Manny Pacquiao's victory over Antonio Margarito elicited a flood of responses, as many Yahoo! Sports readers wanted to sound off about some aspect of the bout.
As has become typical, I received the usual number of ridiculous letters accusing me of being racist because I praised either Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. When I have praised Pacquiao, as I did on Saturday, I hear from African Americans calling me racist for not boosting Floyd. And when I've sung Mayweather's praises, the Filipino fans have done the same thing for not boosting Manny.
I've excluded those questions from the mailbag, but we have a pretty lively debate nonetheless.
Don't forget the original Sugar Ray
I don't understand why you didn't include the original "Sugar Ray," Ray Robinson, in the "best ever" conversation. According to the Wikipedia article on Robinson, both Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali agree that Robinson the best of all-time.
Chris, I have long believed Robinson is the greatest fighter of all time and have written that repeatedly. First, my column you're referencing was in relation to the Bob Arum Era of boxing, from 1966 through the present, since Arum had said Pacquiao is the best he's ever seen. And while I admire Pacquiao's accomplishments tremendously, I don't believe he's the best of all time – or even since 1966. I stand behind the line near the end of my postfight column, in which I wrote: "There may have been better fighters than Manny Pacquiao in the last 50 years, but their numbers were few and their talent level was exceptionally high."
Manny vs. the all-time greats
Could Manny Pacquiao have defeated a prime Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard or a Julio Cesar Chavez?
I don't think Pacquiao would have beaten either Duran or Leonard. Leonard represents the kind of fighter Pacquiao has yet to face: A big guy with tremendous speed and quickness as well as punching power, defensive skill and a quality chin. I think a Pacquiao-Chavez fight would have been epic and very close, though I think Pacquiao's speed might grant him a slight edge.
Do fans not appreciate boxing skill?
Do you feel that most fight fans favor Manny Pacquiao over Floyd Mayweather because of Manny's style? Fans like the volume punching and flair but don't appreciate the sweet science itself. Nobody is in Floyd's league in terms of being a sweet scientist.
Both men have enormous fan bases, to begin with, Michael, but I think Manny's offensive style and his unassuming, humble personality wins over more undecideds, if you will, than does Floyd's defensive style and braggadocio. From a straight boxing standpoint, Mayweather is the best pure boxer of this generation.
Pacquiao is no god
Why do you make Manny sound like he is a god in boxing? He and Mayweather did not fight the best when they were in their prime. The only boxer Manny fought in his prime was Juan Manuel Marquez and we know how that ended: One was a draw and the other one was given to Manny when everyone knows that Marquez came back and put on a great fight. After that, Manny moved up in weight and wanted nothing to do with Marquez, knowing that he is a fighter who will give him trouble. Promoter Bob Arum has handpicked Pacquiao's opponents. If Manny is that great and is not afraid of anything, why didn't he take a drug test like Mayweather wanted him to? A great fighter that has nothing to hide would have done it.
Pacquiao fought Marquez twice, so it's not like he ducked him. And he's agreed to face Mayweather. While I think Pacquiao should have agreed to the drug test in the first place, Mayweather is out of line for simply demanding it. He's created a suspicion where none previously existed.
'The Tijuana Tropical Storm?'
I need your help. Why does Antonio Margarito insist on being tagged as the "Tijuana Tornado?" Margarito was a sprinkle of water, not even a named weather forecast depression. He wasn't strong enough for that. Manny is a beast! Manny downgraded the self-proclaimed Tornado to a passing cloud of occasional rain. Be careful what you wish for, Margarito. You got more than you could handle. I can't even give Margarito credit for being stupid enough to finish the fight. Margarito that was dumb. Manny is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Joe, I don't think Tony insists on being referred to as the "Tijuana Tornado." My friend Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com dubbed him that (and should, by the way, get some royalties from all those "Tornado" T-shirt sales). It's an apt name because he is a pressure figure. But I agree that Pacquiao is the current pound-for-pound best.
Do away with the catch weights
Am I the only one who thinks Pacquiao is getting away with murder with all these catch-weight bouts? I think its unfair that he isn't only getting these fights, but also that the media aren't calling him out on it. How is he going to win a belt at 154 pounds, but Margarito can't weigh more than 150 at the weigh-in? I'm sure he's getting away with it because boxing is slow these days and they'll take anything they can get and sweep it under the rug.
George Austin, Texas
George, I agree with you when it comes to the titles. If you're going to fight for a super welterweight title, the opponent HAS to be allowed to weigh up to the limit. I quizzed Pacquiao about this at the prefight news conference and he dodged the question. It's happened before in boxing history – Sugar Ray Leonard forced Donnie Lalonde to come in at 167 in a bout for the light heavyweight title in 1988 – but that doesn't make it right. I think it's a remarkable feat that Pacquiao could so regularly and so easily handle men so much bigger, but it doesn't mean he has to get a world championship for it unless the opponent is allowed to weigh the division maximum.
Will Mayweather accept the fight?
Do you think there's a possibility that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will fight Pacquiao after what Pacquiao did to Margarito? Would you still consider Mayweather in the top 10 pound-for-pound if he does not fight Pacquiao? I know your rationale for including him is because of his defensive ability, but it showed in the Shane Mosley fight that he doesn't have a tough chin and he almost got knocked out. If he fights Pacquiao, his strategy will be to run around the ring to save his "beautiful face" from getting deformed, just like Margarito's was.
I think it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to put a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight together. I want to correct you, though, on your comment about the Mosley fight. I think Mayweather showed a good chin and a lot of heart. He got hit flush with a huge punch and he wobbled but didn't go down. He very quickly recovered his senses and boxed well. That, to me, is extraordinarily impressive.
I am amazed by what Pacquiao did to Antonio Margarito on Saturday. The size difference was so wide, yet so was the level of skill between the two men. The fight went exactly as I expected. However, I personally don't think Mayweather is dodging Pacquiao. I think he is waiting to get through the trials of both himself and his uncle. Would anyone say Pacquiao is dodging Mayweather if Freddie Roach fell ill and wouldn't be available for a few months? With that being said, what else is next for Pacquiao? One thing he hasn't fought is someone who has quickness or speed. Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and Margarito aren't exactly the local track team. Considering that when Sergio Martinez fought Pavlik, he weighed similar to what Margarito weighed last night, what about him as a possible opponent? Or Andre Berto? When you are so fast, it is easy to outclass someone. I'm not trying to take away from Pacquiao's greatness, but beating up on slow fighters gets old fast.
My guess is that Pacquiao will fight Shane Mosley, who attended the fight with his new adviser James Prince. (By the way, Mosley made it a big point to emphasize that Prince is an adviser, not his manager, and asked me to make that known.) I agree with your assessment of the speed issue and I wrote: "Pacquiao still has to face the ultimate test, the fast, speedy, in-his-prime opponent that Mayweather would be … ." I agree that fights with Martinez or Berto would be interesting.
Whose job was it to stop the fight?
I've got a question regarding the Pacquiao-Margarito fight. If a fighter is obviously going to lose, but isn't willing to quit on his own, who is most responsible for stopping the fight? A co-worker and I disagree. I say that in a case like Margarito's, it falls on his corner first, the ring doctor second and the referee third. He was putting up a defense, he was hitting back, and he didn't want to stop. It should have been stopped, but I don't think the referee had just cause to stop it based on Margarito's performance. My co-worker says the referee should have stopped it. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Charlie S. Arlington, Texas
This was a failure of both the referee and the trainer, but I put more of the blame on Margarito trainer Robert Garcia. The ringside doctor did not have the ability to stop the fight, only to advise the referee. It's rare when a referee bucks the doctor's opinion, but it has happened and the sole responsibility for stopping it falls on the referee, who in this case was Laurence Cole. Garcia's job as a trainer is to protect his fighter, and he failed miserably. It's ridiculous that Garcia allowed him to take the punishment he did over the last three or four rounds when it was clear he was defenseless and couldn't win the fight. The referee and trainer share equal responsibility, but one of the reasons Eddie Futch was considered one of the great trainers ever is because he would take responsibility and stop a fight to protect his man. Garcia should have done the same.