Call me the observer. I am in a unique position of being able to hear the opinions of a wide variety of boxing fans since I am a boxing writer with a mailbag. Aside from European fans, there is still no love for Wladimir Klitschko, especially in the United States. That claim is true even after his blowout of former respected contender Sam “The Nigerian Wet Dream” Peter.
Wladimir has virtually beaten every top 20 contender who is willing to step in the ring with him, yet many in the United States still either don’t care, dislike, or discredit “Dr. Steelhammer”. The Klitschko brothers are clearly the best heavyweights of the post Lennox Lewis heavyweight generation and are good champions since they take on all comers.
I don’t even think that the ever elusive fight against David Haye would be able to change the minds of American fans that can’t seem to get Wladimir’s knockout losses out of their heads.
I respect and admire what the Klitschko brothers have done. They are not fighting in a tough era of heavyweights but they are doing what they should be doing. Vitali and Wladimir are consistently fighting top ranked contenders and beating them silly. Larry Holmes was able to build a legacy in a similarly weak era of heavyweights and is now hailed by many as a top 5 heavyweight of all time.
If the Klitschko brothers (Wladimir especially since he is younger) can keep up their level of success for a few more years then they should be considered all time great heavyweights approaching the level of a Lennox Lewis, Rocky Marciano and other heavyweight champions who came along during weak eras.
Sorry to the Pacquiao fans out there. Nothing this week on the Pacman. I, and apparently most readers of RSR, are not excited about the November 11th Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito fight. To be honest, I am starting to sour on the sport since Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was not made. My days as a boxing writer could be numbered.
My threatening to retire if Pacquiao vs. Mayweather doesn’t happen is not a blowhard boycott of the sport to bring attention to myself. I am being real and think I speak for millions of fans when I say that if the one possible super fight out there doesn’t happen then there is no point watching boxing anymore.
Have the politics and cowardly match making become so rampant that fans will never see the pound for pound champions fight each other? Would anyone bother watching the NFL regular season if they knew that there was going to be no Super Bowl? I sure wouldn’t.
Onto the mailbag portion, we start off with a review of Wladimir Klitschko’s win and a preview of Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal.
Heavyweight Review and Hopkins is Crazy
The question prior to Saturday was: Can Samuel Peter beat Wladimir Klitschko? All you heard was talk about Peter being in the best shape he had been in since the first fight. And even Klitschko had been talking him up, (which might support that he was trying to sell the fight because he knew that Peter had little chance). Peter had of course a puncher’s chance but did you believe he was in real shape? And if so, is he better now because of experience or just worse because he’s older and therefore can’t push himself as hard as when he was younger? Another factor is Klitschko has, in my opinion, gotten better.
David Haye’s video, do you have an opinion on that? It was a very weak explanation for backing out of the Klitschko fights I thought. And conveniently sent when both of the Klitschko’s have upcoming fight’s.
And lastly what about Bernard Hopkins against Jean Pascal? Isn’t Hopkins pushing the envelope a little bit here? I mean Pascal looked fantastic against Dawson. I think Hopkins is a heavy underdog in this fight but God damn that guy has a lot of guts. He even asking for David Haye…
There was a little bit of uncertainty before the fight just because Peter hits so hard, but ultimately Wladimir did what he was expected to and answered any question or doubt that anyone had about this fight.
Here was my prediction in the Team RSR fight picks:
“Wladimir fought scared against a red-hot Sam Peter last time and still won. Klitschko will fight more confidently and actually step into his power punches since now he is the one who is on the hot streak, brimming with self-belief. Peter has a puncher’s chance but overcoming Vladimir size and skill is a tough task, making the victory unlikely. I’ll go with Wladimir Klitschko by 7th round TKO.
Wladimir Klitschko is much better than he used to be. The improvements that he has made since the first Sam Peter fight are more mental than technical, although he has improved in both areas. Being knocked out twice like that against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster had Wladimir in a very dark place mentally as he was scared of the knockout and was not reacting to punches well. Those demons are long gone. He is fighting with technical dominance and doing it flawlessly with confidence. He is going to be tough to beat.”
Another brilliant performance by Klitschko, although these kinds of wins are becoming commonplace for him now. Wladimir has just about cleaned out the heavyweight division entirely. David Haye and Alexander Povetkin are the only two exceptions but those two appear to be running with their tails between their legs from the giant Ukrainians.
As for David Haye’s video excuse for ducking the Klitschko brothers, he has to realize that he is not the main draw in that fight. Haye is clearly the opponent against the Klitschko brothers so he is asking for more than he is worth, which is why the negotiations broke down. I believe that he is scared and knows that he will be defeated, therefore he won’t go through with a Klitschko fight unless he is well compensated. In business sense, that is a smart move; but it sucks for boxing fans. Like Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, David Haye vs. either of the Klitschko brothers is among the best match ups is boxing that can be made, but probably won’t happen.
I am starting to think that Bernard Hopkins is immortal. Jean Pascal has the edge in almost every category due to his youth and vigor. I’m still interested to see what the wily old veteran has to offer though. Hopkins has so much experience and makes the most of what he has left. If Pascal makes any technical errors, Hopkins will make him pay. Bernard has guts and flat out knows how to box. I don’t care if Hopkins is 45 years old, he is a slippery Mongoose so Pascal better be on top of his game. Win or lose, Hopkins makes people look bad, and I think that would be true even if Bernard fought until he was 60. And yes I agree with you, Hopkins has a lot of guts!
Boxing’s Need For a Commission
We know some major sports have employed a commissioner to oversee the sports. Mainly to enforce rules, create rules, but mainly to preserve the integrity of the sport. In light of Floyd’s recent racist ranting, current state commissions are sort of powerless or limited on what they can to protect the integrity of the sport. We are now the unfortunate beneficiaries of a mega fight that didn’t happen twice. I personally believe Floyd refuses to fight Manny regardless of his drug demands which I felt was all a smokescreen to avoid Pacquiao. Now we just heard from Floyd, a mouthful of a raving racist is not being held accountable for. Is it about time boxing employ an overall panel of commissioners to help protect the integrity of the sport.
There should be a single commission overseeing boxing as there is with all of the other major US sports. Boxing should pattern itself like the most successful of those organizations: the NFL. However the promoters involved are making too much money to let that happen. I don’t think boxing will have an effective or relevant boxing commission in my life time, I am sad to say.
Policing what the athletes say, which is your reason for forming a panel, is the least of my worries. We need a governing body with teeth; one that looks out for the best interest of the sport instead of taking bribes and trying to make a quick buck. Rankings that make sense, a schedule that guarantees that the best fighters fight often and against good opponents, and doing away with all but one belt per weight class are what I would like to see.
Most importantly for me is forcing quality matches. Could you imagine Roger Federer refusing to play Rafael Nadal in a tennis final unless he gets a larger share of the purse? Could you imagine Peyton Manning refusing to play the against the Baltimore Ravens because their defense is too tough to risk a loss? The garbage that happens in boxing doesn’t happen in other sports that are well run.
Trying to fine boxers for making distasteful comments is useless in today’s boxing. Boxing has had so many black eyes that it has no credibility anymore amongst the general public. What integrity is there to protect? The words integrity and boxing don’t belong in the same sentence.
Fan Lovin’ RSR
I been a Ringside Report fan for years an I ne’er get tired o’ reading yo stuff. I been a fan senz the days of McGahee’s mailbag back when it waz ol about kicken the grapes. Fun times. But McGahee left hizz bag business an I was depressed. It was like mamma leaven daddy for another blob and that blob was you Brian Wilbar. Naturally in the beginen since I was achen I dint care fo yo bag Wilbur but you have proven ta be worthy with on the point an thoughtout repsonses. So goud jab to ya laddie! Yo fantastic collectiones of writers o’er the years are unperalelled. But yo never had as great a team as one yo got last year to early part o’ tis year wit Geoff Poundes as lead writer, that good ol mick Brit was brilliant I muz say. That cnn lady import hot piece o’ ass what’s her name I cant rem ember but she one solid shick and the nudist princeza Sunset Thomas I mizz her no holdsbarred writen meth in all seriousnez, she really good. Daniel Cohen put twizt ina narratortive lika no othar. Tah Filipino SJ I dint care for like I dint care for you at firz then he turn mah head wit unexpectid writen skellz, outta tha blue artikels you ne’er expect ina bullion yars, than I see him commentin on a mutual frendz status on FB an I am floord by hiz eloquenz witch leads me ta thunk he iz more than he willen to show what intriguen Folapenow. I see tho yu guyz hav demoted him to mare commenter on yo mailbag, what brotha do to deserve sutch? LOL. Hope its not rachism. LOL.
Holy man I am stokd. I yam glad tho mah man Mike Plunkett is still on bored he writes deep wit big bangin picture on head all the time an relly incredible boxen knowledge, don eva let big Mike Plunkett go cuz I am transferen to crap easideboxen web if ya do. I also am happy about the addition of Jeff Stoyanoff great great great writer in the sam planet as Plunkett an Poundes no doubt. An Eoin Roriodan got serious funney bone. Git Poundes back! I yam still on juew process ofa warmen up wit the new writen talenz so Im well reserv juicment with em. Look Wilbar I am relly stokd an I yam outta whiski so I gonna go. I looken forward to see’en this hartfelt massage on yo mailbag. Keep RSR alaive Breyan Wilbar. Listen i proofread thiz an made correctionz an additionz to sho my goodwellz for RSR. Peaze mick.
-Burt Tha Loven Fan
I’m not going to post an official reply to this email. I just wanted to include this gem for any grammar Nazi’s out there who read my column. If you made it all the way through the message without your head exploding, pat yourself on the back.
Cheers everyone, hope you enjoyed the column. I am eager to read your emails and feedback. See you next time.