Boxing


'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Mayweather, Mosley, Pacquiao, and Calzaghe!

Marco R. (Miami Lakes, FL): I found the Mayweather/Mosley fight less than entertaining. What about his performance makes you (and others) really think that Floyd's a P4P leader?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think that anyone who fails to give Mayweather his full credit after this victory is allowing personal feelings to control their ability to assess his talent as a result. For lack of better words, I'll take it to the streets and simply call such a figure an outright 'hater'. Normally, I stay away from that type of verbal assault, but truthfully, I don't know what else the guy could do to appease that particular kind of person. What really made me respect Floyd in this case is that before the fight, I saw what appeared to be genuine intimidation, whether he'd ever admit it or not.. May not have been overt, but no question, he appeared more concerned about Shane than I've ever seen him for ANY past opponent. Now, whether that was the case or not, he stood directly in the line of fire and did precisely what the world said he wouldn't - which was go toe to toe and even take the fight to Mosley. And what was so shocking is that he didn't wait until he recovered, a strong glimpse at the replay showed him walking Shane down before his legs were truly sturdy. Say what you want, but that's the heart of a true warrior!

That was a commendable effort, and if anyone felt it was a boring effort, I would agree, in the sense that once he did realize he was in a dog fight and only had one choice (which was to come out gunnin') the domination was so one-sided that the fight was no longer competitive - which has been the case regularly in Mayweather's bouts. People said Hatton wasn't proven and was out of his league...they said Oscar was too old....they said Marquez was too slow and overblown; well, Mosley represented EVERYTHING that was expected to trouble Mayweather, yet the man who was bigger, just as fast, and by far stronger, landed only an average of 4 more punches per round than the supposedly blown up Marquez and had an abysmal connection rate of 20%, which only netted 23 more total punches (than Marquez) over the entire 12 rounds. I've always maintained that this is what separates Mayweather. His mind. When you have two athletes that are both equally skilled and seasoned, the "chess-master" type execution is what prevails.

Now days people factor likability into the P4P discussion, rather than just old-school fundamental skills. Well, regardless of which definition you go by, I don't think there's any question who the most SKILLED fighter in the sport is, and when you see the likes of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (among others ) under one roof, I think using the likability platform as well, there's one man who just made a helluva case for himself and technically put his stamp on it!

Jamar W. (Las Vegas, NV): What do you think Mayweather's performance did for his negotiating power against Manny Pacquiao?

Vivek W. (ESB): I thought Floyd Mayweather jr. solidified the upper hand in any pre-Pacquiao fight negotiations by cementing the same position he has maintained all along. That position is that when you consider all things that truly matter in negotiating, (PPV#'s, gate #'s, etc.), he is the dominant fighter and in effect, the bigger draw. Furthermore, few seem to consider this, but prior to walking away, Mayweather was the consensus P4P ruler of the sport, and in walking away for a short while, although Pacquiao did a few monumental things in the interim, meritoriously, (just like a Champion that walks away and returns), coming back automatically allows him to either outright control that position, or at the very least share it due to the fact that it was VOLUTARILY given up, not taken.

To be quite frank, listening to fight fans in attendance, media figures in attendance, celebrities in attendance, and pretty much everyone else across the board, I don't see ANY leverage that Pacquiao has in this matter, and the more we see he and Arum use different angles to take regarding the fight, it makes me wonder if Juan Manuel Marquez was correct when he assessed that "Manny Pacquiao and Arum don't truly want the fight". For those fight fans out there that feel Pacquiao isn't using enhancement drugs, I'm fine with that, but I'm afraid all other possibilities have been exhausted. It has reached a point where it's simply "take the test to prove who's best, or close your mouth and settle for less". It's really that simple. I found myself totally shocked that despite the abundant love in the press for Manny Pacquiao, there was NOT ONE MEDIA PERSONALITY (to include the Filipino contingent) after the fight that felt Pacquiao has any room to refuse the test.

Whether these reporters choose to print that or not is another thing, but it was very clear to me that there is a major cloud of suspicion hanging over his accomplishments, and another refusal will be met with him technically settling for a permanent asterisk being placed by his name. His response to a potential matchup after Mayweather's victory was that "it would be unfair to do any testing (less than 24 days to the fight) because Mayweather is big and he's smaller". One American reporter responded by echoing the sentiments of many by saying: "Your [Pacquiao] last 3 fights have been within the welterweight range, and your last one was at the welterweight limit against a much bigger guy.....so s**t or get off the pisser"! Blunt words that speak for a blunt reality. The time for those excuses have simply expired.

Ron M. (Bronx, NYC): Shane Mosley lost to Cotto, who lost to Margarito, who Shane destroyed. Now that Floyd has defeated Mosley, would you say that makes Floyd "the man" at 147lbs?

Vivek W. (ESB):: I think without question it does. What's funny is that some would say Pacquiao should own that billet, yet Pacquiao has only faced one man at the welterweight limit, and those same people say that Mayweather would need to defeat Williams first, yet when it comes to Pacquiao facing Williams, they say he can't because Williams is too big, yet attempt to give Pacquiao the welterweight billet. Pacquiao's success can't be questioned, but I can't necessarily agree with calling him the welterweight king when he opted not to face Mosley. Whether we look at it from a lineal standpoint, or a 'direct-line-of-fire' stand point, right now it is what it is.

Pacquiao has defeated three men within the welterweight limit and one had to come down to a weight he hadn't fought at in nearly 9 years, another had to go to a catchweight, and the third was a legitimate contender in name recognition, but was ranked #7 by the WBO, and not in the top 10 for any other governing body. Remember, the same Shane Mosley that Mayweather just defeated was turned down by Freddie Roach under the grounds that "he's too good", (despite Mosley agreeing to go as low as 140lbs). So I don't see much to debate here and I would employ anyone with another logic to help me see it. Mayweather is now arguably "the man" at 147lbs. He said it before....but this time, he actually went out and backed it up.

Preston W. (Las Vegas, NV): Now that Shane Mosley has lost this fight to Floyd Mayweather jr., what do you see for his future, and should it involve moving to another weight division?

Vivek W. (ESB): In hindsight, I have no doubt that Mosley was strongly interested in little more than a 'big money' fight, as there was very little reason for him to avoid a few other opportunities that I always felt he should have taken, which would have ultimately helped cement his legacy even more before taking this loss. I said for quite some time that I thought Mosley should have considered facing Kelly Pavlik at 160lbs to grab another strap from another weight class, and no question that's a fight that he could have (or perhaps would have) won with relative ease. Now, he's in a situation where he's campaigning at welterweight, he has faced ALL OF THE PERENNIAL CONTENDERS in Cotto, Margarito, and now Mayweather, and there are few other options there for him. A trip back to 154 would be somewhat interesting, but he has held a title there, so there's no new ground to cover. Jumping up to 160lbs now would be ill-advised, because going from 147 it would be too much of a jump, as opposed to him doing it before when he was at 154 already.

So, I don't know where Shane really goes from here that would allow him to do anything he hasn't done. That being said, I will say this though....there's only one potential big money fight out there for Mosley that's left, and knowing Bob Arum, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't try to everything possible to make this fight happen, because I am all but certain that he and Pacquiao will not bend on their steroid testing position, and to be quite frank, Mayweather has no need to, as he just took the upper-hand. It'll be interesting to see if Arum does go this route, because oddly enough, the fortune that Mayweather had would be a vastly different story against someone far easier to hit (in comparison) like Pacquiao. There's no telling whether this will happen or not, but aside from a jump up to 154 for Pacquiao, there's no attractive fight on the horizon for either he or Mosley.

Cedrick L. (Hollywood, FL): What are your thoughts about Floyd Mayweather jr.'s claim to be the greatest of all-time?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think it all depends on how we define "greatness". Similar to the whole mythical P4P discussion, this whole "greatest of all time" thing has changed a bit in definition and truthfully, is all in the mind of the beholder, although a few consensus perspectives remain. Some view 'Sugar' Ray Robinson to be the "greatest" because of his skill and transcendent talent in the ring. Many view Muhammad Ali to be the "greatest of all time" because not only did he say it, but after chronicling the journey he traveled between civil rights actions outside of the ring and a boastfully backed up talent inside the ring, they had no choice but to believe him. With Mayweather, there's sort of a 'new testament' so to speak. In today's era of the sport, things are levied on a totally different scale. Some may say Mayweather has no claim to that level of greatness, but in his defense, as long as he can continue to defeat the best level of competition, as well as shatter PPV records, or the live gate revenue numbers the way he has, he can make this claim under the principle that he has accomplished something none of the others have.

Now granted, back in those days there was no PPV opportunities, but one could make the argument that back in those days heavyweights averaged 6'2", 215lbs or so, wherein today, not only are these bigger men far more athletic, but they also average pretty close to 6'5", and weigh as much as 300+lbs, so it's all relative. Bottom line, greatness can be (and will be) defined in whatever terms apply. In those days, greatness met the level of that economic and historical era. Today, greatness encompasses so many other things by definition. That could change at any point, but whether you agree with the PPV/gates revenue argument or not, based on his pure fundamental skill level on top of those things, you'd have to agree he's right there on par with the best of them. I won't say that he's the greatest of all time, but I will say if he walked away right now I'd have to call him the greatest of MY ERA, and that immediately puts him in contention with anyone else from any other era. I guess that's where the new debate begins with our grand-kids one day.

Scott O. (Brooklyn, NYC): Is it true that Joe Calzaghe is closer to a return to the ring?

Vivek W. (ESB): It was confirmed by Goldenboy promotions CEO Richard Schaffer that Joe Calzaghe has in-fact expressed interest in a rematch with Bernard Hopkins. What was unclear but seems most likely is that due to the fact that Calzaghe never did a sort of 'homeland swansong', such a rematch (if it does actually take place) will happen across the pond in front of Calzaghe's countrymen. Hopkins has very little left to fight for aside from this second bout of redemption and Calzaghe has no more credible opponent to face, considering that he isn't expected to hunt down a young lion like Chad Dawson, and there were questions (albeit minimal) about the Hopkins fight, considering that it was a split decision, as well.

Hopkins realizes that there is no bigger money potential out there against anyone and would be willing to travel to make this happen. That makes this a VERY EASY fight to make and all indications say that by early Fall, (September/October time frame to be exact), this bout will actually move forward. Considering Calzaghe's drinking habits and recently acknowledged drug habits, this fight could come with a major risk, as Hopkins would undoubtedly let it all hang out because there's literally nothing for him to lose and practically everything in the world for him to gain. His highly relished role of the underdog would be in full effect. That's where he's most dangerous. Stay tuned.

(Vivek Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).

Article posted on 03.05.2010



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