Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a way of irritating people. Within minutes of this story becoming public about Mayweather agreeing to fight Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8, the inbox was flooded with messages about the bout.
And most were from the Mayweather haters, who are desperate for someone who can knock the smirk off of the Pretty Boy's face.
Is the unbeaten Hatton the man, they've asked en masse.
Sorry, guys. This is a one-sided fight. Mayweather may not live up to his boast to knock Hatton out, but he will win at least 10 rounds and may sweep all 12.
The mailbox was also filled with questions about Vernon Forrest's place in boxing after his win over Carlos Baldomir on Saturday, a potential fight between Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto and varied questions about the goings on in the UFC.
As always, I'll have a reader email column each Tuesday. You can click on the link at the bottom of any of my columns or you can send email to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On with the Q&A, with my answers in italics:
COME ON, HITMAN ("So much for retirement " July 27, 2007)
When has Floyd ever knocked someone out? "Fatton" is a tougher fighter. Period.
The last time Mayweather actually knocked someone out for a 10-count was more than eight years ago, when he kayoed Justin Juuko in the ninth round on May 22, 1999, at Mandalay Bay in the third defense of his WBC super featherweight title.
He's fought 17 times since then and scored eight stoppages. And I'm convinced he would have stopped Zab Judah had Judah not intentionally fouled him in the 10th round of their 2006 fight.
Mayweather is not going to knock out, or stop, Hatton.
He is going to beat him up, though.
This is a perfect match for Mayweather, whose hand and foot speed will frustrate Hatton to no end.
SO HE'LL RUN, EH?
Floyd is saying let's see if he can walk the walk. Floyd, you are the runner. Don't call it defense. You are the one talking. Let's see you back it up. People will be disappointed if you don't fight, like in the fight with Oscar De La Hoya.
Mayweather can definitely walk the walk, Henry. He's the best fighter in the game by a large margin. You may not like him or you may not like his style, but the guy is a brilliant talent.
If you think a guy who uses his legs when he boxes, like Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, is a runner, then Mayweather is a sprinter.
But fighters only resort to fighting flat-footed because they have no choice. Mayweather has plenty of options, but he's smart and chooses to hit and not be hit.
Now, when it comes to running, I'm going to say this: After he disposes of Hatton, I want to see Mayweather against the Cotto-Mosley winner. If he doesn't do that, then he's running.
MORE ON FLOYD'S RUNNING
Finally! On Dec. 8, Floyd's "0" will go. Hatton will defeat Mayweather and put a to rest the fallacy that "The Pretender" is the best pound-for-pound It was just a matter of time. No matter where Mayweather looks, defeat was just around the corner. Whether it was Hatton, Mosley, Cotto, or Vernon Forrest, Mayweather had painted himself into a corner after running from one division to another, fighting the weakest of the champions, then running away before the strongest sniffed him out.
You're going to be one disappointed young man, Mr. Dickey. I'd bet on the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the World Series in 2008 before I'd bet on Hatton defeating Mayweather.
You can have your opinion about the guy's style, but give him credit. He's a guy who weighed 148 pounds when he walked into the ring to face De La Hoya in May. De La Hoya weighed nearly 170.
And Mayweather won the fight.
SPEAKING OF SCARED
I am an avid boxing fan and have studied as much as I can of the history of sport as well as some of its prominent athletes. I was arguing with a friend of mine and I told him that Roy Jones' speed and agility was the reason he looked so awesome when he fought. His skill level was superior but only by a little. Plus he dodged a lot of fighters like Darius Michalczewski when he stepped up to light heavyweight.
Do you think I'm right?
Jones had phenomenal physical skills, but not great technical boxing skills. He was so quick, both of hand and foot, that in his prime he was almost impossible to catch. Mayweather, for example, is equally as quick as Jones and far more technically proficient.
And when you talk about fighters who dodged opponents, Jones' name should be near the top of the list.
FEDOR TO THE UFC? ("MMA Top 10 poll " July 26, 2007)
Dana White said he's trying to get Fedor Emelianenko to fight in the UFC by the end of the year. Is that true? Fedor dominated his weight class in Pride and I am sure that he will do the same in UFC. Fedor is by far the best MMA fighter I have ever seen. He can keep his composure in any situation and did so even after he got slammed in the head by Kevin Randleman. I hear some comments, on Fedor but I honestly think he is better than anybody on the face of this Earth. All the evidence you need are in the matches he's had in Pride.
Emelianenko, the Pride heavyweight champion, is as good as Carlos says. In the first of our monthly Yahoo! Sports Top 10 polls, Fedor was the unanimous choice of all eight voters. If colleague Dave Doyle, who administers that poll, got 80 voters, I think it still would have been unanimous.
There are all sorts of crazy rumors floating around regarding Emelianenko. Know this: Every MMA promoter in the world would love to have him.
I'd bet on him winding up on the UFC, but I wouldn't lay more a fin on it.
How good would a CroCop-Fedor rematch be to headline the UFC's annual year-end card in Las Vegas?
HARD ON LUTTER
It is hard to believe Travis Lutter is being allowed to fight in the UFC again after failing to make weight for a main event. Is it so difficult to make matches now that you have to resort to a guy like that?
Lutter failed to make the middleweight division's 185-pound limit for his planned Feb. 3 title bout against Anderson Silva.
It was unprofessional and Lutter deserved to pay a punishment. But he doesn't deserve to be banned for life.
He's going to fight Ryan Jensen at UFC 74. I'm sure his paycheck that night will reflect Dana White's displeasure with what happened on Feb. 3.
And it's going to be a long time, if ever, before Lutter gets another title shot.
But the man deserves the chance to make a living.
I see you're covering the IFL now. Great. Who do the Razorclaws take in the draft next year? It's never too early to think ahead. You have to love team MMA. Definitely going to follow in the footsteps of World Team Tennis.
Dana, is that you?
VERNON ON TOP? ("Flashbacks for Forrest in win over Baldomir" July 28, 2007)
I believe Vernon Forrest beat Carlos Baldomir in an easier fashion than did Mayweather, and may look the best at the moment in that weight range.
That's not to take credit from the stellar group of boxers in that range. With all of the great boxers in that weight range, after the Mayweather-Hatton fight, what would you perceive to be likely matches between the top contenders?
I prefer boxers like Forrest and Mosley who are clean, and personable fighters. Mayweather is good, comes off as arrogant, but is a sportsman in the end.
There is one fighter I love to watch get upset in fights he is expected to win due to his attitude before and after the fight, and that is Zab Judah.
As I wrote in this column, I agree that Forrest looked good and is the best of what's out there now at 154 pounds.
The problem with Forrest is that he has been injured so much and fights so infrequently. If he's in shape and motivated, as he was in Tacoma, Wash., Saturday for the fight with Baldomir, he's going to be difficult to beat.
He's one of the few guys I'd give even a slim shot to beat Mayweather. He has a good jab and is a smart boxer. He has a slightly longer reach than Mayweather and could make it a fight.
I'd expect Mayweather to beat him, but at least Forrest would be in the fight, which is more than we can say for Hatton.
Expect to see Cotto and Mosley fight in November, in what could be a special bout. I'd love to see Maywether against either of them and certainly would love to see Cotto take on Antonio Margarito sometime next year.
How about this for a series of bouts?
Mayweather fights Hatton, Margarito rematches with Paul Williams for the WBO title, Mosley fights Cotto for the WBA belt and Kermit Cintron defends the IBF championship against Judah.
Then you could have the Mayweather-Hatton winner take on the Williams-Margarito winner, with the Mosley-Cotto winner going up against the Cintron-Judah winner.
I'd say you'd be looking at Mayweather-Williams and Cotto-Judah, with Mayweather and Cotto coming out to the finals.
Wow, would those be some fun fights.