Boxing


'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Pacquiao/Mosley, Pacquiao/Mayweather, Kessler & Chavez jr.!!!

Dennis N. (Chicago, IL): I'm not sure if you had a chance to watch the Pacquiao/Mosley Showtime Fight Camp 360 that aired this past Saturday, but I'd love to know what were your thoughts after seeing some of the new footage.

Vivek W. (ESB): I did get a chance to watch the segment and in doing so, I felt most of what I thought initially was supported by the final edit of the footage itself. On the night of the fight I felt Mosley did very little to support his warrior history of his past, and in this case, we had additional details to support my thoughts, as well as those who thought like me.

Everything from Pacquiao talking about how he "couldn't get Mosley to fight", to brother Naazim Richardson speaking about how he couldn't get Shane to "execute the game plan"; every step of the way, we simply got a closer look at what I think was already visible. Not to sound critical, but when I heard there would be a final segment broad-casted, I had to ask myself "what was the point in even airing an aftermath promotional final edit on a fight that bombed miserably at living up to the hype when it was live"? In hindsight, there were 3 things that I learned from the piece, and none were ground-breaking in my book:

(1.) Manny Pacquiao sings much better in his native tongue than he does covering songs in English, which I guess is normal. (2.) Apparently, Bella, (Shane Mosley's significant other) felt the same way I did about both men's performances, as evidenced by her Spanish spoken sentiment regarding Shane "letting Pacquiao make him his b***h"; as well as where she said "Pacquiao really didn't do s**t either".

Both statements I would co-sign, and although many others out there would let their fanatical side prevent them from doing so, try asking some of those fans at the arena who paid four-figures for prime seats, yet didn't seem to care when they began to walk out by the droves as early as the 8th round. Last but not least, (3.), it was good to see an actual blister on the foot of Mosley to support the claim, but it doesn't change my position for a few reasons. For one, Nazim Richardson told him prior to the fight, "break the shoes in or don't wear them, but you shouldn't get in the ring in a fight of this magnitude with a pair of boots you've never tried and tested".

Secondly, as I stated before, that blister was said to have affected his ability to move, yet in watching the actual fight, the only thing apparently affected was forward motion, because he went backwards with east according to what I saw. Ideally he should have abandoned forward and backward motions and simply stood in the pocket which he made a habit of his entire career. Furthermore, he said the blister popped in the 10th, which means better execution from rounds 1-9 could have helped seal the deal. So, all in all, there was no new ground broken in this segment. It only solidified what most of us already knew, and perhaps what everyone else was too fanatical to say.

Jasper H. (Wales): Manny Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz recently stated that Floyd Mayweather jr. turned down a large sum of money (approx $65M) to face Manny Pacquiao. What do you know about this and what are your thoughts on it.

Vivek W. (ESB): When I heard about this story I laughed to myself because this is one of those classic examples where something is said, I followup by presenting the unspoken angle, and immediately you have a core group that feels I'm slighting Team Pacquiao, all because certain details were left out and many of those details tell the whole story. I never did read the actual story online, but I'd venture to say whomever broke the news was either uninformed of the prior developments, or perhaps opted not to report them. I'm really not sure, to be honest.

Bottomline, here's what I know: Apparently there was a decline of the offer, but the development itself isn't new, and the reason why it was declined certainly isn't. Apparently an international group, specifics unknown, pledged a rather large dollar amount to help get the fight made. Team Mayweather had the same position it currently has, and was not swayed by the offer. Staying in the middleground, I could say, "how could Floyd turn down "X" millions of dollars because of a drug test"?; yet the reality is that Pacquiao did the same thing because of a drug test....so in the end, how can we apply blame to one man and not the other? The reasons are identical.

I find the release of this story very funny because this isn't the first time something came out about why the Mayweather fight didn't happen from Top Rank after the fans and media began to attack the selection made for Pacquiao's next opponent. When it was Mosley, it was one thing, when it was Margarito, it was something else. Now, it's Marquez and this story breaks, yet this all actually took place during the time that Margarito was already penciled in as Pacquiao's next foe, (unless there were two separate cases that were identical in nature).

I'm not sure how many caught it on the Fight Camp 360 edition that aired this past weekend, but Roach was directly quoted speaking on why they were gonna pursue Marquez next and make that fight happen, and it all stemmed around "closing his mouth". This was the opponent they planned to target regardless, and they got him; so to suggest that the Mayweather fight didn't happen because of this declined offer is misleading.

Bottomline, yes it happened, but, unless it happened more than once, this scenario came into fruition a while back and is now being reported to basically deflect new news (the unpopular Marquez fight) with old news. Mayweather's position all along has been that he's not gonna give Pacquiao his biggest payday if Pacquiao can't concede to randomized drug testing, via blood until the day of the fight.

When Mayweather declined Oscar's rematch with a guaranteed $50M on the table, no one said he was afraid. His reasons then was based on principle. He felt he had already defeated this man, and he wasn't gonna give him a bigger payday again and concede so much with that being the case. In Mayweather's mind, be it valid or not, this is a principle matter to him again. I have to respect that. True, the act of declining the fight did happen, but what reasons led to it and why reported now? Those are two questions that Team Pacquiao needs to discuss as well.

Lex B. (Northridge, CA): How did you rate the performance of Mikkel Kessler this past weekend and what do you see in his future?

Vivek W. (ESB): I've always been a fan of Mikkel Kessler. A huge fan. I love his talent, and outside of the ring, I just think he's one of the most humble men I've ever met in the sport. He's an absolute class act and a man I wish nothing but the best for. I was very inspired by what I saw in his performance, but keeping things in perspective, his opponent didn't represent a world class level, either. Andre Ward and Kessler were the two men I saw standing at the end of the Super-Six tournament. Injury took him from contention, but outside the tournament, there's a ton of upside for Kessler.

He still has that lions heart, he has very good power, and he has deceptive speed, however, if I was in his corner, one thing I'd find a concern with would be his defense. He gets hit too flush with shots I'd like to think he's athletic enough to get away from. A good power puncher would hurt him and if that opponent has good speed, decent defense, and stamina, it's almost a sure loss. So, I think there are a few things to correct, but all in all, I was inspired and I'm sure I'm not alone in that assessment.

Javier A. (Pembroke Pines, FL): I saw your Facebook post on Julio Cesar Chavez jr. and can't necessarily agree. What did you find to be impressive about his performance, because I thought he actually lost the fight.

Vivek W. (ESB): Perhaps there was a misinterpretation of my position so I'll explain. Many have taken note of the fact that for years, Arum kept Chavez hidden behind the veil of weak PPV efforts that only appealed to those in Mexico or of Mexican descent. Many in and around the sport barely got the opportunity to see him at work, and the few youtube clips to surface did very little to actually promote him. Perhaps the limited visibility was a good thing because the product itself wasn't quite exciting.

My FaceBook post basically opened this can of worms by revealing that, in my humble opinion, Arum chose the right time to televise him on a non-PPV HBO card because I thought he actually fought a spirited fight. Now....that being said....I think there was a very similar effect to Amir Khan's performance in the Khan/Maidana fight where people were so inspired by the fact that he took so much punishment without falling flat that they didn't realize he wasn't suppose to take so much punishment. So, it was a moral victory of sorts, but at the end of the day, I don't think the performance itself was stellar, particularly considering a few facts.

For one, he outweighed his opponent by 15lbs on fight night. That's two weight classes. Secondly, he appeared visibly hurt at times against a man not only significantly smaller, but one who was also feather-fisted who was able to bang til the final bell in a fight in which he barely won the punch count in any rounds? In my book that's far from a stellar performance, and I wouldn't argue with anyone who saw him losing that fight.

I said prior to the fight there was no way he would lose a decision to a foreigner in California on an HBO televised card and I think most felt that way in the end. You know it's bad when even the female Mexican fight fans contact me via email to say they were disgusted and thought he lost. I got about four of those. Nuff said.

(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), and Facebook.)

Article posted on 06.06.2011



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