Mailbag: Floyd, more Floyd and some MMA

Kevin Iole

Erik Morales came to the end of the line in a career that will land him in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in five years.

Israel Vazquez stopped Rafael Marquez in a legitimate Fight of the Year candidate. Evander Holyfield is going to get a crack at the WBO heavyweight title. Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik officially announced their middleweight title fight for Sept. 29. Paulo Filho said hello to the American MMA crowd with a dominating win over Joe Doerksen at WEC 29 on Sunday.

And you guys want to talk about … Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Again.

For the second week in a row, the inbox was overflowing with opinions about the cocky, talented and oh-so-controversial welterweight champion.

Many of you love him. Even more, it seems, dislike him. But nearly everyone, it seems, has an opinion.

So consider this mailbag the Mayweather Special, Vol. 2, though we'll get to a few other topics.

Remember, the mailbag appears each Tuesday. You can e-mail me by clicking the link at the bottom of any of my columns or by sending a message to either boxingfeedback@yahoo.com or mmafeedback@yahoo.com.

As always, my answers appear in italics.

MR. KNOW IT ALL

I don't have a question. I know boxing inside and out, but I read those people who talk about Mayweather in such low regard just because he isn't a knockout artist.

Well, I would just like to say that this is boxing, not street fighting. If you want to see that, watch UFC. I'm not taking anything away from those well-trained fighters, but Mayweather is in a class of his own.

He is fast, accurate and nearly untouchable. Ricky Hatton to me isn't a great fighter. He may be good but he's not great. He hasn't faced much opposition and he's never faced a speed demon like Mayweather.

That so-called Hit Man will not hit Mayweather.

Daniel Taylor

Love the humility, Daniel. Good job. Are you sure you don't have some Mayweather blood in you?

But I agree with most of what you say. This is a big fight because Hatton is extraordinarily popular in the United Kingdom, he's undefeated and the many Mayweather detractors want to see him get his comeuppance.

That may happen some day, but Hatton has zero chance.

I've said this again, Mayweather will win at least 12 rounds in this fight.

And yeah, I said at least.

Think of Mayweather-Baldomir and you have an inkling of what this fight will look like.

FLOYD'S GREAT SKILLS

I as a former boxer could only dream about having the type of skills Mayweather has! Why is Hatton getting a shot? The only two big fighters on his resumé were past their primes when he fought them.

It sounds like he's just looking for a payday, but it will be one that will be painful!

Brian
California

Mayweather is phenomenal in the skills department. He has a saying (which I wish he'd retire, by the way) that goes, "Skills pays the bills." And given he's making eight-figure paydays a fight these days, those skills are indeed paying his outrageously high bills.

To answer your question, Hatton is getting the shot because he guarantees a big payday and he's not a high risk. The risk-reward ratio makes it rewarding for Mayweather. The guy has no shot to beat him and he's going to get paid superbly. He'd have tougher fights if he took on, say, Shane Mosley or Miguel Cotto, but the pay wouldn't be any greater.

As for Hatton, he'll take his beating and have the built-in excuses that A) he lost to a bigger man, since he's moving up to 147 from 140 to challenge Mayweather and B) he was beaten by the best fighter in the world.

BATTLE FOR RESPECT

Who does Floyd have to fight to get the respect of fans and journalists such as yourself? This man beats his opponents convincingly and still gets hated on. So who? Ali, Tyson, Holyfield, Frazier … Who? What more does he have to do to get respect for his craft? His cockiness has been seen before in this profession with the likes of Ali, Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr., and of course the one and only James Toney. Even Sugar Ray Leonard had a swagger about him, but Floyd is being scrutinized for being confident and for knowing he is the best. Stop hating and find someone to shut him up. Until then, enjoy the show haters.

Cochise
Los Angeles

I'm going to repeat: I think Mayweather is the best fighter in the world. Saying that automatically means I give him respect.

Please, guys.

Floyd has become more villainous to some fans the more successful he's been. There are a lot of people who root for the underdog and are never going to gravitate toward a guy like Mayweather.

A WELL-MEANING HATTON FAN

You are so wrong and gonna eat your words!

I highly respect and enjoy reading your boxing articles, but what is up with you predicting a PBF win against Ricky Hatton? Are you into keeping the sport alive or just working with the undertakers at the Don King funeral parlor who want to bury boxing well and truly for good?

Mayweather has done more to send boxing on the wane as a watched sport than any other modern era boxer on the planet. PBF will show up again to grab the bag of cash and attempt his normal dance and prance around the ring tactics to get a points decision. But, mark my words, it is not going to happen this time.

Thank the Lord for Ricky so we have a real boxer who will carry forward the future of this sport. Ricky Hatton is a throwback to the past great eras when boxing was an exciting sport to watch and we would gladly part with our hard earned bucks to watch a fighter at least go in the ring with no fear to slug it out toe to toe.

Watch Ricky Hatton take PBF out and send him back into retirement with his ballet dancing career.

My prediction is PBF will quit on his stool in the later rounds, 9 or 10. I am happy to donate $250 to a charity of your choice if you publish my comments (no big time edits), and I am wrong.

Over to you Kevin, meet the challenge and sign up to Ricky-chosen charity for a $250 donation if you get your prediction wrong? Another Kevin, a Brit living in California, but a big-time follower of your reporting. Please don't shy away from the challenge. It is good for charity and for boxing. Quite happy to post an open check for charity based on this email.

Kevin Charlton
Dublin, Calif.

For the record, there was a big edit in Kevin's e-mail. I chopped about 1,000 words out.

Rule No. 1, to get your e-mail into my weekly mailbag, please keep your messages shorter than the latest John Grisham novel. But when you toss out those compliments and tell me how much of a fan you are, I'll overlook some things, though I'll still cut your e-mail.

I can't bet on fights I'm covering, but I'll take your challenge in this way:

I lost my parents to cancer and have another close relative who is in very bad shape with the disease. I'll make a donation tomorrow to the American Cancer Society for $250 in honor of the Yahoo! Sports readers. I'd encourage everyone else to do the same. There. I lived up to the challenge.

Now, I'll admit I enjoy watching a guy who fights like Ricky. And Ricky is a swell fellow, though some of the folks who are around him are total creeps.

It's funny how a lot of people talk about Mayweather's dancing or, as you put it, his ballet. But none of the guys who fight him say that, do they? And do you hear guys asking for rematches?

TURNING THEM INTO MMA FANS

Mayweather and his kind are the reasons why MMA is eating up boxing. He doesn't fight like a man. He runs like a sprinter. I hate this guy. I don't like his style. Maybe it's time to make the ring 3 meters by 3 meters so he wouldn't have a choice but to fight. This is what we want as fans of boxing.

Lander Blanza
Shanghai, China

Judging by the response I'm getting, Mayweather is singlehandedly saving boxing. Half the folks want to see him win and the other half want to see him get killed. That, to me, is good for the sport.

By the way, when I was driving to the airport a week or so ago, I drove past the MGM Grand and noticed the marquee had Mayweather's picture. It wasn't promoting the fight, but rather an appearance at a nightclub and was billing him as Floyd "Money" Mayweather.

Just another reason to make people hate on him, I guess.

AND, FINALLY ON FLOYD

Mayweather is the biggest coward in the sport. He may look like he has skills. He even tries to talk like he has skills, but in the end, he runs around afraid to get hit. That's why UFC is a greater sport. I love boxing and have since I was little, but Mayweather ruins it. Sorry to the fans, but if you like watching a no-talent, dancing-around-so-he-won't-get-hit-pansy, then hey, keep watching Mayweather. He won't disappoint.

William
Newport, Tenn.

Let's put an end to a myth here. Mayweather is no coward. Nor is any man or woman who steps into the ring. You may not appreciate his style, and far be it from me to tell you who or what to like, but let's get off this coward stuff.

It's just plain wrong.

THE CALIFORNIA KID

I was flipping through the channels a couple weeks ago and came across the Versus cable channel. I saw this guy Urijah Faber, the "California Kid," and he was awesome.

His mixed martial arts skills are incredible. He has extremely fast hands, and is extremely good at wrestling and submissions.

I think he would be a great fighter to bring to the UFC to shake up the lightweight class. Only down side is that he would have to put on weight, because he fights in the featherweight division (145-pound class), but I think with his fighting style and charisma, he would be a great attribute to the UFC.

Brian Young

I agree with everything you said about Faber. I agonized over whether to include him in my top 10 when colleague Dave Doyle conducted our inaugural Yahoo! Sports MMA Top 10 Pound-for-Pound poll. I did not and I have questioned myself every day since.

Faber isn't going to the UFC, though. Given they don't have a featherweight division in UFC, the WEC is the perfect place for him. There are a lot of potentially good fights out there for him at 145.

A fight between Faber and Kid Yamamoto would be an MMA fan's dream

. And besides being a great fighter, Faber is a great kid who I enjoy talking to and writing about.

CORRUPTION IN BOXING

Will we see less corruption in boxing after the passing of Bob Arum and Don King? Boxing needs more muckrakers.

Constantine
New York

Unfortunately, there really is no way to fundamentally alter the way the sport is run. It's always going to attract hustlers and con men. There is no commissioner to police the sport and it's an every man for himself type of business.

And let me tell a story about Arum that may change your mind about him. He's done a lot of things I don't agree with and we've had our share of feuds, but maybe you'll see a different side of him after learning of this.

Jack Welsh was a boxing writer who was a friend of mine. Jack was one of the biggest characters I've ever met and he died at 80 in 2005. He was always flat broke and down on his luck, but he really ran into problems in the last few years of his life.

I tried to help him the best I could and would give him money and do things for him as I was able. Right after Thanksgiving in 2004, I gave him some money to help him pay his bills and his rent.

Less than two weeks later, Jack approached me at a news conference for the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams heavyweight fight. He told me he had no money and was going to be evicted from his apartment.

I told him I'd give him some more money, but I was frustrated that he'd run out of money so quickly. As he walked away from me, Arum bumped into me. He noticed I was miffed and asked what had happened.

I just replied that Jack was about to be evicted and was asking me for more money. This was the first Arum had heard of it. And you should know that Jack had written numerous columns over the years raking Arum over the coals.

Arum shouted to his publicist, Lee Samuels, and told him to arrange to pay Welsh's rent for several months (I can't remember how long, but I think it was four months) and give him $1,500 in cash.

It was incredible. And when Jack died in his sleep a few months later, it was Arum who paid for his funeral expenses.

In negotiations, Arum has done a lot of things I don't like. But he's done charitable acts like that many times.

I thought that incident was worth pointing out about if for no other reason than to provide a slightly different perspective on the man.

LOOKING FOR AN MMA PRIMER

My husband and I are in our 70s and don't like to see injuries, but we love boxing and mixed martial arts. Is this a new sport or have I been oblivious? I need info regarding moves, techniques, etc. Could you give something briefly that would help me to know what to look for?

Rita
Hemet, Calif.

Glad to see you have an open mind about MMA, Rita. You don't fit the demographic, but I'm sure MMA fans will welcome you into the fold.

There is a wealth of information online, but here is a link to an article on Wikipedia

that explains the sport.

I hope that helps and good luck learning the sport. It's a lot of fun.

FAIRNESS IN TITLE SHOTS

Should I be angry at just Dana White or the commission also? I say this because in my opinion, they need to have some order to who gets a title shot and who doesn't. Instead of who kisses whose behind and how good.

Rampage Jackson wanted a few fights to get the fans to know him before he fought Chuck Liddell, but White threw them together immediately, thinking Chuck would eat him alive, keep Chuck on the map and shining, get his final revenge match, etc.

They offered Cro Cop a title shot for his third fight in the Octagon. They brought in Gabriel Gonzaga for Cro Cop for the same reason, to be eaten alive by Cro Cop, and so he would get used to the Octagon with real experience in it, but without a hitch, before the title bout.

They should set up some sort of ranking so there is some order to who gets a title shot in what order, so people get a chance because of talent/skill, not favoritism.

Sophia
Ohio

Honestly, Sophia, I think White and his matchmaker, Joe Silva, do a pretty good job of arranging title fights.

But you have to remember that this is a business, too. I agree that they brought in Gonzaga to fight Cro Cop so that it would give Cro Cop a chance to look good on television and build up a fight with Randy Couture.

He lost and he didn't get the title shot. I'd have more of a problem with it if he got the title shot even though he was beaten.

That happens in boxing frequently. In 2006, Zab Judah was the undisputed welterweight champion. He came in out of shape and unprepared and lost to Carlos Baldomir.

Not only did he get a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his next fight, the IBF gave him his championship back!

By that standard, you can have no quarrel with White.

Can’t get enough of Kevin Iole’s mailbag column? Then check out last week’s edition.