'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's mailbag featuring Pacquiao, Pavlik, Mosley, Mayweather Snr., and more!
This weeks 'Left-Hook Lounge' comes in the aftermath of a fight that took little time to show the fight world big things. After watching the once highly anticipated showdown quickly brew and simmer, fight fans were left holding empty cups as there was definitely not enough hot action to go around a venue that was left rather cold. The return of Floyd Mayweather jnr. certainly added to the weekend, but oddly enough, it's other topics that grabbed the most attention in this weeks 'lounge'. So, with no further ado, we take it back to the streets and break down a few very key questions as they relate to the future of the sport. We kick things off in San Francisco, CA, where a huge Pacquiao fan chose to put me on the spot for all the Pacquiao-faithful:
Article posted on 04.05.2009
Benji O. (San Francisco): I noticed that you predicted Ricky Hatton to beat Pacquiao and your reasons were sound but apparently off. After watching his performance, what are your thoughts about Manny Pacquiao?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think at this point, anyone with any excuse denying Pacquiao the highest honor in the sport is nothing short of a hater. That's not even a typical word in my vocabulary, but there's nothing in the thesaurus that comes close to finishing that sentence better. The guy left no room what-so-ever to question his greatness. After he defeated Diaz, I felt he hadn't faced the best contender in the lighweight division - which was true - but he got it done. After facing and destroying Oscar De La Hoya, many - myself included - felt he still had something to prove because ODH hadn't fought in that division in years and that he was weight depleted - which was true again, but hey, you get ONE NIGHT to get it right. The better man did! Now, he faces Ricky Hatton, and after myself and many others thought Hatton would bang to the body, he went in the ring and Pacquiao beat the living hell out of him in record time. Whether there were elements to question or not, the man has soundly defeated everyone placed in front of him and removed all doubt. He beat the same men Mayweather earned his acclaim in the sport with - but FAR MORE convincingly. Right now, Pacquiao is the man, and until Mayweather shocks the world (yes, it would be a shock right now after a near 2 year lay-off), Pacquiao has to be considered the man. He's a global phenom. In a strange parallel, U.N. typically stands for United Nations, and in Pacquiao, all nations are united in love for him, yet those two letters UN could also be viewed as a prefix for his very definition....UNprecedented, UNquestionable, UNdeniable! To do what he's done, coming up from 106lbs and just straight dominating? No question, no doubt.
Marvin L. (Miami Gardens, FL): Who do you think wins a fight at middleweight between Shane Mosley and Kelly Pavlik?
Honestly, I don't know why we haven't heard of this possibility yet. Mosley is big enough to wear 160lbs. He did well at 154lbs, and in an era of the sport where catch weights are the 'in' thing, why not 158lbs, or something? I think it would be a helluva fight. Another classic power versus speed showdown, but only this time, I don't think it'll end so quickly. Who do I think wins? It could go either way, but I will say this...Mosley's speed and slugging ability would give Pavlik pure hell. If Pavlik doesn't knock him out, I like Mosley on points. After defeating Margarito, Mosley is on a high, while Pavlik is scratching and clawing his way back after a humbling defeat to an old man. I didn't think the Rubio fight was vintage Pavlik, and some think he's ready for the taking against someone like Abraham. I like the 'Ghost' and consider myself a fan, but a Mosley fight may just end as yet another hunting memory. Don't bank on it happening, but it would be nice to see those two square off!
Charles W. (Los Angeles, CA): Bob Arum has stated that he plans to pin Manny Pacquiao against Miguel Cotto next. Who would you like to see Pacquiao face next?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think this is a very interesting proposition, but if nothing else, it gives a very driven champ a new mountain to climb. After climbing all others in his path, now Pac-Man would have to defeat a true welterweight in his prime who won't fold nearly as quick or easy as Hatton did. With Arum stating that Pacquiao will be at ringside in a few weeks when Cotto faces Clottey, it seems imminent and very serious. Mayweather and Arum aren't on the best terms, so this is a no-win proposition for Mayweather, for the simple fact that even though people want to see the fight, he would demand the larger purse, yet Pacquiao arguably rates it right now. That truth leaves Cotto as the best option. A Cotto fight won't be a walk in the park for Pac-Man, and we all remember his struggles at 140. Would Pacquiao concede the weight scenario? Clearly he can, but will he want to use strategy and force Cotto to shed a few pounds, winning the mental war? There are so many things that have to be worked out here as well as the Floyd fight. From a styles standpoint, I'd rather not see Floyd or Cotto get the fight with Pac-Man next. I think Mosley should. Mosley's style would be equally as combative, and it'll go the distance because Manny WILL NOT stop Mosley. So I personally think that fight is the one that should be made above all. Cotto would bring intrigue, Floyd would bring the bigger crowd and the best chess match, but for once, I'd like to see the sport use a multi-mega fight to go less Hollywood, more hardcore, by treating true fight aficionado's to everything we thought the Hatton/Pacquiao fight would be. Two gladiators who will bring it from bell one to the point in which someone gets their bell 'rung'! Gotta love it!
George (San Diego, CA): Floyd Mayweather Sr. was nowhere to be found when Ricky Hatton was knocked out. Do you think that was a sign of the icy relationship that was rumored between the two?
Vivek W. (ESB): The rumors surrounding Mayweather Snr. and Hatton fell upon deaf ears with me initially, thinking that it was all rumors, but I also found it shocking that Mayweather was conspicuously absent when his fighter laid there looking near lifeless as well. I don't know the truth behind the rumors, and I don't know if Mayweather had a valid reason for his absence, but what I do know is that it didn't look good, and quite a few people took note of it. Antics aside, I respect Mayweather just like I do Hatton, so commenting beyond that point without true knowledge is not in my best interest, and neither will I do it. I think we all simply need to stay tuned on that topic. Both sides are known to have big mouths...Trust me, we WILL hear something about it if there's something to be heard.
Jason E. (Boca Raton, FL): Antonio Tarver is a king of the rematch. Do you think he finds a way to turn back the clock and defeat Chad Dawson this Saturday?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think this fight is only interesting for the simple fact that Tarver is such a great adjustment maker between fights. If it wasn't for that one tiny element, this would not be a fight that I'd like to see. I thought Dawson clearly dominated the first time, and in an odd way, I want to see if he can repeat such domination against a guy that has rarely been dominated. Is it the best fight to be made and viewed out there? Probably not. Will I tune in with eager anticipation? I'm a student of the game and watch non-relevant fights so missing this isn't an option if I can help it. As my son would say, "Oh Yeah"!!! Reclined, with popcorn in one hand, something cold in the other. (Speaking of my son, many out there knows that he's now 8-1 predicting the last 9 mega fights while his Dad is a pathetic 2-7....which means Vivek Wallace will continue to predict fights, but only in name....It'll actually be the little one, not the bigger one who suddenly feels little - lmao)!!!!
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