The Left-Hook Lounge: Vivek Wallace's Mailbag Featuring Cotto, Klitschko, Oscar, and Cintron!
This weeks glimpse into the "Left-Hook Lounge" mailbag offers a look at a few interesting topics along many fronts in the world of Boxing.
Article posted on 27.02.2008
Talking with members of various boxing circles around the globe it seems that the same names continue to get tossed around. As I skimmed through emails received this week, it was pretty obvious that pattern wasn't about to change.
Everything from Miguel Cotto's surprising remarks about Mayweather, to Cintron's remarks about Cotto, it's all fair-game in this weeks mailbag. And so we now take a look:
Karla Flores (Miami, Fl): How do you rate Oscar Dela Hoya's legacy?
VW: Oscar Dela Hoya is a very controversial figure when it comes to that legacy word. He'll easily go down as one of the biggest names in the sport, but if we're judging by his actual ring moments, things get a bit sketchy. Much like "Iron" Mike Tyson, Oscar De la Hoya is one of those fighters who were greater than the average, but somehow never really performed when on the big stage. A current 0-5 record against the perennial competition of his era highlights this sentiment. I think you have to commend him for what he's done for the sport but realistically he falls considerably short in comparison to many others, and technically doesn't even land in some people's top 25 greatest fighters of all-time, my list included. He still has one mega fight left against Mayweather, but if he loses that decisively, he could easily be considered one of the biggest bust in the history of the sport despite never actually being viewed that way. Not exactly a bad thing.
Mario (Ft. Lauderdale, Fl): What do you think of Miguel Cotto's recent comments on Floyd Mayweather Jr?
VW: First off, I think you have to really dissect those comments and ask yourself how much of it was Cotto, and how much of it was Arum and other Floyd skeptics speaking through Cotto? Before I answer this question I want to ask all the passionate Cotto-faithful out there to ask themselves in an unbiased fashion to seriously ponder my response. Cotto made the statement "He [Floyd] runs from the good boxers and fights other boxers". Think about this. Floyd skeptics have said all along that he won't fight the best fighters out there, yet at this present moment, Cotto is about to face a guy that isn't even below the #9 ranking in ANY of the sports organizational bodies. Also, the person under consideration for his next matchup to follow - Ricardo Mayorga - isn't even listed that high in the other boxing organizational ranking list.
I think Cotto is a brilliant fighter and his up-side is very high, but this argument in my humble opinion greatly portrays that intelligent 'dog' that for some reason just won't hunt. Further adding to the oppositional gripes that eat away at the credibility of Cotto in the eyes of his skeptics is the fact that rather than being aligned with other top rank (no pun intended) opponents, instead, promoter Bob Arum strategically helped Cotto obtain a title in an organization whose top 5 fighters - aside from Luis Collazo - are literally unknown to the mainstream boxing public. If this was a fighter and promoter who were truly looking to earn top-billing, wouldn't it have made sense to try to make some noise in an organization that actually touts real competition? Bottom line, Cotto and Arum are ready for battle, but figuratively speaking, they simply aren't in position to wage war.
Barry S. (Bronx, NY): Do you think Klitschko's performance against Ibragimov made him "The Man" in the heavyweight division?
VW: Actually, I think Klitschko's performance last Saturday night made him many 'men' in the heavyweight division. I think it made him "The Man" who appears to be talented but still very uncomfortable on the big stage. I think it made him "The Man" who has the tools to be amazing but for some reason hasn't been able to truly put it all together. I think his performance made him "The Man" that will meet an unlikely fate in the ring if he runs into someone who isn't intimidated and actually executes his plan. Get the point? In other words, I think that the heavyweight division is so shallow right now that a man who still hasn't risen to his true greatness can rule it because there's simply few meaningful foes out there. Samuel Peter is a formidable opponent, Chagaev is decent, Valuev is just big, and in the end, on any given night, either of those 3 men can possibly pull the curtains on Klitschko if he doesn't become the real "Man" that some of us thinks he can be.
Rob Seanz (Bronx, NY): How do you feel about Kermit Cintron's recent comments on Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayeweather Jr.?
VW: Kermit's statement: " I can honestly say that Miguel [Cotto] is the best in the welterweight division right now. I pick him because he fights anybody that steps in the ring with him and doesn't say no to any fights. He doesn't pick fights like Floyd does, and Floyd being in the WWE is just Floyd avoiding top welterweights".
This is basically the same scenario as the Cotto question. Although I don't totally agree with his statement, I think his words echo the sentiment of many fight fans. There's an element of truth to his words. I think Kermit Cintron has a right to his opinion and I respect him greatly, but for a guy that's done as little as he has and is coming off a poor outing of his own, I'm not sure he's in a great position to really say much either. My opinion may appear a bit blunt, but let's be realistic here, we're talking about a guy who's potential is obvious, but his in-ring actions haven't always been as transparent. Categorically, Cintron is barely a notch above the somewhat 'green' and talented yet not completely tested Andre Berto. Personally, I think before he starts to call out other big name fighters, he should first prove he's in the same class by facing and actually defeating a few. Has anyone stopped to think that even Carlos Quintana - who recently wasn't even a major player in the welterweight elite - has done more on a bigger scale than Cintron? Kinda scary isn't it?
That wraps up this weeks mailbag. Tune in next Wednesday for another roundtable chat about the 'happenings' in the world of boxing.
(Got feedback or questions?: Write ESB's Vivek Wallace at [email protected] or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)
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