Mailbag: Silva should stick with MMA

MMA Weekly's Ken Pishna reported Tuesday that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who is generally regarded as the No. 1 mixed martial artist in the world, would like to fight Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match.

It's bound to create speculation over which sport is better, but the bottom line is this: They're different sports and there is no reason to continue to compare them.

Silva doesn't have the resume as a boxer to be able to challenge Jones, who was the Outstanding Boxer in the 1988 Olympics and was long regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world as a pro.

Silva would beat Jones, easily, in an MMA fight. Jones would beat Silva, easily, in a boxing match. What's the big deal?

It's great for bar room talk, but there is no way it will happen. Nor should it.

Let's get on to a busy mailbag, where readers have their say on Samuel Peter's win over Oleg Maskaev, the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight and David Haye's prospects as a heavyweight.

My answers, as always, are in italics below the question.


Is it just me or did the event in Cancun on March 8 seem unprofessional and sloppy? From the poor ring announcing to the inefficient refereeing, to Juan Diaz's ineffective cut man, everything (but the fighters) about that night appeared amateurish. In the Diaz-Campbell fight, every round was 10 seconds short because the referee could not get the corners to leave the ring at the appropriate time. Richard
Union City, N.J.

It's not just you, Richard. Everything was sloppy and unprofessional and if it weren't for the great work of Don King's staff, there probably wouldn't have been a fight card. I asked a King employee (who will remain unnamed) on the morning of the fight how things were shaping up. He replied, "We're patching this thing together with scotch tape." The poor ring announcing shows how good Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon are at their jobs, too.


It has been long since I heard or read an article from you regarding the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. I am an avid and loyal reader of yours. I know that some Filipinos have been rude and/or unkind to you. I hope this is not the reason why you may have decided to keep silent or passive about it. I would like you to know that not all Filipinos dislike you because you favor Marquez over Pacquiao. They know that it is only your objective analysis, which I believe has a basis, not because you don't like Pacquiao. But I like you. Some Filipinos like you. So please don't give up.

Frank D. Mendoza

Philippines Thanks for the encouraging words, Frank. I've never been concerned by those kinds of comments. There have been a lot of other fights, but stay tuned this week. In addition to having an Internet exclusive showing of the first Pacquiao-Marquez fight, we have plenty of other coverage of the big fight planned. So hang in there and keep checking Yahoo! Sports.


I still can't understand how David Haye can claim to be the undisputed crusierweight champion when he is avoiding facing IBF champion Steve Cunningham. Enzo Maccarinelli was suspect because he had his belt handed to him when Johnny Nelson retired. On top of that, Maccarinelli had faced suspect competition and was stopped by Lee Swaby, the very definition of a journeyman. Haye wants to follow Evander Holyfield in leaving cruiserweight and winning a heavyweight title, but he can't because Holyfield was truly undisputed cruiserweight and had one hell of a chin. David Haye needs to clean house and unify at crusierweight before even thinking of winning at heavyweight. With his chin, I think he better stay at cruiser.

Mike Richards
Liverpool, England

Haye is a very good and entertaining cruiserweight and a fight between he and Steve Cunningham would be exceptional. That said, I couldn't agree more with your thinking, Mike. Haye simply doesn't have the chin or the power to compete at heavyweight. He's a hard puncher at cruiserweight, but it's a totally different thing at heavyweight. I just can't imagine him ever hurting someone like 250-pound WBC champ Sam Peter or 250-pound WBO-IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko. But here's another reason why he wants to do it: More folks care about the heavyweight division and, as a result, there is a lot more money to be made at heavyweight. HBO's broadcast of the Peter-Oleg Maskaev fight on Saturday drew 1.236 million viewers. Showtime's broadcast of the Haye-Maccarinelli fight drew 273,000.


After Sam Peter's knockout of Maskaev on Saturday, do you believe he's ready for a clash with Wladimir Klitschko? Noel Domingo
Manila, Philippines

He's as ready as he'll ever be, but I think Klitschko is far superior technically and would duplicate his lopsided win of 2005. But unfortunately, instead of that fight happening, which would unify the WBC-WBO-IBF belts, the WBC is insisting that Peter fight the unretiring Vitali Klitschko first. The WBC gave (for some reason) Vitali Klitschko status as champion emeritus when he retired because of injuries in 2005. He hasn't fought since 2004, but they're allowing him to come out of retirement to fight for the title. It's a farce and is one of many reasons why boxing is perceived as a joke by those in the sports world. Vitali Klitschko's handlers can protest the legality of it all they want, but the bottom line is, it's bad for boxing. It was nobody's fault but Vitali's that he couldn't defend his belt. The WBC owed him nothing and boxing owes him nothing. The fans deserve to see the champions fight each other, but this is another roadblock to that occurring.


You admit in your column that the Maskaev-Peter fight was pretty much a bore. Peter's recent record is average at best - a loss against Wladimir Klitschko, a draw against James Toney, a points win against Toney in the rematch, a joke of a fight against Julius Long, a pathetic showing against Jameel McCline where Peter showed his chin is vulnerable, and now a quick stoppage by the referee against an old, inactive, rusty Maskaev. Yet, given all of those negatives, along with Peter's inability to fight a clean and legal fight without throwing punches to the back of the head, you seem to think that Peter is somehow the savior of the heavyweight division. I don't get it. I think Peter is the most overhyped heavyweight in recent memory. If he ever gets back in the ring with Wladimir (who has progressed in rapid fashion under Emanuel Steward's tutelage), he will face a fighter who no longer is intimidated by his hype, who knows he has the physical gifts to pick Peter apart, and who knows Peter does not have the granite chin his hype machine once claimed. I see a severe beating of the limited Mr. Peter administered by Dr. Steelhammer.

Brent E.
Alta Loma, Calif.

Brent, let's set the record straight: Peter beat Toney twice. The first was a split decision and the second was unanimous. I believe much of what you say and I wrote that in my prefight column on Peter. And I do believe Klitschko will beat him, should they ever meet. The point I was making is that he has the power the fans love to see and he goes for it, unlike the way Klitschko fought against Sultan Ibragimov. Klitschko could easily have stopped Ibragimov if he had gone for it after landing one of the (far too few) right hands he threw. But he was content to win a boring, lackluster decision. For all his many flaws, at least Peter goes for the finish, which is what the public wants to see from a heavyweight.


Why isn't there much of a big deal being made of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.? Although he hasn't faced the toughest opponents yet, I still think he has great boxing ability and he mimics his father's style perfectly. He is ready in my opinion to face the best. Perhaps if he did, we would all be surprised to see that he is clearly on his way to becoming one of the best. I am just clueless as to why nobody has noticed him?

Enrique Rivera
New York

Enrique, he is being noticed. I did a column on him in December when he fought. He's still at a very early point of his development and is a long way away from fighting the elite fighters in his division. I concede he's made great progress, perhaps more than I thought he would when I first saw him, but he has a long way to go. Top Rank is moving him smartly, increasing the level of competition ever so slightly as he goes forward. There's no doubt he'll fight for a world title some day, simply because of his name. But I'm also beginning to think he'll deserve it and won't get the shot simply because of nepotism.