action in that marquee bout, especially in the third round.  Jackson, was down two rounds to zero heading into the third and final round and made a rousing come from behind rally that fell just short of a knockout win.  Jackson admitted after the fight that making the A-Team movie kept him out of the octagon for too long and he had ring rust that hurt him.
As much as I like the enraged fighting style of Rampage, I am secretly glad that Rashad Evans won because he is a better potential opponent for newly crowned champ Mauricio Rua.  Rua has his options open as the champ in the best and deepest division in the UFC. Many believed that the winner of Jackson vs. Evans would be the best opponent out of the bunch. If Rampage had won there would be no mystery. We’ve already seen what happens when Rampage gets in the ring with Rua and it’s not pretty. Evans, however, would bring something new to the table and has certainly earned his opportunity to get his old title back.

Random thought: is anyone else surprised at how little respect the Boston Celtics are getting heading into the NBA Finals against the Lakers? Kobe Bryant has more delusional fan boys than Floyd Mayweather, if that is even possible.

Moving onto the mailbag portion, I have a mixed bag this week, responding to questions about Alexander Povetkin, Shane Mosley, and Floyd Mayweather. Starting off the bag is an email previewing this Saturday’s 154 pound title bout between Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto. Enjoy and please send in your emails for next week’s column.

Cotto Attempts Foreman, 154 Division

Miguel Cotto is a super star in boxing and one of the best pound for pound fighters over the last few years. This is his first fight since losing to Manny Pacquiao and his first fight in the super welterweight division. Fighting bigger guys could be tough for Cotto since he is already pretty short for a welterweight. I think that this is a pretty good little fight and don’t know who to pick. Who are you picking Brian? What else can you say about this fight?

-Dennis Ramirez


If Cotto was in his prime I think that he would handle a guy like Yuri Foreman without much of a problem. Stylistically, Cotto has a very favorable match up here.

As you said, his last fight was the knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao and Pacquiao has a tendency to ruin fighters. Cotto may not be the guy he once was, which is probably the biggest question that this fight will answer: Cotto’s current form. Does he still have it? We’ll find out on Saturday night.

Now if Cotto has lost a step, a tough defensive boxer with a good jab like Foreman would be a tough challenge. Yuri does not have much punching power to speak of but that does not mean that Miguel will be able to rush in. He is going to have to use his speed and skill, and if that isn’t what it once was he will lose a decision. A good stick and move is a basic strategy, but if executed well it is very tough to overcome for a tiring fighter, especially one who is unaccustomed to the weight class. I picking Yuri here because I think between the Pacquiao beat down and Margarito’s hand of stone, Cotto my not be completely washed up, but he is a bit shell shocked.

Foreman vs. Cotto should be an intriguing affair and answer many burning questions about both fighters. The winner is the man to beat in the 154 pound division.

Where is Povetkin?

In your last week’s mailbag you gave your top 10 heavyweights and Alexander Povetkin was nowhere to be found? That is a gross error in my opinion. Povetkin beat Eddie Chambers too who made it in your top 10. Did you forget about the bad ass Russian or something?



Thanks for pointing this out, this is actually an error on my part. Let this be an official correction. Last week I listed Alexander Dimitrenko as the #4 heavyweight. I mixed up my Alexander heavyweights. That was supposed to be Povetkin. Dimitrenko should not have have been in the top 10 after losing to Chambers recently. Povetkin is absolutely a top 10 heavyweight, and like I said last week, I commend him for taking his time to develop and get even better for jumping into the ring with a killer like one of the Klitschko brothers.

At some time over the next few years, the biggest match up in boxing will be Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin. I expect a great fight when and if it happens.

WBA Strips Shane Mosley

I just found out from looking at the RSR message board that the WBA has stripped Shane Mosley of his WBA Welterweight title because sanctioning fees were not paid for his fight against Floyd Mayweather. Why did they do this? And more importantly, why didn’t Mosley and Mayweather want to pay the fees? Do the title belts mean nothing anymore?



To answer your question simply: no, the the title belts mean nothing anymore. The sanctioning bodies have been too shady and corrupt for too long to have any semblance of credibility. They are a complete joke. When boxers are at the super star levels of Mayweather and Mosley, fighting for one of those belts adds nothing to the fight. The Mayweather vs. Mosley PPV did not do any less business because the useless WBA belt wasn’t on the line.

I am glad that the WBA decided to strip Mosley because they become even less relevant. Boxing would be much better off without these leach organizations who are only in business to make a quick buck off of bribes. Young and/or unknown boxers perhaps need these belts in order to make a name for themselves, but can we get a sanctioning body that isn’t so inept and corrupt? Or at least an organization that follows its own rules (unlike the WBC for example who almost went under when they were sued by Graciano Rocchigiani).

Mayweather’s refusal to fight for the WBA belt has the sanctioning body presidents very nervous and worried. I implore the big name stars of boxing to follow Mayweather’s lead (and Marco Antonio Barrera before that), striking a blow to the organizations by ignoring them.

Criticizing Mayweather’s Demands

Making demands for PEDs testing or anything else on a smaller opponent? Ha Ha Ha Floyd Gayweather = the King of all Duckers ever. America = Home of the Brave? Ha Ha Ha What a shame!!!

-John Casino


I’m not happy about Floyd’s drug testing demands either because they are preventing the ultimate super fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao from happening. Manny has never tested positive and there is no reason to believe that he is cheating, so demanding this testing of him and no previous opponent is not fair. Especially when the players unions from other major sports like baseball and football also refuse the invasive blood tests. We’ve all been through the arguments before.

However I disagree with your take that a larger fighter only needs to worry about steroid use against a bigger or equal sized opponent. Steroids would be a great way to even a physical advantage against a larger opponent. Pacquiao is no joke and you can tell that Mayweather is less confident in victory than usual since he is so obsessed with the drug testing.

MMA Ref Dan Miragliotta

Hey Brian,

In response to your answer to my question last week, I think 80% of the boxing/MMA public are already co-existing. Yeah, I’m that optimistic. Good fights make a fan but great fights make a follower and with Pacquiao and Mayweather on the forefront of boxing headlines and MMA continuing to deliver exciting, unpredictable matches, I believe fight-fans are more united now than before. Boxing and MMA, as different as they are, compliment each other in my eyes.

But in regards to the Miraculous Dan Miragliotta, I merely wanted to know, so allow me to rephrase my question last week, if there are referees as bad as this guy is in his judgment in boxing? Note that I don’t hate him, in fact I find that he brings a strange air in every fight he’s officiating. Of course it’s especially irritating when he stops the action based on ridiculous insights, but in light after that, there is comic relief.




There have been numerous individual instances where a boxing referee has made extremely poor judgments making for horribly officiated matches. Two that come to mind are Robert Gonzalez and his ridiculous point deductions from Zahir Raheem in his fight with Rocky Juarez back in 2004, and Terry O’Connor’s head scratching stoppage of Joe Calzaghe vs. Peter Manfredo in 2007. Those probably aren’t the worst instances of bad reffing in boxing but they are the two that first came to mind.

Although there are bad instances such as the ones that I mentioned, I cannot think of a ref who is consistently poor on the level of Dan Miragliotta. He is a one of a kind!

I’ll end here for now. Send in your boxing/MMA related emails and have a great weekend all!

To Email Brian Wilbur a Question For His Email Bag

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