Jazz F. (Houston, TX): I would like to know what were your thoughts on what happened in the ring with Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather jr. after the fight last Saturday?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think what transpired was good for the sport, but bad for the source. It produced a strong enough buzz to get people talking and anticipating, but ultimately, it won't change anything. I consider myself a fan of both Shane Mosley and Max Kellerman, but I have to be totally honest in saying that I have no question the whole thing was purposely orchestrated by HBO and Goldenboy Promotions, and it wasn't as much a shocking thing as it was an integrity thing.. I have called out Mayweather on plenty of occasions, but that whole display was just total deceit, and the image of Mosley and HBO as a whole continues to fly south like the birds. Few people know it, but Team Mayweather denied the request for a locker room interview the night of the fight by HBO, they also denied a request for an unofficial weigh-in, and I'm being told by several sources that a request after the weigh-in was declined as well. My theory on what happened here was that after all the Mayweather jr. antics and comments about the HBO crew, (Steward being an uncle Tom, and the others being racist), HBO conveniently allowed Goldenboy Promotions to level the playing field and show up Mayweather by playing into this whole thing about him (Mayweather) fighting a "bigger man instead of smaller men going up in weight". Before the fight, the only two options on the table in the interest of the public was Cotto or Pacquiao, with Pacquiao being the predominant choice. Suddenly, we're being told that instead of facing Pacquiao, (a consensus P4P King), Mayweather should face Mosley because Pacquiao is too small???? Since when???? It's pretty wild to see how a good hype job can twist reality, because we all know the fight to be made was with Pacquiao, and if Cotto defeats him, considering that he's already defeated Mosley too, Cotto would get the nod. With Hopkins failing to secure a major dancin' partner, Oscar retired, and Mosley having little buzz around him, Goldenboy Promotions has to find some way to enter the mega fight circuit because currently, Arum holds all the cards. That's the basis of this whole orchestration, and as much as I have supported Mosley, I think he, Kellerman, and HBO as a whole should be a damn shame for conducting that kind of deceit. It doesn't help that this came less than a week after HBO was accused of tampering behind the back of a promoter who has a man HBO wants to see face Mosley (referring to DiBella and Berto). That word cherry picking is very convenient, but at the end of the day, all of these guys are guilty of it, not just one. Mosley chose not to face Williams because he "was looking for bigger money fights". He still hasn't found one, yet Williams still had to find another opponent as a result. If we were to use his logic, there's much "bigger" money for Floyd in facing the smaller man - Manny Pacquiao. It's all relative and if it can't work one way it shouldn't work the other. Think about it.
Robert M. (Reseda, CA): Do you think Mayweathers' performance automatically placed him back in the top P4P spot?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think Mayweather's performance certainly added fuel to the debate. I could share my opinion, but at the end of the day, that's all it is, my opinion. Yours is probably different, and everyone else out there has one. Personally, I don't get into the whole mythical P4P topic because now days it has more to do with star power than ability, and I guess I'm oldschool, but to me, pure ability that transcends any generation of time is what gets the nod. 'Sugar' Ray Robinson was the man that they named this mythical title after, and it was because he had talent that transcended any era, even that of today. If I rated it the text book way, Mayweather is without question the man. If I wanted to rate it according to who is more fan friendly, and whose style is more pleasurable to watch, Pacquiao is the man. That being said, I'll let you and those reading decide and we can let the debates begin from there.
Clarence O. (Miami Gardens, FL): Do you think that Floyd Mayweather jr. is more talented than a prime Roy Jones jr.?
Vivek W. (ESB):They're two totally different fighters, and as odd as it may sound, I see Floyd evolving into a very similar style. The hands down, the delivery, the pivot foot (this one may be too deep for some out there, but those that follow technique, you know exactly where I'm going on that one). I think they're both unique in their dynamics, but here's the deal....Roy Jones jr. grouped together his punches and had a hell of an offense. those 10, and 12 punch combinations were wicked! His style was primarily offense and reflexes. When the reflexes started to go south, his "L" column began to go north, so he had to go back to the same fundamentals that make Floyd so superb. Floyd is defense with reflexes, and an offense when necessary. He doesn't take chances and he's very disciplined. He takes what's there. If the jab is there, he kills you with it. If the right hand lead is there, he kills you with it, and so forth. I think it's a bit hard to compare the two because I totally love watching both. Similar to the P4P question, it's all subjective and comes down to the individual and what they like to see. If you want offense and dazzle, Roy is the man. If you want fundamental technique, along with speed, defense, and some dazzle, Floyd is clearly your guy. Roy is probably more favored to watch, but fundamentally, Floyd is your guy.
Shamar R. (London): Is Shane Mosley actually scheduled to fight Berto or is there a chance that he and Floyd could fight this year?
Vivek W. (ESB): I don't think the likelihood of a Mosley/Mayweather fight is very good. The Berto/Mosley fight is not said to be a done deal, so of course, until the autograph's hit the paper in ink, of course the GBP agenda is gonna be to romance Team Mayweather in hopes of getting that fight. Right now, Shane's attention seems to be everywhere but on the men before him. I had a chance to speak to Joshua Clottey last week (in an interview that will be published here w/in a few days) and he said that despite the once thought to be strong possibility of the two facing off, as of late, Mosley was non-committal and basically had his attention elsewhere. Based on that, I don't know where Mosley will end up, but I can almost promise you where he won't. And that's in the ring with Mayweather. My money says it'll be Berto, possibly in January, which means Shane will have gone a full calendar year without fighting
Otis Y. (Boca Raton, FL): To me, Mayweather seemed better than I've ever seen him. Would you say that he has hit his peak or could you see him actually getting better going forward?
Vivek W. (ESB): Well, by his own admission, he still has progress that he can make, and he certainly plans to. Look at it like this....Hopkins has been able to extend a career through the age of 44 and counting, primarily because he believes in hitting and not getting hit. Mayweather is arguably an even better defensive fighter, so this means even at age 32, he still hasn't gotten much wear and tear. Also, the long layoff and the fact that he was only fighting twice a year to begin with lately has to be taken into consideration. All that being taken into consideration, and clearly, I'd say Mayweather is as fresh of a 32 year old as you're gonna find in the sport. As long as he stays motivated, I think he will continue to reinvent himself and find new ways to rack up "W"'s in the sport. His jab had been missing for a few fights. His Dad said they would bring it back and last Saturday it was absolutely amazing. Just like they remixed that wrinkle, I fully expect them to add new things and develop Floyd some more. He's already first class, so that could be a scary proposition, but it's one I'd gladly love to watch as it unfolds.
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace)
Article posted on 21.09.2009