You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI
The Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. fight, particularly my prefight columns ("Fight could be memorable for wrong reasons," and "Jones-Hopkins rematch highlights boxing's ills") generated a lot of reader response. I answer questions about that, as well as about Manny Pacquiao's pay-per-view sales and Wladimir Klitschko's style in this edition of the boxing mailbag.
Iole a sellout
What a jerk you are! Could you have been more cruel in what you wrote in your prefight columns about Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins? Please read some of the negative comments people leave for and about you, because most are true. Your campaign to discredit the boxing industry and its fighters has failed, yet you still try your best to persuade your readers to join and share your tainted beliefs about boxing. We all know you have become a marketing arm and tool for the UFC. It's so obvious, with "UFC" as a tab instead of "MMA" on the Yahoo! Sports home page. The fight will sell a lot more than 100,000 on pay-per-view and you will be an even greater fool.
San Jose, Calif.
Peter, I wasn't cruel; I was just pointing out facts. The fight bore out my words, as well. It was terrible. I love boxing, but because I love it, I point out its flaws. If promoters put on great fights, none of the so-called negative commentary will be written.
Another Iole 'fan' sounds off
You are a fat-ass bottom feeder. Who do you think you are? Your prefight article regarding Hopkins-Jones II is subjective b.s. You're an overweight hack who doesn't know anything about boxing. You talk about two of the best fighters of all time being bad for the sport, when in reality it is worthless haters like yourself who are bad for it. I'll fight your worthless butt any time. Fight an average guy who actually pays his hard-earned money to watch and support boxing. Better yet, kill yourself. By the way, what will you write when Roy wins? I'm sure it will be more the same.
They're two of the best ever and I said they're two of the best. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier are two of the best, as well, but do you want to see them fight now?
I read your columns frequently and I think we should get all your readers to boycott all future Hopkins and Jones fights. I am watching the worst boxing match in years and I paid for it. I think Hopkins and Jones should go home and hang themselves. These guys are a disgrace to boxing and I wish they never waste viewers' time ever again. Golden Boy Promotions should refund our money. I am never watching fights they promote again. They stole from us today.
Hanging themselves is a bit extreme, don't you think, Shalvin? But you can't say you weren't warned. Nearly every news piece I read on the fight suggested it would be as it turned out to be, awful and not worth the money. You made the decision to buy it and therefore actually encourage them to make more fights like this. I don't think they owe you a thing. If enough fans quit buying pay-per-view bouts they don't like, sooner or later the promoters, who are in business to make money, will realize it and quit offering them.
Just a payday
This fight was nothing more than the last trip to the bank for Jones. I really wish he had this kind of machismo during his prime, and took on everyone. He hand-picked tomato cans, fighting one-dimensional men, just as Floyd Mayweather Jr. does today. He took on as little risk as possible. Roy picked his opponents, not HBO, not some promoter. This was never the way legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and Oscar De La Hoya, to name a few, managed their careers. They fought the best of the best, win, lose, or draw. Paychecks and titles took care of themselves.
The sad thing about the fight is that Jones won't make anything. Let's assume for a second that the 6,792 in the building actually paid for their seats (we know that's not true) and that the seats averaged $300 a ticket (a figure higher than reality). That would mean the gate was $2 million. If the expenses to rent the building and promote the fight were $1 million, that means $1 million is left. Now, let's figure it sold 100,000 pay-per-views at $49.95 apiece. That's about $5 million. They have to split 50 percent of that with the cable and satellite operators, so that leaves $2.498 million for themselves. Add the $1 million from the gate and the $2.498 million from the pay-per-view and you have $3.498 million in profit. Given that the contract called for the first $3.5 million in profit to go to Hopkins and Golden Boy, it's almost certain Jones fought for nothing. Actual revenue will likely be far less than I've described above.
Missing the point
Kevin, You are indeed a devoted fan as well as an astute fight scribe. I usually enjoy your coverage, as well as your opinions. This column is not one of them. This piece sounded more like a bellyaching rant than the thought-provoking, introspective journalism that I've come to expect from you. Granted, everyone deserves the right to vent, and the role Jones played in his own demise (along with the timeliness of this fight) is evident. He is a contrarian to the depths of his soul. The sport needs guys like you to find meaning in its travails as well as triumphs, and to convey that in a light that finds a positive end. It's your job to inspire people as well as captivate their thoughts. Please! The economy is tough, people are out of work and losing their homes, and no one in their right mind is paying $50 to see this farce on sheer principle alone. If you've never seen or heard it, read or listen to William Faulkner's Nobel Prize acceptance speech. It's great for perspective. Great job, even though I disagreed with the slant of your work this time.
Thanks, Josh. I think if someone is out of work or has lost their home, the last thing they should be doing is thinking of paying $50 for a pay-per-view fight, even if it's a great one. My job is not to promote the fights, though. I love boxing and when there are great matches, I rave enthusiastically about them. Whether you agree or not with my opinion, I think you'd rather have me write my honest opinion than peddle the promoter's party line in an attempt to help him sell tickets and pay-per-view. An informed consumer can make the best possible decision.
Bout had no fan appeal
I agreed with your assessments of the fan appeal in Hopkins-Jones II. Even in his prime, Bernard cared little for pleasing his audience, choosing to potshot and charging in with his head down looking to clinch. Roy is long past his prime. His speed and uncanny, unorthodox style provided him an impregnable defense in his prime, but that hid his Achilles' heel, which is a suspect beard. The speed and prime has long since disappeared.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Jones was a magnificent fighter who fought many elite opponents. I would have paid big money to see the rematch at one stage, but the bout on Saturday was a mockery.
Pacman-Clottey PPV numbers
I have yet to hear the final pay-per-view numbers for the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13. Plenty has been written about the great Cowboys Stadium crowd, but I haven't heard the PPV numbers.
The fight sold 700,000 pay-per-view subscriptions. It's an extraordinary number considering Pacquiao essentially had no 'B' side to help him sell and it had a shorter than average promotional period.
I just read your response to the question about the Klitschko brothers in your last mailbag. You were critical of Wladimir for not finishing Eddie Chambers. I understand your position but would like to counter it. Emanuel Steward has turned Wlad into one of, if not the best, heavyweights around. Part of Wlad's problem, besides a suspect jaw, was he always tried to go out and outslug everyone. At times it caught up with him, the first Lamon Brewster fight is a great example. He easily won the first few rounds, and beat up Brewster, but then had nothing left in the gas tank and Brewster was able to finish him. Steward has gotten him to relax and not expend so much energy early in fights by using his jab and his usual reach advantage to keep his opponents at bay, thus also protecting his suspect chin. While it may not be pleasing to all fans, myself included, it is what he needs to do to win consistently. Until someone can get through his jab, and get inside and start throwing some punches, why should he change? He will wear down and knock out guys in the later rounds, or he will win easy decisions. He is doing exactly what Steward wants him to, and he is protecting a vulnerability he has, all the while winning fights easily. It sounds like a great plan to me.
Jeff, we're not far off. I agree that Wlad has to do what's best to win. But after a few rounds, it was obvious Chambers had nothing to offer against Wladimir and it would have taken just a little bit of a push on the accelerator to end the fight. My point was, and is, that if he wants to become popular outside of Germany and some Eastern bloc countries, he needs to fight more aggressively. I'm not saying he should emulate Arturo Gatti, just that he should seize an advantage when he gets it.