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Short shots about the world of professional boxing:
On April 12, 1997, Pernell Whitaker fought Oscar De La Hoya at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in a welterweight bout that was billed as the match that would crown boxing's new pound-for-pound king.
Buried deep on the undercard of that show was Floyd Mayweather Jr., who knocked out Bobby Giepert in the first round in just his sixth professional fight. Back in his locker room, still at least an hour before Whitaker and De La Hoya would do battle, Mayweather vowed that it wouldn't be long before he was in the starring role.
"I want to be the best and I will be the best," Mayweather said that night, less than a year after winning a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. "I'm going to be the best ever."
He didn't lack for confidence, even at 20 years old and with a 6-0 record.
There were two fights cards in Las Vegas on that April night in 1997, one in the afternoon at the Tropicana and one at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus later that night.
Interestingly, in the 12 fights between the two cards, there were nine men who were either world champions that night or would go on to win a major world title: Whitaker, De La Hoya, Mayweather, Paulie Ayala, Eric Morel, Raul Marquez, Anthony Stephens, Vassiliy Jirov and Cesar Soto.
• Four-time trainer of the year Freddie Roach said Mayweather was "a great, great fighter" at 130, 135 and 140 pounds, but Roach hasn't been as impressed with Mayweather at higher weights.
Mayweather, who is 40-0 with 25 knockouts, is 1-0 as a super welterweight and 5-0 with two knockouts as a welterweight. At 147 pounds, Mayweather beat Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez, stopping Hatton and Mitchell. He beat De La Hoya in a split decision at 154.
He was 3-0 with two knockouts as a 140-pounder, but was a combined 30-0 with 21 knockouts at 130 and 135.
He had a knockout percentage of 70 percent at 130 and 135, but it's dropped to 40 percent at fights above 135.
• There was a classic sequence on a conference call in which Shane Mosley trainer Naazim Richardson and Mayweather trainer Roger Mayweather were discussing the fight when a reporter mentioned that Floyd Mayweather didn't like to get hit.
"Do you know anybody [who] does?" Richardson asked.
Roger Mayweather then added, "I don't know anybody [who] likes to get hit." Richardson finished the sequence by relating the tale of a man who did enjoy being hit.
"I know one guy that I knew that liked to get hit, and he's in an institution where he belongs to this day," Richardson said.
• Mayweather's father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., isn't expecting Mosley to be his son's toughest challenge despite the fact that Mosley is coming off a highly impressive upset victory over Antonio Margarito.
"I really believe that Shane's not going to be the toughest challenge Floyd has had yet because from what I've seen of Shane, all that Margarito stuff that he did, it isn't anything, man," Mayweather Sr. said. "Believe me. Margarito was a walking mummy, so he was tailor-made for Shane. He's got somebody that he's going to be tailor-made for.
"Floyd's just got too many things he can use against Shane. Shane is not smart. He's not smart. He had quick hands. The hands aren't that quick anyway, doesn't usually jab enough and when he does use it, he's going to get countered. Every time he shoots, something will come flying over the top of it. I just really think that my son's got too many things in his arsenal for Shane."
• I've never met the man, but I think John Schulian is one of the greatest boxing writers ever. He wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times and perfectly captured the personalities and essence of the sport in his columns. He has a book, "Writers' Fighters & Other Sweet Scientists," that is out of print but is wonderful. If you find it in a used bookstore somewhere, snatch it up. You'll love it.
• Of course, my two favorite boxing writers ever were sports columnists and not full-time boxing writers, but nobody could write on the fight game like Jim Murray and Hugh McIlvanney. Also on my list are Jimmy Cannon, Michael Katz and Ron Borges.
• Heavyweight Chris Arreola, who lost to Tomasz Adamek on Saturday in Ontario, Calif., is a tough kid with a lot of heart, but he's not going to beat anyone of consequence if he doesn't get into better condition. If he keeps fighting at 250, he's going to be a second-rate fighter. He'll sell tickets because he always comes to fight, but he'll never accomplish anything.
• If promoter Dan Goossen doesn't get together with Adamek promoter Kathy Duva for a rematch, why not pit Arreola against David Tua? That would be one sensational television fight.
• I absolutely loved the super middleweight fight Saturday in Denmark between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch, which Kessler won by unanimous decision. If the Mayweather-Mosley fight is only half as good, we're in for a treat.
• Roach is training Amir Khan for his May 15 super lightweight title fight in New York against Paulie Malignaggi. Roach expects a great performance out of Khan and said he doesn't expect the fight to go beyond the third round. Those are mighty big words considering Malignaggi has only been stopped once in 30 pro bouts, and that was by Hatton in the 11th round of a 2008 fight.
• If Bernard Hopkins is serious about continuing to fight, why not pit him with Lucian Bute? That would be a compelling match.
• Is it just me or is anyone else sick of seeing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight dropouts from the Little Sisters of the Poor? To tell you how bad his competition level has been, John Duddy, his opponent in a July 26 bout in San Antonio, is far and away the best he's ever faced in a 40-0-1 career.
- Oscar De La Hoya
- Floyd Mayweather
- Roger Mayweather
- Shane Mosley
- Pernell Whitaker