You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI
There's a lot going on in boxing and people can't stop talking about a potential Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight.
I answer questions about that fight, as well as about Andre Ward's technical decision over Mikkel Kessler on Saturday in Oakland, Calif., in this edition of the boxing mailbag.
Which fighter do you predict will win the Super Six tournament? I predicted Andre Ward before the start of the tournament and judging by his win over Mikkel Kessler on Saturday, that prediction may just come true.
Dennis, I predicted Ward to win in July when the tournament was announced. I'm sticking with my selection.
Good call on Ward dismantling Kessler. I read your article before the fight and thought you were giving Andre too much praise, considering he hadn't fought anybody close to Kessler's level yet. But you were right! Andre put on a great show and dominated Kessler from start to finish. His future looks as bright as any young fighter out there. How do you think he'll match up with "King" Arthur Abraham, if and when they do meet up with the Super Six title at stake?
Ward was handled with kid gloves during his developmental period and not pushed very aggressively. He was given safe opponent after safe opponent and the result is that many saw him as a second-tier prospect. He's an elite fighter and is only going to get better. I think Abraham is the second-best man in the field and if anyone is to beat Ward, in my opinion, it will be King Arthur.
Where is the argument? To say that Kessler lost because of the referee is ridiculous. I was surprised to see that Kessler won as many rounds as he did. It was a total blowout. Ward outclassed him during and after the fight. Can you imagine Kessler's promoters' reactions had this been the Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi fight and the scorecards came out as they did? Ward was the better man, plain and simple.
I find it amusing that a promoter from Germany, where there are more suspicious decisions and other machinations than in just about all other countries combined, would moan about the officiating. I don't think anyone is pulling out of the tournament because of Ward's performance, but I do think he caught the attention of everyone.
Kevin, Kessler is going to beat Ward. You are falling victim to the "Americans are best" syndrome. I kind of think you picked De La Hoya over Pacman, right?
Surprising I didn't hear from you AFTER the fight, Michael. I didn't fall victim to any syndrome, given I picked Abraham over Jermain Taylor and Carl Froch over Andre Dirrell. I chose the man whom I thought to be the better fighter and, lo and behold, I was correct. I remember in 2005, I had a great stretch of picking winners. I'd go on a Las Vegas radio station and give out my picks to the fights and I went five or six months without a loss. Then, I picked Kostya Tszyu to beat Ricky Hatton. Hatton, of course, dominated Tszyu and I was inundated with calls and comments telling me what an idiot I am. You're only as good as your last pick, so I guess I'm a genius right now.
If Manny Pacquiao is to defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight title, will he still fight again at a catch weight of 145 pounds? If fighters don't want to fight him at a catch weight, will the WBO require him to defend the title without the catch weight? If the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight happens, do you think that there will be a "catch weight" for the fight? I think Pacquiao should defend his title at a full 147 pounds to really prove that he is a welterweight champion.
No one will be required to fight at a catch weight unless they agree to it beforehand. Cotto was the WBO champion, but he agreed to the catch weight because he knew he'd make more money fighting Pacquiao than he could anyone else and one of Pacquiao's conditions was that the fight be at 145. As long as the weights are under the sanctioning body's limit, which in this case would have been 147, it can go off as a championship match. Fighters can weigh less than the limit, but not more. And I don't think a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will be at a catch weight, nor any future Pacquiao fights.
Are the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view sales figures of 1.05 million legitimate? I ask that because the Pacquiao-Cotto figures were announced almost a week after the fight, and I remember promoter Bob Arum saying it takes days before you can get the result. Why did the Mayweather camp release the numbers the morning after the fight? To me, it's kind of fishy.
Your facts are wrong, Lauro. In each case, the pay-per-view sales figures were released the Friday after the fight. The Mayweather-Marquez numbers were not released the morning after the fight. Perhaps you heard or read someone speculating what the figure might be, but the official number was released by HBO on Sept. 25, six days after the fight. The official Pacquiao-Cotto number was released by HBO on Nov. 19, six days after that fight. And those numbers are accurate, though they may grow as more cable systems file reports. HBO, as a public company, is required to release accurate figures.
Come on, Kevin, tell the truth! This supposed fight in the making has a distinct possibility of being a real yawner the way Mayweather fights, especially if he's in with Pacquiao. I have this feeling, and I'm sure plenty will agree, that if Mayweather does indeed fight the Pacman, he may try to win on points by employing his superb defensive tactics and score points by pot shotting him from the outside. Or, will Pacquiao not allow him to do that? Is Pacquiao big enough and talented enough to make Mayweather fight?
E. Dorset, Vt.
One of the fascinating aspects of this fight is the contrast of styles. To me, there is a difference between running and boxing. I don't think Mayweather is going to run. But your last question is a good one. I wasn't stunned that Pacquiao hurt Cotto and knocked him down; I was stunned, though, that he did it so early in the fight before Cotto was worn down. Had you told me before the fight that Cotto would be knocked down twice, I would have guessed they would have come late in the fight after fatigue had set in for Cotto. The fact that Pacquiao got to him early tells me he's got a hard welterweight punch as well as exceptionally fast hands. Floyd will need to find a way to deal with that.
While I think Manny is an exceptional fighter, I don't think the fight with Mayweather will even be that close. To me, Mayweather is the greatest adjuster of styles I have ever seen. He admittedly doesn't look at tapes of his opponents; he simply adjusts to them on the fly. I think Manny has until Round 2 to do some damage or else it will be all over. I think Manny is great, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Not only does Mayweather have some of the best talent boxing has ever seen, but he works his butt off to make it look so easy. He might be a loudmouth, but he does not slack on his fight preparation. What do you think?
E. Orange, N.J.
I lean toward Mayweather at this point because of the styles. He's very difficult to hit and most everyone who fights him says he's a surprisingly hard puncher. Mayweather fought Zab Judah, who was very fast and hit hard, and Judah was doing well early. But Judah is known to be weak mentally and seemed to fold his tents when he realized Mayweather wasn't going away. That's not going to be the case with Pacquiao. Pacman is very strong mentally and will pressure Floyd throughout.
I thought the Pacquiao victory over Cotto was sensational and I'm glad to see the PPV numbers were strong. But for $65 for the HD version, I thought the undercard was extremely disappointing and the Chavez Jr. fight was unwatchable. I actually changed channels to catch UFC 105 and the late college football games to pass the time to the Pacman-Cotto fight. You would think the promoters would stack the card with big name fights to increase the PPV orders (and revenue). Is there any chance there will ever be a relevant/meaningful fight as the co-feature bout in PPV again? What about putting Pavlik or one of Klitschko brothers (or whatever big name fighter under the promoters involved) as the co-feature since they aren't big main event PPV draws?
I agree with you that that undercard was awful, as most major PPV undercards are these days. In (very slight) defense of Top Rank, it wanted to put on a fight between Humberto Soto and Edwin Valero, that would have been exceptional, but Valero could not get a visa. But the Chavez fight was awful and nothing else was too good. The problem is, promoters aren't willing to spend much money on the undercard when they believe the public buys solely for the main event.
- Mikkel Kessler
- Andre Ward
- Manny Pacquiao