Boxing


'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's weekly mailbag featuring Mayweather, Hatton, Ward, Campbell, and more!

This weeks 'Left-Hook Lounge' digs deep to the core of a few very key questions around the world of boxing. Everything from Mayweather jr.'s next move if he does defeat Marquez but doesn't get Pacquiao, to Hatton's future, to a hypothetical Miranda/Lacy showdown comes into the fold. Before I end the segment we'll also take a look at rumors surrounding a potential Campbell/Judah showdown, as well as Andre Ward's emergence in the sport. With no further ado, we jump right into the mix by selecting a question from the west coast from a fight fan who wanted to know the following:

Marcus S. (Reseda, CA): If Cotto gets past Clottey and gets the fight against Pacquiao next, what do you think Mayweather will do in the mean time?

Vivek W. (ESB): Knowing how Mayweather and his camp operate, there's only one scenario I could see unfolding if in fact he does have to take another fight before a potential showdown with Pacquiao. He's not gonna face Mosley and run the possibility of losing a shot at Pacquiao or having it somehow diminished due to a not-so-stellar performance. Cotto won't be an option because he may be the Pacquiao option. He won't face Clottey for the same reason I don't see him facing Mosley before a Pacquiao fight. That could only leave one option, and that option also gives him a shot at securing something he may need when it's time to sit at the negotiating table with Pacquiao. A strap. As a matter of fact, the same one he vacated. Yep, you guessed it...Of all the paths he could follow, I see him setting his aim on Andre Berto, who won't be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination, but it gives Floyd a certain comfort zone in the sense that it's an opponent who isn't a huge welter (like a Margo, Williams, or Cotto), and once again it would be for a major bargaining chip under his arm is he wins. I don't see anything else unfolding knowing the way Mayweather and his camp think. If Berto does in fact get beyond Urango, I think this would be a welcomed fight, and to be honest, not a bad one. I could be wrong, but this is how I see it unfolding if he can't get Pacquiao next.

Rob W. (Miami, FL): Both Jermain Taylor and Edison Miranda have struggled against top level fighters recently. How do you think they would fare in a fight against one another?

Vivek W. (ESB): In the end, despite Taylor's fatigue issue, I think he still manages to find a way to win on points based on speed and a few other factors. That being said, it would be interesting to see him attempt to handle Miranda's power and body work. That wouldn't be a bad fight to watch, but personally, I'd love to see Miranda and Lacy square off. Two fighters with decent potential that have both taken humbling losses and never quite been the same. Ricky Hatton stated (paraphrased) that he would rather had taken a loss like he did to Manny Pacquiao rather than be beaten like a drum for nearly 12 rounds like he did against Mayweather. Lacy took the same kind of loss to Calzaghe and neither have been the same after being tortured that way. With Miranda being humbled quite a bit lately as well, I think those two would set up a more intriguing matchup than Taylor against Miranda, because a showdown between two fighters with limited fundamental skills and nothing to lose could only mean one thing.......fireworks, as neither have ever really used (or had) a plan "B" when all else fails. Just my opinion.

Richard E. (Sacramento, CA): How would you rate Andre Ward's performance against Miranda, and what do you think he needs to do to enter the top level in the 168lb division?

Vivek W. (ESB): I thought Ward showed the boxing world that despite the 'hype' era of the sport that we live in, he is in fact as good as advertised. Some may consider this a stretch, but to be perfectly honest, I found his performance to be probably the single best performance of any fighter (from a fundamental standpoint) that I've seen in quite some time. Since the retirement of Mayweather, I can't say I can remember one fighter (and there are some great ones out there) who showed a more complete arsenal on both sides of the punch. On offense he was fast, he punched with power and precision, he grouped his shots well, and his footwork was amazing. On defense, he used brilliant lateral movement, he kept his off-hand up when slipping shots, and unlike many fighters who stay on their bike (running), he used the complete ring to create space until he found an opening to use his speed and narrow the distance. To take it a step further he not only fought well going backwards, but he was amazing when it turned into a phone booth fight, even initiating it at points. I thought it was a very complete performance and I can't see anyone who he couldn't deal with over a 12 round fight in the division. I know Miranda is no speedy fighter, but it was a solid test and Ward aced it. It'll be interesting to see where he goes next, but not even the highly criticized Canadian referee Marlon B. 'Wrong' could save Bute and a few others from this talent! Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Shay S. (Miami Lakes, FL): Is recent rumors true about Nate Campbell and Zab Judah on the undercard of the Mayweather/Marquez fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think this rumor is exactly what you called it....a rumor. I haven't gotten a chance to touch basis with Nate Campbell or anyone in his camp, neither have I had a chance to get with Zab or anyone from his camp, but if a fight of this magnitude was in the making, I think we would have heard more already. Particularly considering the fact that it would be on such a huge promotion. I have heard that Judah could be on the undercard and I have heard that he and Campbell had a few words through a few media sources, but the two men squaring off on this particular card, I can't say that I truly heard of the possibility before this question was mailed in. I will reach out to the fighters and their camps to see what's the deal though! Personally, I think it would be a helluva fight and would solidify this card as a must see, maybe even validating the request that hardcore fight fans pay $49.95 to tune in!

Reynaldo I. (Orlando, FL): If you were Ricky Hatton's advisor, what would you advise him to do next?

Vivek W. (ESB): Styles make fights, and don't think for a second that everyone will do to Hatton what Pacquiao did to him. I think Hatton has great potential but it's no secret that many fighters train for months, yet when the bell rings and those hot Vegas lights get to glaring, they forget everything they ever learned and opportunity flies out the window that fast. With Hatton, I think that's his main issue. There was a lot of finger pointing in the Hatton/Mayweather camp, but in reality, Hatton has no one to blame but himself for the loss. Seconds before the fight started you could see Bernard Hopkins giving Hatton specific instructions, quietly telling him and visibly saying "move your head, move your head". Seconds after that, Shane Mosley could be seen in the ring telling him the same thing. Mayweather Sr. could be heard telling him after the first round, "move ya damn head, you should've been doing that from day one"! With some of the best minds in the game surrounding him trying to enforce the same fundamental thing, it still never sank in until the same head Hatton apparently couldn't move was drilled, placing him back first on the deck. Despite never shooting a weapon prior, as a former U.S. Marine I learned that as complex as the M-16 rifle was, a slight windage adjustment could make the difference between me hitting dirt and making my target squirt! Similarly for Hatton, boxing is a complex game, but a few minor tweaks would give him all the tools he'll ever need to win. If he's prepared to make those adjustments and enforce them, go for it! If he can't, it's time to follow Roger Mayweather's advice and hand over his gloves, pour the gasoline, and light 'em up....because there's no reason to continue in the sport! It's that simple.


(Got Questions or feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and Examiner.com, or show some love at Facebook and Myspace).

Article posted on 17.05.2009



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