Boxing


'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Pacquiao/Margarito, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather jr., & David Haye!!!

boxingRaynell E. (Bronx, NYC): Watching Pacquiao destroy Margarito was amazing. I can't understand how some argue that he isn't the best. After seeing that victory, do you still think he needs Floyd?

Vivek W. (ESB): To answer your question, I think both men need one another. Period. These are the two most dominant men in recent years, and statistically, some could argue in the history of the sport. They can retire with their current legacy in tact, but to remove all doubt, no question, they still need one another. You can't make an effective argument that you're a G.O.A.T. or one of the "greatest of all time" if you didn't even defeat the perennial figure in your particular time. You simply can't! I can understand how people will take the dominating performance from last Saturday night and feel as though it removes all questions, but perhaps I should remind you of the night that I covered the Mayweather/Mosley fight and saw the exact opposite, first hand. I had never in my life seen such adulation for a boxer than I did that evening.

I personally witnessed several journalist who have made a habit of insulting Mayweather in the past, not only adore him uncontrollably that evening, but lay out the red carpet for months to follow. You know when that treatment stopped? When Pacquiao took center stage again. And do you know when that treatment for Pacquiao will stop? If and When Floyd signs another mega fight. It's a pendulum, ladies and gents! Those who are fanatical of one or the other may stick to their vote, but in the minds of those who are neutral, it's a typical "flava of the month" scenario.. They simply ride the wave of whomever's hot, because trust me, those same journalist in the Mayweather/Mosley press conference were hella-high on Pacquiao just months before, but from that night until the buildup of this Margarito/Pacquiao showdown, they wouldn't even utter Pacquiao's name - in terms of being better than Floyd. So, I don't make the mistake of being caught up into the emotion of the affair.

As it relates to who needs who, see things for what they are, not what you "feel" they should be. In Pacquiao you have the "wow" factor, but that's a PERSONAL PREFERENCE. Floyd is just as dominant at what he does, with stats to show. You may not care too much for a boxer winning tactically to accept that, but try to respect the fact that there are others who don't think like you. Not only has Floyd been just as dominant, but to top it off, it has been sustained over his career, because to date, he has yet to lose, by the grace of God. You can't discount that. You really can't! Some would argue that Pacquiao defeated men who Mayweather wouldn't face. Those same people would never consider that he also lost to men that Mayweather would have embarrassed! Am I making any sense? You have to see the big picture. Few things are greater than watching a fighter like Manny Pacquiao. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't appreciate the dominance of Floyd Mayweather jr. Yes, they need each other if they plan to ever get beyond the shadow of one another (historically)!

Jaime S. (Hallandale Beach, FL): I read your facebook comment from the media room after the fight about Manny Pacquiao refusing to address Floyd Mayweather jr. With Michael Koncz making it clear that they won't be agreeing to any testing within 7 days of the fight, what do you think this means for their potential fight?

That was the first time I've ever seen Pacquiao flat out decline a question, and to the point of completely ignoring those who chose to followup. To me, that was pretty telling. There was a sense of scriptation - (for lack of better words) - after the fight. Arum spoke on the Mayweather topic, Roach spoke on it, but Pacquiao refused to even address the matter. Probably didn't help that the initial questions dealt with the testing, but his silence definitely spoke volumes. My personal interpretation - solidified by Shane Mosley walking in right on cue when Arum said his name as a potential opponent - was that we may be seeing a Mosley/Pacquiao fight real soon. Easy to make.......no special stipulations from Mosley......and immediate agreement on any stipulation presented from Pacquiao. Mosley won't let this opportunity pass him by at this stage of his career. The Mayweather fight won't happen for the same reason it didn't before.

As you stated, Koncz openly admitted on HBO's 24/7 series leading up to the fight that they would not concede to any drug testing within 7 days of the fight. Although Pacquiao didn't speak about the testing, those around him made it clear that they won't be changing that position any time soon. There are two ways to look at this. From a business standpoint I think there are men involved who are eating quite well who don't know what the outcome of such a fight would be, but don't wanna find out the hard way, either. Those men will milk this (cash) cow until the well runs dry (retirement). Smart business move. Any of us would probably do it if given the same position, too. But anyhow, that's the business standpoint.....

On a personal level, I'm really struggling with the logic of not taking the test. With the energy Pacquiao displayed against Margarito, he could literally take a test between rounds and smash damn near anyone (smiles)! The whole "it makes me weak" thing is grounded! It simply doesn't fly! Earlier I spoke of "removing the emotion" from the equation. To see the root of this issue, you have to reinforce that logic. I don't wanna hear "because Floyd doesn't run the sport", or because "Mayweather is jealous". Those things are personal. People who do that accuse Mayweather like they say he's accusing Pacquiao. It's not about accusing anyone of anything. Ask yourself what would your thoughts be if you read a headline saying that an athlete refused full-scale testing that comes without his knowledge. Would you really offer the benefit of the doubt to that athlete and spit venom at everyone who doesn't in that case too? That's fanatical, in every sense.

Team Pacquiao forced Margarito to take a piss moments before they entered the ring. That was based on speculation (NOT PROOF) that he had taken something before the fight. That wasn't commission based either, yet when they have a suspicion they can act on it......but no one else can? Sorry fellas, but anyone who supports that is a hypocrite. Nothing less. Take the emotions out of your thoughts and you'll see reality for what it is. THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE REASON WHY ANY ATHLETE TODAY SHOULD REFUSE A DRUG TEST USING THE BEST TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE. NONE. I championed clean level performance in sports before I came exclusively to boxing, and I won't stop wanting equality because a man I admire chose to go the other route. Speculation is what led Richardson to check Margarito's gloves. Without that speculation, God only knows what Shane Mosley would be faced with now. There's a reason fighters are told to "protect themselves at all time". I can't be mad at Floyd and those around him for remembering that!

Maurice P. (Memphis, TN): What fights would you like to see Pacquiao in next?

Vivek W. (ESB): The only logical fight for Pacquiao right now is Floyd Mayweather jr., for reasons I've laid out a thousand times. Bottom line, they need each other if they have any plan to cement a legacy that goes beyond this era. Mayweather has had more statistical dominance than any fighter in history. Pacquiao has had more historical domination than any fighter in history. Pacquiao is the most dominant offensive force in the history of the sport. Mayweather goes by the name of "Prettyboy" because his defense rarely allows one to land flush to his face! We can go on all day with the accolades, but if they plan to be considered great outside of this era, they have to prove dominance within it first. And they can't without defeating the other. It's that simple.

Now.....aside from Mayweather, I think considering the fact that there is no true front-runner at 140, (and Pacquiao may be reluctant to fight that low again anyhow), the only bonafide targets that would test him are the only two other men in recent times to defeat Antonio Margarito.

Paul Williams, and Shane Mosley. The length of Paul Williams and his work rate make him an intriguing prospect, but I think this is still a very winnable fight for Manny. With Mosley, I know some may say that he shouldn't get the shot, but what makes him a worthy pick in my mind is that he always makes for a good fight with someone who comes to fight. Slick or unorthodox guys like Mayweather, Mora, etc, all make Mosley think to much. Mosley is far more effective when he can gun-and-shoot, bombs away style! With Pacquiao, that fight is possible. A side of me feels that Pacquiao would mop the floor with Shane at this stage, but you can never rule out the influence of Nazim Richardson in a shootout like this. Mayweather was another story. You didn't know what you were gonna get. One can argue that Mayweather effectively won the fight against Shane when he fought the very fight that Shane hadn't prepared for....(face to face, eye to eye, do or die)!

With Pacquiao it's no secret. They will train for that. They couldn't with Mayweather because no one thought he'd fight like that! The key point of contention here.....some like to say that Pacquiao punches harder than Mosley, but remember........he failed to do over 12 rounds what Shane did in 9. Just something to ponder.......

Marcus W. (London, UK): What are your thoughts on David Haye's victory over Audley Harrison?

Vivek W. (ESB): In contention for being the most horrible heavyweight effort I've witnessed in a long time. And that's not a joke. What made it worst was that it involved a man many viewed to be the savior of the sports most storied division. I'm afraid that possibility has grown as slim as his new physique (Haye). What amazed me was that literally the whole first round, neither man threw a meaningful punch! The second round was much of the same. In the 3rd round came the explosion, but it was more "bim" than "bang", as it was over before it ever truly started. As a joke, I published on my facebook page that I had no idea how two men could go that long without actually even throwing a punch. The response of a fellow fight fan was most comical, but seeminly right on point! He stated that "both men probably put money on a KO in the 3rd round and cashed in"!

It was a poor display of talent, and it solidified in my mind that although he may give Wladimir a trouble or two early, he'd be put to sleep late in a fight against the younger Klitschko, and would have his career ended against Vitali - even at this age! Both brothers have far too much ability and athleticism to fall to Haye (in his present form). If he adjust his aggression and pulverizes his opponents like Tyson did, overwhelming them with speed and power, that's another story. But it will take that to bring a fear factor. Without that fear factor, he's simply another powerful lad with little else to fall back on. It simply won't take him too far in this race (with the K-Bros.). I agreed with Haye's decision not to face the K-Bros as a result of them forcing him to fight both consecutively without another opponent in between; but the more I see him, the more I truly feel the reason he won't take the fight is because he knows he can't beat them....regardless of which order they come in! Just my thoughts....and they're all based on his repetitive actions!

(Vivek Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, 954*292*7346, YouTube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), FaceBook, and Myspace).

Article posted on 15.11.2010



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