Boxing


The Left-Hook Lounge: Vivek Wallace's Q&A Mailbag Featuring Pacquiao, Mayweather, Mosley, Klitschko, and More!

pacmanPhoto by Sumio Yamada - Over the past week since the last Left-Hook Lounge installment the world of boxing has heated up quite a bit. What started out as a mere spark has grown to an uncontained flame, 'slow-burn' effects rivaled only by that of a freshly lit Sancho Panza Honduran cigar. The aftermath could be highly remiscent as well if it plays out the way it all appears.

Without waisting another minute, we take a look at a few questions posed by some of the biggest fight aficionado's on the face of the planet, along with the answers given directly from the mind of one of the sports most fanatical writers..

Paul Watson (Miami, Fl): Last week, you (Vivek) stated that Marquez would be a 'live' underdog and that he "would make it more of a fight than most media gave him credit for". What do you think about the way the fight panned out?

VW: I thought the fight was outstanding and the result in some ways did surprise me because I think that this fight was closer to an actual draw than the first encounter. You take away the knockdowns in both fights and one can make a strong argument that Marquez wins them both. I stated in a previous article that I thought Marquez would come into the fight with more confidence after fighting to a draw despite being knocked down 3 times in the first fight and that's exactly what happened. He wasn't afraid of anything that Pacqiuao could present because he had tasted the best Pacquiao had to offer, so with a few adjustments, to me it only made sense that he would be able to nullify Pacquiao's greatest strengths while executing his own. In the pre-fight leadup I saw an 'eye of the tiger' in Marquez that let me know he would not be denied and in the fight I think that attitude was on full display. Marquez fought a much smarter fight than the first, he countered beautifully, and he used great angles. That being said, Pacquiao is the kinda guy that I could watch all day long and the heart he displays in the midst of ring adversity is rivaled by few in the sport. As much as I'd like to see a trilogy, Pacquiao's immediate "NO" in response to the question of a rematch spoke volumes. Some would say that shows fear, but to his credit, coming in the ring 17 pounds heavier than his weigh-in weight (36hrs prior), tells me that he does have a legitimate reason to consider going north in weight as opposed to risking the possibility of being drained due to weight issues and losing. Skepticism about Pacquiao fearing a rematch won't disappear, and it doesn't help that many in the Marquez camp felt the outcome was made possible with a last minute switch-a-rooski where the WBC removed one of the designated judges (Dick Flaherty) and replaced him with Tom Miller, (the same judge that scored the fight 114-113 for Pacquiao). That kind of drama clearly sets the stage for a rematch but unless something major happens, looks like fight fans will have to forget about the ultimate 'trifecta', settling instead for a very tasteful 'two-piece'.

Chad Winslow (Brooklyn, NY): With so much happening in the welterweight division, when will we see the fight we want to see between Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

VW: My preference would have been this year, but there are so many things in the mix at this time that honestly, we'll be lucky if we ever see it. The only thing currently giving this fight any momentum is the fact that both guys are undefeated. The catch is this, will that be the case when they finally agree to terms, and to take it a step further, will they ever agree to terms? Floyd Mayweather Jr. is taking part in Wrestlemania where he gives up a ton of weight to his opponent. Staged or not, there's no way to fake an elbow drop to a guy you have a couple hundred pound weight advantage over. Any freak accident can happen. Secondly, Floyd still has to defeat Oscar Dela Hoya which I don't think will be the walk in the park some do now that Oscar has employed the services of the guy who taught Floyd the craft. Last but far from least, Floyd has filed a formal motion in court against Miguel Cotto's promoter, Bob Arum, for some unpaid wages from his tenure in the Top Rank stable. We saw how Oscar Dela Hoya and Arum went years without doing business due to what was labled as 'money mishaps', so there's no reason to think that these two will patch things up any quicker. Cynics are gonna say that this is Floyd's way of buying additional time to avoid Cotto. While I don't think that's the case, I will say that none of it helps speed up the process. Adding to the list of factors that could arrest this development is the fact that Cotto has to get past Alphonso Gomez - (which he should) - as well as the winner of the Kermit Cintron vs Antonio Margarito showdown. If all things remain neutral and go according to script, Mayweather and Cotto's date with destiny should be all wrapped up by the end of '08, setting up a spring '09 showdown (at latest) between the two. Possible, yet very improbable is the odds of the fight happening any sooner. I wish I could answer this question with an exact date. I have a strange feeling that quite a few people wish the same thing.

Jason Jackson (NYC): What chances do you give Zab Judah to defeat Shane Mosley? What happens afterwards for the winner?

This should be a great fight for two reasons. For one, both guys are fast, and for two, both guys know that a loss here would be the proverbial 'curtain closing' session on eithers very storied career. Personally, I don't think Shane Mosley is done putting his print on the world of boxing. For whatever it's worth, I feel the Cotto/Mosley fight was close enough to call a draw, and no other welterweight aside from Cotto would defeat him (in my observation) other than possibly Mayweather. Mosley and Dela Hoya (his promoter) knows that a Mosley victory puts him square in the middle of the welterweight mix, and they both know that if Oscar loses to Floyd again and retires by years end, Oscar will need a welterweight fighter in his Golden Boy Promotions camp to align a possible mega fight with Mayweather if Mayweather does indeed stay in the sport. The politics in boxing is a bit predictable and while I wouldn't give myself credit for taking anyone to 'school', there's no doubt that this is simple mathematics....As in, when you take the mental calculations of two men (Oscar and Shane), add to the equation another known to chase dollars at all ethical cost, in the end, it can only equal more dollars for all parties involved, which is the key motivating factor for all parties involved. Look for Shane to fight and soundly defeat Judah, take a 'laydown- low risk' fight in the fall, setting up a rematch with Cotto in early January as Mayweather excercises his right to lounge for another few months before defending his strap if he does in fact defeat Oscar in September. Mosley has openly stated that he wants the rematch and he knows that defeating Cotto is the only way Mayweather even considers him. The fight against Judah is the infancy stage of a well thought out plan by Shane and Oscar that could all backfire if Cotto denies the rematch and Arum puts his differences aside with Floyd, making a lucrative offer he can't refuse.

Joe Cruz (Sebastian, TX): What do you think of Sam Peters' win over maskaev? Do you think a rematch with Dr steel hammer would be the way to go?

Sam Peters showed me a lot in his latest victory over maskaev. He showed me a vastly improved defense and he showed me that he's ready to make another run at the title. Let's face it, the heavyweight division is looking for relevance in a big-man league that suddenly has only seen happy days from its little-guys. Aside from Samuel Peter and perhaps one or two other heavies, I don't think there is a true legitimate threat to Klitschko, which is odd in itself because despite Klitschko's great improvement, he still looks very beatable. In the first fight Peter was not nearly as polished as he looks now. I think a Peter/Klitschko fight would render vastly different results this time around but he'd better move fast. Within a year I expect David Haye to run through a few 'cupcakes' and set himself up for a shot at defeating the Dr. Steelhammer. Whether people like it or not, he's the fresh, new face to grace the division and his personality is far more marketable than any of the other contenders. Marketability and talent can only result in opportunity. Perhaps even if it is a bit biased.

(Got Feedback or Questions?: Write ESB's Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)

Article posted on 19.03.2008



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