You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI
The anticipation has begun to build for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley welterweight fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout is the biggest in boxing that can be made other than a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout and will sell well in excess of 1 million pay-per-view units. I'll answer plenty of questions about Mayweather and Mosley, as well as about Tomasz Adamek's majority decision victory over Chris Arreola this past Saturday.
If Floyd Mayweather Jr. wins impressively Saturday, would you still have him at No. 2 in your pound-for-pound rankings? [I think] he has remained at No. 1 since he came back. I think many people will still have Manny Pacquiao No. 1. Until they meet in the ring, I think that debate will go on because, quite honestly, if they don't fight soon, one or both may end up retiring and we will never find out who would have won and that would be a shame. That would be an epic event.
I agree it would be a shame if a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight never occurred, but I'm not optimistic it will. As for where I'll rank Mayweather, it's going to depend upon the fight. Manny and Floyd are very close in the pound-for-pound rankings at this stage, so if Mayweather looks spectacular against Mosley, I could see myself voting for him for No. 1. But if he wins and it's a lackluster performance, I think I'd leave it alone. I only have one vote in our poll, which is comprised of more than 30 boxing writers from around the world. I expect that if Floyd wins, there are going to be votes for both guys.
I'm really looking forward to the Mayweather-Mosley fight and I hope Mosley shuts the loudmouth up. I wanted to see who you thought was better in a number of areas. Who has more power, Floyd or Shane? Who is the better boxer? Who has better combinations? It's a fascinating fight and I'm curious how you'll break it down.
I'm looking forward to the fight with great anticipation, as well, Dustin. I am predicting a Mayweather victory and I expect Floyd to put on one of the better performances of his career. That said, I think Shane is the harder puncher and Floyd is clearly the better boxer. Floyd has tremendous defensive instincts and awareness in the ring and he's able to avoid punches as a result. Shane is more aggressive, but he tends to throw wide shots, particularly to the body, and I see Floyd countering those shots successfully.
Kevin, you made a comment in your article about the rankings that caught my attention. You wrote, "The point isn't to knock (Tyrone) Brunson, but rather to point out that the best fighters need to be rewarded for fighting stiff competition." With that said, how is it that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is always ranked at or near the top of your rankings when he has never faced an elite welterweight ever since he became a welterweight over four years ago? I understand that his skill level would lead you to believe that he would win a fight with almost anyone, but at the same time, how can you make a statement that fighters need to be rewarded for fighting stiff competition yet continue to reward a fighter in the rankings who until May 1 has never faced an elite welterweight?
That's a fair question, Nelson, but I think I can provide you with a good answer. In the case of Brunson, he had never fought anyone remotely resembling a contender. He had beaten a collection of boxing misfits. Mayweather has fought 15 of his 40 bouts against men who at one point in their careers held a world title. That's 37.5 percent of his opposition, compared to 0 percent for Brunson. And it's not fair to say he hasn't faced an elite welterweight before. Zab Judah was considered elite when they fought, though Judah was coming off an upset loss to Carlos Baldomir. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe will tell you how strenuously I argued with him about taking the Judah fight in 2006, not thinking Judah deserved the match after coming off a loss, but the fact remains that Judah in 2006 still was considered an elite welterweight. Mayweather is getting penalized for not having fought some of the other top guys now, though. He had been No. 1, but has fallen to No. 2 behind Manny Pacquiao in our latest rankings and received just two of the 30 first-place votes cast.
This Adamek guy showed a tremendous chin.
Adamek has been a top-level fighter throughout the years and has fought in some very good bouts. I never questioned his chin, but wondered how it would hold up against the biggest man and hardest puncher he'd ever fought. He deserves a lot of credit for the way he hung in and outboxed Arreola. He took some big shots but never was in serious danger. He's a legitimate top heavyweight at this point and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a title fight at some point.
The heavyweight fight between Arreola and Adamek was very entertaining. It gave the division a much-needed boost. What other fights could help rejuvenate this division?
Here are a few fights that come to mind: Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko-David Haye; Haye-Adamek; Arreola-Sam Peter; Adamek-Eddie Chambers; David Tua-Arreola; Odlanier Solis-Adamek; Alexander Povetkin-Chambers. There are others, but the key is, as Adamek trainer Ronnie Shields said after the fight on Saturday, for the top five or six guys to fight each other.
I have been following boxing for over 40 years. Neither Arreola nor Adamek impressed me. Chris is game, neither at this point deserve to be called a world champion. Only the Klitschko brothers are worthy titleholders in the heavyweight division. Everyone else is simply a pretender and not worth watching in my humble opinion. In the future, I will only watch the Klitschko brothers fight until someone prove me wrong.
Dennis Michael Kuno
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
I don't disagree that the Klitschkos are by far the class of the heavyweight division, Dennis. And no one is suggesting that Arreola is remotely close to Joe Frazier or George Foreman. But the fight on Saturday was entertaining, which was a big step forward for the division.
I saw Tomasz Adamek fight for the first time on Saturday and he was a pleasant surprise, as he was tough, fast, and not too small. Size is important for anyone who wants to challenge one of the Klitschko brothers. He showed an impressive chin and good combinations. It was a good fight.
Jose L. Munoz
Adamek proved he's one of the four or five best heavyweights in the world. That's not saying much, since there is precious little depth, and it's a massive leap from scoring a majority decision win over Chris Arreola to being even remotely competitive with one of the Klitschko brothers. At least there is a new guy on the scene in the division with skills and the willingness to fight.
Juan Diaz lost to Paulie Malignaggi twice (Note: He actually lost to Malignaggi once, though many people thought Malignaggi deserved to win their first fight, which actually went to Diaz) and gets rewarded with a rematch against the elite Juan Manuel Marquez for a huge payday. Meanwhile Paulie is in a high-risk low-reward fight with Amir Khan! Golden Boy needs to step it up and stop playing favorites. If they want to show that Amir's chin isn't questioned, why put him against the powerless Malignaggi? If Juan Diaz wants a title fight, he should get in line behind Ali Funeka and Humberto Soto!
Victor, few have been more critical of Golden Boy more consistently than me, but I'll defend them in this case. Why not make a Diaz-Marquez rematch? It was a highly entertaining fight and a contender for the 2009 Fight of the Year. What I want from promoters is to make quality fights and fights that matter. The class of the super lightweight division right now is Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana. Bradley is fighting Maidana on July 17 and the winner will likely meet Alexander later in the year. Why not match the other guys in competitive fights that the fans will enjoy seeing? As for Khan-Malignaggi, if Khan knocks out Malignaggi, as trainer Freddie Roach predicts he will, that will make a great statement about his talents.
- Tomasz Adamek
- Chris Arreola