Vivek Wallace Presents: 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL': Greatest Welterweight Of This Era? (Mayweather, Pacquiao, Mosley, Forrest, Trinidad, & More)
Every Wednesday ESB will feature this segment with a new published letter directly from hardcore fight fans just like you, and a response directly from Boxing Scribe Vivek Wallace! For those who don't like what the average boxing scribe has to say, there's only one way to change it........SOUND OFF! Send all 'Open Mic Fan Mail' letters to email@example.com, and remember, keep content short and concise, profanity free, and don't hold back.....the floor (and mic) is yours! Today's letter comes to us from James R. of Norfolk, VA:
Article posted on 27.10.2010
A few buddies of mine have had a debate going for a while now that I would like for you to speak on, as well as publish on ESB for the readers to discuss. When you think about the welterweight division over the last decade plus, there have been some amazing fighters. My favorites over that time frame were Shane Mosley, Tito Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather, Vernon Forrest (RIP), Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito, and now Manny Pacquiao.. When you look at each of those guys, they all had certain things that made them very effective. Mosley was fast, had power, and could box or brawl. Tito was powerful with a lot of heart. Oscar could box and had good skill, and the list goes on. My three buddies and I each have a different fighter amongst the group that we think would win if a 'Super 6' style tournament was held between the 10 of them.
My selection among the group would be Vernon Forrest, because in his prime, he was pretty athletic, had great power, and was durable enough to take each of these guys before they would be able to take him. My buddy Roger feels it would be Paul Williams because of his length and work rate. He feels that Williams would present a challenge that none of these men could overcome, due to his size dimensions and so forth. My friend Les feels that Mayweather's ability to box and adapt would make him a tough fight for all the others, and somehow he'd probably escape with a victory on points over the men he would challenge. I know Tito was good, and Pacquiao is the flavor of the month, but when you look at all of these past and present welterweights, if they were all in their primes, who would you give the nod too to come out victorious in the end?
Wow........this is one of those video game type scenario's where anyones guess is probably as good as mine! These men are/were all so great, and all present so many different variables that I don't think anyone can truly say for a fact who would do what, or how it would all play out. There's truly no way to do it. I can go down the list of names you mentioned and tell you for a fact that all things remaining equal, on any given night, any of those men could have done something unbelievable, leaving many of us to realize they were capable of something none of us felt they'd be able to do coming into that night. I think if you really want to hone in on things and get a good idea of who would be the last man standing, you have to make this matter an even and leveled playing field. The first way to do that is by regulating that there be no catchweights. This could benefit the Pacquiao's, Mayweathers, and Judah's, while becoming a strong detriment to the Oscar's, Vernon's, and Tito's of the group. Secondly, considering that there's no way to know who would win for sure, I think you'd have to start the process of elimination by removing those you think would definitely NOT win. (good luck with this one.....but anyway, here goes).
Zab Judah.......excellent talent, highly skilled, very dangerous, but even in his prime, I think the power of Mosley (in his prime), and the work rate of a Williams or Margarito would remove him from the equation.....so we can effectively remove Zab from the table, first. Next, as a result of the "no catchweight" clause, I think you can effectively remove Pacquiao from the equation, because as utterly amazing as he is, there's a reason he opted not to face Mosley (even at his older age), and that same reason would have made him less effective against a guy like Forrest, among others of the group. He's a little man that does big things, but I don't like him over the big's in this group because he'd be at an obvious disadvantage. Next, I think you have to shine the spotlight on Oscar. Oscar De La Hoya was an amazing spectacle, and actually one of my favorite fighters to watch in his prime, but there was just something about the spotlights with him. You'd think a guy with such a great smile and demeanor would be made for the spotlight, but when the attention of the world shined on him and he sat center stage with someone across from him who was equal or greater in stature, he failed to get the nod.
He defeated some big names in his time, but all-time, he ended his career 0-6 against future hall-of-famers he faced in their primes (Mosley 2x, Trinidad, Hopkins, Pacquiao, & Mayweather). I think he would have defeated a Cotto, or some of the others, but I don't think he'd beat enough front-runners in this equation to win it all. So we can remove Oscar from the equation. Next to fall off I would have to say would be Miguel Cotto. This is a tricky one, because he defeated Shane Mosley, but it was such a close fight and Mosley was not the man he once was. At the height of their respective careers, I'd take Mosley over Cotto, as well as a few others in the mix, so Cotto would fall next, on my list. That removes Zab, Oscar, Pacquiao, and Cotto. This is where the brick wall forms, as it's very difficult to say how this final 6 would go. Trinidad was very good and always game, but against a volume puncher like Williams or a slick, fast fundamentalist like Mayweather, I wonder how effective he would have been had he not been able to land the KO? Even someone like Mosley I think would have made this an interesting affair for him. Despite his enormous heart and power, I think based on not so great fundamentals and poor footwork that would sometimes place him on the canvas, I think on points, many of these men could have taken him over 12 rounds. So. now we're down to five!
Truthfully, there's no way that I could logically narrow this remaining group down. Fundamental skills in my mind generally trumps all else, but Margarito and Williams could both present style issues for Mayweather, so that defeats this argument from becoming a sure lock. The flipside to that is Forrest was a pretty good classic boxer at the top of his game, and one with power, but would the savy defense of a Mayweather be enough to make him miss and make him pay via points loss in the end? I don't know about the men and women reading this piece, but in my mind, this would be any mans tournament to win when you narrow it down to these five. I've taken it half way, and from here I guess I'll open it up for the ESB readers to chime in, as I'm just as eager to hear their thoughts as you are. Sorry I couldn't produce the answer you wanted, but i got us half way there......now we'll have to see what the rest of the world thinks! Any thoughts or possibilities on this one fight fans?!?!?!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).
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