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Mailbag: Floyd sells

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

HBO announced on Tuesday that the May 1 pay-per-view bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley sold 1.4 million units and generated $78.3 million in pay-per-view revenue.

It is one of only eight boxing matches ever to sell at least 1.4 million and it ranks second all time among non-heavyweight bouts.

The 2007 match between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya is the all-time PPV sales leader, at 2.45 million. Mayweather-Mosley is now the No. 2 non-heavyweight pay-per-view ever, barely edging out the 1999 De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad fight that also did about 1.4 million.

Following Mayweather-De La Hoya in the top 10 are Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II at 1.99 million; Tyson-Lennox Lewis at 1.97 million; Tyson-Holyfield I at 1.59 million; Tyson-Peter McNeeley at 1.55 million; Mayweather-Mosley at 1.4 million; De La Hoya-Trinidad at 1.4 million; Holyfield-George Foreman at 1.4 million; Tyson-Frank Bruno II at 1.37 million; and Tyson-Razor Ruddock II at 1.25 million.

The May 1 fight was the third Mayweather bout that has exceeded 1 million in PPV sales. Only five other fighters, Tyson, Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, De La Hoya and Pacquiao, have surpassed 1 million more than once.

Tyson has participated in seven bouts that have sold more than 1 million. Holyfield and De La Hoya four each and Lewis and Pacquiao two each.

Mayweather's Sept. 19 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez sold 1.08 million on pay-per-view.

With that, let's hop into the boxing mailbag, where I'll respond to your questions and comments.

Fight the best
To excel in competitive sport, you need to face great opponents. Kasparov faced Karpov in chess, Lance Armstrong in cycling defeated Jan Ulrich and John McEnroe overcame Bjorn Borg in tennis. Boxing is no exception. And Mayweather is no exception. He needs super fights to surpass the legacy of boxers of past generations. Per his current record, I don't rate him higher than Julio Cesar Chavez or Pernell Whittaker, let alone the Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns quartet. By refusing to fight for the sanctioning bodies' belts, he diminishes his own legacy.

Samore Herbstein

I agree with much of what you say, Samore, though I'd put Mayweather over Chavez. Your basic point is on the money, however.

If history was different
What do you think the outcome would have looked liked if the whole Top Rank/Golden Boy fiasco wasn't going on back in 2006 with the signing on Manny Pacquiao? Let's say Pacman was signed and promoted by GBP instead of Top Rank. Would the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight have already happened or been easier to negotiate? I believe it would have. I truly believe Top Rank's Bob Arum is really getting in the way of this fight being made with his tactics! If Pacquiao is truly against taking blood out of his system a day or two before a fight, doesn't it even the playing field and not give the opponent an advantage if they are both doing the blood test?

Adam G.

It's not as easy to answer that question as you might think, Adam. If Golden Boy had gotten Pacquiao exclusively, would Mayweather have subsequently decided to work with them? Who knows? I suspect perhaps not. If we assume that both would have been promoted by Golden Boy at the same time, I think the fight would have been easier to make, because Arum is an obstacle. Arum doesn't get along well with Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather adviser Al Haymon. Eliminate that and you eliminate one – one – of the obstacles in the way of the fight. But the timing of the blood draws Mayweather would still be an issue.

Not thrilling
Boxing aficionados want a fight that is exciting and thrilling. The way Mayweather fights isn't the quality we want to see in a boxing match. What makes him exciting mainly is his mouth and his undefeated record that makes him on the pound-for-pound elite list. Boxing sport will be dead in the coming years if we see a lot more fighters like Mayweather, who is very clever and absolutely boring.


What is exciting to one person isn't always exciting to another. Mayweather is a boxer, not a brawler. Some people appreciate the technical skills of a fighter like Mayweather and others only love brawls. I appreciate both and I recognize Mayweather is a superior talent. That doesn't mean I won't be coming out of my chair the next time I'm watching a toe-to-toe slugfest like Jose Luis Castillo-Diego Corrales I. There's room for all types.

Good but not great
Mayweather claims to be a great fighter. I believe that he is good but in no way great. With his lack of ability to end a fighter or to make a fight entertaining will he ever been seen as great?


I think he's great, Billy. He's making the most of what he has. He's not a knockout puncher, but then, Mike Tyson wasn't a slick boxer, either. Mayweather's 41-0 and has been at the game's highest level for more than a decade. That makes him great in my book.

Columnist or fan?
Are you a boxing writer or a Mayweather fan? How come the age of Mosley and more than a year without a fight are not factors in the outcome of the fight? The fight does not prove anything about Mayweather because of that.


I'm both, Stab. Mosley's age isn't an issue to me because it wasn't an issue before the fight. I didn't hear anyone saying before the fight that Mosley is old and over the hill. It's only after Mayweather won easily that it's become an issue. You can't have it both ways. I don't recall reading anything or hearing anyone saying that Mosley's time off was a factor. When Mayweather returned after a 21-month absence to fight Juan Manuel Marquez, the time away didn't seem to make a difference. Why should it make a difference for Mosley, when Mosley, trainer Naazim Richardson and the Mosley team said before the fight that his age and his layoff weren't going to be a factor in the outcome?

How did Paul Williams win via technical split decision against Kermit Cintron on Saturday? Shouldn't that be a no-contest? I mean Cintron flew outside the ring, gets to be taken in the hospital and loses the match?

Tayshaun Bikurug

The decision was correct because California State Athletic Commission rules governed the contest, not the unified rules of the Association of Boxing Commissions that are used in most venues. But in neither case, would it have been a no contest. Using California rules, referee Lou Moret ruled it correctly. If the unified rules had been in place, it would have been a TKO for Williams. It would only be a no contest had Cintron been unable to continue due to a foul. There was no foul in this case. Cintron inadvertently fell out of the ring, so it couldn't have been a no contest under unified rules.

Margarito's effort
Kevin, let's say you suddenly got interested again in Antonio Margarito and actually watched his fight against Roberto Garcia. How would you assess his performance? Do you think he can actually beat Miguel Cotto in a rematch? Or will he be able to handle Mayweather or Pacquiao?

Marlon Mina
Quezon City, Philippines

I thought he was just so-so, though in fairness, a large part of the reason has to be his long layoff. I think he'd beat Cotto again if they fought, because I don't think Cotto has that much left and a rugged fight like Margarito would be too difficult for him. I'd favor Mayweather and Pacquiao, though I think he'd have a better chance against Pacquiao than Mayweather only because of the size.

I'm tired of Paul Williams and his people saying the he's a welterweight when he hasn't fought at welterweight in two years. That's like Manny or Floyd saying that they are the best lightweights. I understand the two biggest fighters right now are in that division and you're trying to get paid, but I'm not interested in seeing Paul Williams come down to welterweight, and no matter what he says, he will be coming DOWN to welterweight. I think Paul should just focus on the middleweight division because there are a lot more interesting matches.

Tone Siamson
Van Nuys, Calif.

Williams last made 147 when he fought Carlos Quintana on June 7, 2008. I agree. He's no longer a welterweight and shouldn't be in the mix there. It's time to move on, Paul.

Racism in boxing
Is racism a problem in boxing? When Nate Campbell missed weight before his IBF lightweight title fight with Ali Funeka, he lost his title before the fight. When Joan Guzman was overweight against Funeka, he was not able to win the belt. When Floyd "Money" Mayweather came overweight vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, he paid $650,000 (I think), but when Kelly Pavlik came in almost two divisions over vs. Sergio Martinez, he did not loss his titles before the fight and didn't pay Martinez a cent for coming overweight. Am I reading to much into this? I love boxing and have been a big fan for over 20 years and I hate when things like this happen. If you are going to punish one, punish them all for the same reason.

Manny Troncoso
North Andover, Mass.

Manny, Pavlik did not miss weight when he defended his titles against Martinez. At the weigh-in, both Pavlik and Martinez weighed 159½, which is a half-pound under the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. What I think you may be referencing is that Pavlik weighed 180 or so on the night of the fight. The fighters are required to make the division weight limit at the weigh-in the day before the fight, roughly 24-30 hours before their match. After the weigh-in, there is no restriction on them so they can weigh what they want when they come into the ring. They are often dehydrated at weigh-ins, but when they eat and drink after it, they gain back a lot of weight they shed. Campbell and Guzman missed weight for a title fight AT the weigh-in, which is why they had the problems they did. And it's important to note that Mayweather did not miss weight against Marquez. The contract was for a welterweight fight, which is 147, and Mayweather weighed 146.

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