Mailbag: Manny unhappy returns

Kevin Iole

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

When 20 of 33 boxing writers voted for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and not Manny Pacquiao as No. 1 in the May Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings, it created quite a firestorm among Pacquiao supporters.

Cries of racism abounded. Many questioned the validity of the panel, though their logic is somewhat lost given that Pacquiao held the top spot even after Mayweather returned in 2009 from a brief retirement.

The same panel that Pacquiao supporters wanted to deride as racist, pro-American and incompetent voted Pacquiao, not Mayweather, No. 1 from October 2009 through April 2010.

Pacquiao fans complained in large numbers about the change at the top. Very few, though, actually made a point. Most – more than 95 percent, I'd estimate – resorted to ranting, name-calling and race-baiting.

Conveniently, nearly every one of those left off their last names, their e-mail addresses and/or their hometowns.

Lito Ferrer was one of the few who included his last name. However, Lito didn't exactly cover himself with class in his response.

His entire response was; "How does it feel to be Mayweather Jr.'s [expletive]?"

He was classier than "nhissing," however. This is the exact text of nhissing's response, with expletives removed:

"why do you call yourself an "ELITE" you [expletive] moron, you are like your boss floyd mayweather jr. which you are in his payroll to wipe his [expletive], who call themselves great, you have one thing in common you are self proclaimers when nobody believes you are such … "

"Pzer" wasn't profane but did pull out the race card: "Sir, Are your racist? We really think your against ASIAN! We don't believe on that rankings. Before you despatch the number 1 you have to beat him first!"

On and on it went, with more cursing than in a Dana White news conference.

Mayweather and Pacquiao have lapped the field and are so much better than everyone else in contention now, it's not even close. Either man would have been a worthy No. 1.

For the record, I'm neither anti-Asian nor anti-Pacquiao. Nor do I believe Mayweather can walk on water.

I do happen to believe that, right now, he's ever so slightly better than Pacquiao. This will be debated endlessly, but let's hope that the promoters do the right thing and get the fight made so Pacquiao and Mayweather and not a voting panel decides who's best.

With that, let's dive into this week's boxing mailbag, where I answer your questions and comments.

Credibility gap

I have loved boxing since the Mike Tyson era and I would have to say that I am probably the least biased individual around. Basically, I call it the way I see it. I think you are a very knowledgeable person when it comes to boxing, but I guess not everyone is perfect. We're all human. Your rankings putting Mayweather over Pacquiao subtracts a lot when it come to your credibility. How can you rank him higher based on a fight involving a 38-year old-boxer. He soundly dominated Mosley, but Pacquiao also dominated his last opponent, Joshua Clottey. It's bad enough for the sport of boxing that it is inhabited by egomaniac boxers, but now I find it more and more true that online sites are now picking sides when it comes to who they think is the man, either Pac or Floyd. When this happens you writers look as bad as the boxers themselves. To me, the unbiased ranking should be Pacman first and Floyd second. The only way it should change is when they fight. If you keep on ranking Floyd first, he will lose all incentive to fight Pacquiao, because he will have considered the ranking as a defeat of the Pacman already and thus would not fight him.

Mark Finnigan
San Jose, Calif.

OK, Mr. Objective, I appreciate your opinion. Ranking boxers is a very inexact science, but I think Mayweather is getting credit for beating a much more highly regarded challenger the last time out. Mosley was ranked No. 3 by Yahoo! Sports and in that vicinity by most everyone else prior to the fight with Mayweather. I had few, if any, fans writing that Mosley was old prior to the fight. It was only after the fight, when Mayweather made Mosley look bad, that people started bringing up his age. I agree with you, though, that they need to fight.

Reasons to vote for Pac-Man

You probably won't publish this but here's my opinion anyway: How in the world can Mayweather beat Manny out for the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings? There are so many reasons Pacquiao should easily be No. 1. First, Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto, who was in his prime when he beat Mosley. Further more Pacquiao did it by KO and did not get hurt in the fight. Secondly, Mayweather was in trouble of losing to Mosley, but for some reason Mosley decreased the aggression in Round 2 when Mayweather was hurt. Third, Pacquiao knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, who gave Mayweather trouble. He also kayoed Ricky Hatton in two rounds. He beat Joshua Clottey, who was in his prime. Pacquiao is a smaller fighter than Mayweather and still dominates his opponents by KO. Lastly, Pacquiao also has more wins than Mayweather, with those wins mostly coming over fighters who were in their primes. Mosley is good, but he was beaten by Vernon Forest twice. Let's remember, Cotto arguably was undefeated before his fight with Manny if you take away the loss to Antonio Margarito (hand wrap controversy). With all that said, how can Mayweather be on top of Pacquiao in the rankings?

Austin, Texas

You say Pacquiao has more wins than Mayweather, which is true. But he also has more losses. What I love most, though, is how you selectively choose your facts and try to twist history. You want to throw out Cotto's loss to Margarito? OK, I'll throw out the Pittsburgh Pirates' past 17 seasons and insist they're still a dynasty. I mean, come on, Donovan. You don't mention that Pacquiao had two very difficult fights with Juan Manuel Marquez and that Mayweather destroyed Marquez. You said Mayweather was hurt by Mosley, who is noted as a good puncher at 147, but you don't mention that Manny was knocked out in a flyweight fight in 1999. Yes, I know Manny had problems with the weight, but the point I'm making is you're trying to twist the facts to suit your opinion. The fighters are very evenly matched. I wouldn't object if Manny were No. 1 again next month. I just object to this ridiculous moral outrage I hear from angry Pacquiao fans.

Talk up the fight

Floyd Mayweather impresses me more and more every time I watch him and I'm not one of his diehard fans. I've expected him to win in his latest fights, but he exceeded my expectations against Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley. I really don't think there's ever been a more obvious match that needs to be made than Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Everything that can be done needs to be done to make this bout happen, and you have a part in that as a boxing writer. As fans, we can't get our voices and thoughts heard directly by those with the power to make this fight happen. As a boxing writer, you and your peers can. It's because of this that I get disappointed when I keep reading your pessimistic articles listing endless reasons why negotiations may fail a second time. I understand you aren't optimistic about this fight's chances and that's fine. But you also realize how important this fight is and what it means to fans and the sport. Because of this, you need to be putting out more articles stressing the importance of the fight and the reasons it can happen. How's about proposing some of your own thoughts to resolve the blood test issue? Id rather read that than another article where you point out the problems both guys egos will bring up.

Mike Langsner
Bethlehem, Pa.

Mike, I agree 100 percent the fight needs to be made. I would simply ask you to go through my archives. I think I've only written about 10,000 times that the fight needs to be made. I'll continue to make that case. But I can't lie; if I don't think the fight is going to occur, I need to state that. We can't bury our heads in the sand to the many roadblocks that exist.

Williams, Marquez too high

How do you have Paul Williams ranked third and Juan Manuel Marquez fourth in the pound-for-pound poll? I love watching both guys, but even though he got the win, Williams didn't beat Sergio Martinez in December (I would agree with draw) and was on the verge of getting dropped by underachieving Kermit Cintron earlier this month. Juan Manuel, who is one of my favorite fighters eve,r hasn't done much since the Juan Diaz knockout. Sergio Martinez should be in the top three or four. Some young fighters need to do something because there are a lot of older fighters at the top and I don't see any big pay-per-view fights beside Mayweather-Pacquiao on the horizon.

Michael Henry

I agree with you, Michael, and I didn't vote for either guy as highly as they wound up. But it's up to each voter to vote the way he believes and that's how it came out.

Adamek deserves consideration

Given the good performances of Tomasz Adamek at light heavyweight, cruiserweight and now heavyweight, as well as his willingness to fight anyone, I wonder if he's not being overlooked in the pound-for-pound ratings? He's won decent scraps against good boxers like Steve Cunningham and fearsome punchers like Chris Arreola, but gets scarce votes from the ranking panel. I don't get it.

John Goslino
Adelaide, Australia

Adamek definitely deserved consideration, and I thought long and hard about him at No. 10. Here is my voting: Mayweather, Pacquiao, Sergio Martinez, Timothy Bradley, Paul Williams, Chad Dawson, Wladimir Klitschko, Chris John, Fernando Montiel and Andre Ward. It's very difficult when you get to those final spots. John is 43-0-2 and has been on top of the featherweight division for years. I think Ward is one of the game's most talented fighters and is coming off an impressive win over Mikkel Kessler. That's why I went for them over Adamek. Montiel went to Japan and knocked off the highly regarded Hozumi Hasegawa. Tough call, but in my opinion, those guys edge Adamek out on accomplishments.

Appreciate skill

Don't worry, Kevin. There are plenty of intelligent boxing fans out there. I appreciate the ability to dodge and counter punch at the same time, something both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather do very well. The last time I saw a runner was Oscar De La Hoya in the final rounds against Felix Trinidad. So hang in there. There will always be those who expect Vazquez-Marquez action in every fight.

Jesse R.

I'd much rather see a toe-to-toe slugfest, but I appreciate the skill involved in boxing at the highest level. I wasn't attempting to insult anyone, however. I was just pointing out that most fans are bloodthirsty and would rather see knockdowns and knockouts rather than technical boxing.