Mailbag: Making a point

Kevin Iole

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

Boxing's about to head into a busy season and Edwin Valero and Antonio DeMarco kicked it off with an entertaining fight on Showtime on Saturday.

The mailbag is stuffed with comments regarding a wide range of boxing topics, so let's get right to your questions/comments and my answers.

Come one, come all

We will see if Edwin Valero is ready for prime time. Neither Valero nor Antonio DeMarco has really fought anyone, but this is where it can start to happen. I respect the top-ranked guy meeting the No. 2 guy. That is really 'old school boxing,' which we need to get back to. Nowadays, these guys are so carefully maneuvered along to sidestep as much risk as possible in order to get to the bank. I hope Valero comes in, and train wrecks DeMarco, and makes a big statement that way. It's very good and healthy for boxing.

T. Laurance

Valero was very impressive in stopping DeMarco after nine one-sided rounds on Saturday, though I was not as impressed by DeMarco. I thought DeMarco would be able to outbox Valero, but he did little to back up my contention. There are a lot of good fights out there for Valero, who seems to have improved a great deal and is no longer the wild, flailing fighter he once was who relied almost exclusively on his power. He's never going to be the prototypical boxer, but he's improved his skills greatly and that's going to make him much more difficult.

PPV comparisons

Looking at the quality of the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight and the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley fight, it seems to me that Mayweather's fight is the more enticing. Mosley has name recognition. Floyd has name recognition. Manny has name recognition. Clottey? Nope. Granted, Clottey is tough, but he's not ranked on the pound-for-pound list as Pacquiao, Mayweather and Mosley are. Thinking in terms of PPV buys, even I, an avid fan of Pacquiao, would probably spend my money on the Mayweather fight based on the quality of the fight rather than on the Pacquiao fight. If I'm with the majority of people on this one (some of my fellow Filipinos included), if the Manny vs. Money fight were to ever materialize, and I seriously doubt it will, wouldn't Mayweather have the upper hand in most negotiations here based on the numbers? What is your estimation on the PPV buys for each fight?

Earl Custodio
Pasig City, Philippines

I agree with your point completely, Earl. I'm guessing Pacquiao-Clottey does around 500,000 buys. I think Mayweather-Mosley is a good bet to do 1.5 million buys. The difference is, as you pointed out, Clottey is a solid fighter, but he's coming off a loss, he's largely unknown and he's not ranked in anyone's pound-for-pound Top 10. By comparison, Mayweather is No. 2 and Mosley No. 3 on the Yahoo! Sports rankings, just behind Pacquiao. I'd never say never, but I doubt Mayweather-Pacquiao, or Pacquiao-Mayweather, ever occurs.

Mosley does it the right way

I love the story you wrote about Shane Mosley fighting Mayweather, mostly because I'm so tired of hearing about Mayweather's accusations about the Pacman. If Mayweather would have just agreed to the same testing he himself has used for the last 10 years of his very lucrative boxing career, we the fans would be getting ready for one of the greatest fights ever. Now, the part I love about your interview or comments about Shane Mosley, is at the end of the story, where Mosley very candidly says with a win over Mayweather that he will fight the Pacman, Paul Williams, or anyone put in front of him because he wants to prove he's the best in the division. Isn't that what a true champion should be saying? Why is it you have four well-known fighters with great skills saying Mayweather has been ducking them? Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito all make the same complaint. In my ever so humble opinion, Sugar Shane Mosley will give Mayweather his first loss.

Darryl Haber
Brentwood, Calif.

I like Mayweather to defeat Mosley, Darryl. But I commend Mosley for being willing to fight anyone. That willingness to seek out the best available opponents is what made guys like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran so great. Mayweather insists he's going to fight the best welterweights available, so let's see if he lives up to his word.

Forced to take on Sugar

Do you really think Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be given credit for taking a fight with Sugar Shane Mosley? I don't think Floyd would have taken this fight if he wasn't forced to do so. His back was against the wall on this one. If he didn't fight Shane, he'd be labeled a coward for ducking opponents. In short, he had no way out. That's just my opinion. He's probably wishing he had announced an earlier fight with a cherry-picked opponent with the likes of Paulie Malignaggi.

Will Avestro
San Diego

Will, I'm not sure I get your logic. He negotiated to fight the No. 1 pound-for-pound guy in the world. When that fight couldn't be made, he didn't take a fight with someone like Clottey; he took a bout against the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. What does he have to do to please some of you people? If he doesn't take the fight you want him to take, you label him a chicken. If he does, you say he didn't want to. He hasn't been pushed much since moving to welterweight and that's a blight on his career. But he's now insisting he's taking on all comers and he's proving that by his actions. I'll be the first to scream bloody murder if he attempts to fight lightly regarded guys from other divisions. But when he signs to fight the elite guys in his weight class, he should be commended. And here's another strange thing: Right around Christmas, when the drug testing dispute between Mayweather and Pacquiao became public, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said publicly he was trying to arrange a fight with Malignaggi. Aren't you being hypocritical for criticizing Mayweather for even thinking of that without criticizing Pacquiao for the same thing?

In praise of Bernstein

Great to read an article on Showtime announcer Al Bernstein! He and Evander Holyfield are together the best and most unique (Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe, too) from the late 1980s through to 2000. No one came close to Bernstein in those years!

Jose L. Munoz
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Al is a classy professional who is easy to listen to whether he's doing the play-by-play or, in his more familiar role, as the expert analyst. He understands boxing and clearly has a passion for the game, which translates to the viewing audience.

Timing differences

This is now my opportunity to ask you, Kevin, once and for all: Is there any difference between the drug test before and immediately after the fight in which Manny Pacquiao was willing to undergo, compared to the random testing Floyd Mayweather Jr. requested? If your answer is no, is there any proof officially declared by the proper authorities or medical point of view that the drug test immediately after the fight is invalid? If there's a proof please post it here and let the fans decide!

Ed Namzug

Ed, there are enormous differences and I've quoted numerous experts who have said the same thing. A blood doping agent like EPO, for example, leaves the system in five days, often less. So, theoretically, if a fighter knew when he was being tested, he could easily work around that schedule, pass the tests and still be artificially enhanced when he stepped into the ring.

Margarito should have been jailed

Hi, Kevin. Anyone who loads his gloves for a boxing match should be put in jail. I would think that a sports writer and a big boxing fan and supporter like you, of all people, would agree. Miguel Cotto will never be the same fighter after a beating like that and he is very lucky he did not die in the ring. I like to see great fights, but I think people who assault and batter others should be arrested and put in jail. The only thing that BUM (Margarito) has is a chin. Boxing is dangerous and damaging enough when it's fair.

Claudio Berardi
Shelton, Conn.

Claudio, I agree that if a fighter loads his gloves and wears them in a fight, he should be arrested and subjected to prosecution. That said, Margarito's case is different. First, there is no proof, only suspicion, that he wore illegal hand wraps against Cotto. I suspect he did, but there were cameras everywhere in his locker room when he was being wrapped that night, as well as inspectors who were watching closely, and no one saw anything untoward. He also didn't wear the illegal wraps in the fight against Shane Mosley; he was caught with the illegal knuckle pad in the dressing room before the fight and it was removed. Here's my point: He served the penalty he was assessed for the Mosley incident. If he was suspended for five years, I'd have supported that and would be vehemently opposed to him fighting in another state now. But given he served the time he was given, I believe he ought to be relicensed, even though I find him despicable.

Who cares?

Roy Jones Jr. has lost five of his last 10 fights, four of which were by brutal knockout, including his last fight in the first round. Enough is enough. If Jones is unwilling to retire, then his career should be euthanized rather than rewarded with a fight with Bernard Hopkins.

Ottawa, Ontario

I agree. I have next-to-no interest in this fight. But you're not forced to buy it. It's on pay-per-view and that's the most democratic system of all. If you like a fight, you buy it. If you don't, you pass. Sooner or later, the promoters will get the message.