Hello readers, welcome again to my mailbag. Boxing has become invisible lately in the sporting landscape, overshadowed by the soccer World Cup going on in South Africa, the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics, and by MMA pay per view events (I called Chuck Liddell being completely washed up by the way). Those events, especially the World Cup, are worldwide spectacles that captivate millions of people. Boxing seems insignificant in comparison, especially with no blockbuster fights in the upcoming schedule.
One boxing match could surpass all of those other sporting events, putting pugilism back in the spotlight, at least for one glorious week or so. The match I am referring to, of course, is Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. If this bout is made it is likely to become the highest grossing fight of all time and among the biggest/most important fights in the storied history of boxing.
As huge as the impact a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather would make on the sporting world, the bout is dangerously close to not happening. Negotiations fell apart last year, forcing both men to fight different opponents. The negotiations have secretly commenced again. The camps of both boxers do not want to divulge any details because they, Bob Arum especially, feel like the media sticking their noses in the negotiations last time were a main factor in why a deal was not reached. With November being the proposed fight date, we can only hope that no news is good news and that progress is being made. Boxing cannot afford to have talks melt down again. Rumors and unconfirmed quotes state that the fight is “very close” to happening, but we have heard that before.
Pacquiao vs. Mayweather would be a game changer. Such a fight would captivate the entire world and be firmly planted in the annuls of history. If only Floyd Mayweather knew or cared how devastating ducking this fight would to boxing and its fans. An announcement one way or the other, the product of these secret negotiations, should be coming in the next month or so. In the meantime, boxing fans can look forward to the next Super Six fight this Saturday between Andre Ward and Allan Green.
Onto the mailbag portion of my column, this week I take emails discussing how the Klitschko brothers would do against the great heavyweight champions of the past, a questionable celebration tactics of Mirko Cro Cop, and debate the #1 P4P claim of Floyd Mayweather. Enjoy the bag and be sure to email me your thoughts and feedback.
The Klitschko vs. Heavyweight Legends
I saw an article, I think on your website, could have been somewhere else. In that article, the writer was comparing the Klitshckos against, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton. The conclusion was everyone would beat them and it seemed like almost no contest. I don’t know about all that. It’s of course hard to compare old timers to more modern ones. There are always improvements and the Klitschko’s would have size and strength advantages over all these guys (well maybe not George). I don’t know about Ali and George, I think they would make interesting fights with the Klitsckhos. But I think Ken and Frazier would lose against them. Frazier would be to small and Ken I don’t see dancing in and out. George would have his power and will and Ali his speed and boxing skill. What do you think about the Klitshcko’s against these legends?
Since we have started, what about Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes? (I’m
thinking of prime vs. prime). I have a very hard time making these calls, there’s always a tendency to favor an old legend, but the Klitshcko’s are super heavyweights with long reach and KO power, so it’s hard to count them out.
No channel here showed the Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman fight, so I didn’t see it. Did you see a difference in Cotto since Emanuel took over, was he doings something new? Maybe clinching like Wladimir heheheh?
One last thing, it seems like David Haye has painted himself into a corner, now everybody is calling him a chicken or a bitch! And the only way to stop that is to take on either of the Klitschko’s. He is now the villain, I think if he takes the fight sometime soon all of this might work with him, surely he has got under the Klitschko’s skin, I mean he’s got me pissed off and I’m just a fan!
I am one of the few who think that the Klitschko brothers would be able to hang with the legends. Their combination of size and skill have never been matched in the history of the heavyweight division. The legends never had to face anyone like the Klitschkos so there is no precedence to go on when predicting those fights. Here is how I would see it:
Vitali Klitschko vs. Muhammad Ali – Klitschko is actually pretty similar to George Foreman. They are huge, freakishly strong and don’t mess around with boxing. Their KO percentage is similar too. Ali had the right style, using his movement, stamina, and durability, to defeat a menacing, overpowering slugger like Vitali by outlasting him and bringing the heat when the advantages are his. Ali wins by late round KO.
Vitali Klitschko vs. Joe Frazier – Using the same comparison to George Foreman, I’ll take Vitali to defeat Frazier by TKO. Frazier didn’t have the finesse or the mindset not to get into a war with the bigger stronger Klitschko.
Vitali Klitschko vs. Ken Norton – Norton’s biggest weakness was going up against big punchers and Vitali is one of the biggest hitters out there. Vitali by KO.
Vitali Klitschko vs. George Foreman – What a war this would be. Vitali would have the edge in size while Foreman has the edge in power. Vitali’s awkward style would be the key here. That would either help him by presenting something different and confusing Foreman, or it would work against him since he keeps his hands down sacrificing defense for offense. I think that Foreman catches Vitali with his hands down and wins by mid round TKO.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Muhammad Ali – I’ve stated my opinion on this fight previously and caught some heat but I think that Wladimir has the perfect style to take out Ali. He has the educated jab that gave Ali fits, the edge in size, and enough foot speed to keep up with Ali. Wladimir has the boxing ability and size to consistently win rounds against just about any boxer in history, including Ali. The question is whether or not Ali’s legendary resolve and toughness would be enough to overcome the huge stylistic disadvantages. I say no and that Wladimir Klitschko wins a clear unanimous decision.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Joe Frazier – Wladimir would have more than a puncher’s chance here. Wladimir’s big edge in reach would allow him to sneak in many big right hands in the early rounds. If Frazier was able to survive those early bombs then his chances increase. After seeing how the unimpressive goober Sam Peter could land a few against Wladimir and drop him, I think Frazier’s vaunted left hook lands home and KO’s Wladimir giving him a dramatic come from behind win.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ken Norton – Although Wladimir and Vitali have drastically different fighting styles, they have a few attributes in common. One such attribute is devastating punching power; which unfortunately for Norton was his biggest weakness. Norton’s chin fails him again causing him to lose by KO to the bigger stronger Klitschko.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. George Foreman – As I stated in the Ali mythical matchup, the way to beat Wladimir is not to try win rounds against him. Klitschko, because of his size and boxing ability, would be able to win rounds against any heavyweight in history. The way to beat Wladimir is to find a way to hurt him and put him out. That falls right into Foreman’s strength. A young Foreman was a fearless, aggressive slugger, and in the running for the hardest puncher of all time. Wladimir’s house of cards collapses under the power and determination of Foreman. Big George by KO.
I also have a hard time calling their fights against Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield. Quick picks, I have Wladimir losing a razor close decision against Holmes due to a late knockdown scored by Larry, losing by KO to Tyson, and losing by late round TKO to Holyfield. I have Vitali losing by TKO against Holmes, beating Tyson by TKO because Tyson didn’t like it when his opponents fought back, and fighting to a bloody draw against Holyfield.
I am also very critical of David Haye for running his mouth about the Klitschko brothers when it looks like he never had any desire or intention of fighting them. Haye does not want to end the gravy train that is his heavyweight success. He knows that he would be a sizable underdog against either Klitschko brother. To save face, he has run out of options so he must put up or shut up. Any opponent other than one of the Klitschko brothers would be shameful considering all of the trash he talked.
Cotto looked like his old self against Yuri Foreman. He is an offensive minded fighter and changing that would be a huge mistake. I’m not sure if the addition of Steward helps other than having a new voice in the corner to keep him from becoming complacent. Miguel did not have many if any holes in his game that needed to be fixed. The big question was whether or not he was past his prime. From the looks of the Foreman fight, the answer is no.
Mayweather P4P #1?
I am completely confused and perplexed why Floyd is the number 1 p4p fighter in the world according to some. I’ve been looking at Floyd’s stats and Pacman’s stats, they are so lopsided it raises more question why Floyd is number 1. Floyd has been fighting in the welterweight division for 5 years and his last legitimate welterweight fight before Shane was clod footed no power Carlos Baldomir and that was 2006.
And for the last 3 years, Floyd has fought 3 times, 2 with fighters who came from smaller weight classes, Marquez was the worst and most unfair fight. Marquez was two weight classes smaller and never worked light welterweight and welterweight. And Floyd fought 38 year old, over-trained (20 weeks of training -Nov 2009 to May 2010), gassed out, and past his prime Shane Mosley.
Manny, since turning to welterweight, has fought three fighters who were bigger than Manny. Oscar De La Hoya may have been older and, past his prime, but still taller and longer reach. I remember when everyone was saying how Oscar would severely beat a smaller Manny and this was a total mismatch. Manny made Oscar quit and retire on his stool. Something Floyd couldn’t do. And then next two welterweight fights were against two bigger true welterweight fighters, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey. Cotto are ranked #4 and Clottey #5 welterweights in the world. And lastly, Manny has fought six times in the last 3 years and never once retired. No contest!
I completely agree. I have Pacquiao firmly planted at #1 on my pound for pound list and can’t understand how Mayweather is #1 on anyone’s list. As you described in detail, Manny’s accomplishments far outweigh what Floyd has done recently. I covered this in detail in last week’s mailbag and even called out some fellow RSR writers for abandoning logic by going with Mayweather.
The only way someone has Mayweather ahead of Pacquiao is if they ignore their records and achievements and base their ranking solely on their opinion of who is more talented (which is a poor, biased, and misguided way to do a P4P list). Awarding fight ducking, selective opponent selection and inactivity is a poor way to create a pound for pound ranking. I usually respect other people’s opinions even if they differ with mine as long as they have a somewhat decent argument, but in this case there is no argument!
Cro Cop’s Mouthpiece
Was it just me or did Cro Cop throw his mouthpiece at the crowd after dismantling Pat Berry? It sure seemed like he did to me. I could just picture the crazed multitude arm-shielding their faces in slow-motion as that dreaded saliva-coated mouthpiece descend upon them. If it was a shirt, hell even his speedo, I’d get the idea. But a mouthpiece? I’m sure a real whacked fan would want it but a little decency shown would’ve been welcome…
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic is an MMA legend. That head kick of his has been coined as “Cro Cop”ing someone. You have to be pretty darn good to have a move named after you. If baseball player Luis Gonzalez is able to sell his chewed bubble gum on eBay for a decent amount of money then that mouthpiece from the heavyweight MMA icon Cro Cop is worth something. Let me tell you, I would be running over children and old ladies to catch that saliva-coated piece of plastic. I might even try it on to see how it fit.
Is that going too far? Let me know by shooting me an email at the form box at the bottom of the feature writers page. See you all next week!