Mailbag: Readers still buzzing about fight

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

Miguel Cotto's performance against Shane Mosley and a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. got the buzz going among Yahoo! Sports readers, who shared their thoughts on the latest doings in boxing.

But before I get to your questions, let me comment briefly on perhaps the worst scoring I've ever seen in a major boxing match.

Joel Casamayor won a split decision over Jose Armando Santa Cruz on Saturday at Madison Square Garden to remain the linear lightweight championship. Judges Ron McNair and Frank Lombardi scored the fight 114-113 for Casamayor.

It was an abominable call. I had scored the fight 118-109 for Santa Cruz. Harold Lederman, HBO's unofficial ringside judge, also had it a rout. So did Bob Papa, who was doing the blow-by-blow for the international broadcast, and Dan Rafael, the boxing writer at, had it 119-108 for Santa Cruz.

Casamayor threw no more than one punch at a time and he would then instantly grab and hold Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz was not great, but he was the superior fighter this night. McNair and Lombardi ought to be shelved for a long time because of this atrocity. With that, I'll get to your questions. My answers appear in italics.


Joe Calzaghe is not the great champion you and plenty of other writers have said he is. How can a man who has fought mediocre talent be regarded as No. 2 in the Yahoo! boxing rankings? This is one boxing fan who is not sold on Calzaghe.

Joseph Ramirez
Palm Desert, Calif.

You have the right to want to see more, Joseph. But I think your comments are a little xenophobic. He has a number of good wins on his record (Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Byron Mitchell, Jeff Lacy, Mikkel Kessler) and he's unbeaten. He's a fundamentally sound boxer. He'll get to prove himself to you next year, because it seems a fight with Bernard Hopkins is inevitable.


I was a big fan of Ray Mancini and Marvin Hagler growing up. I missed the Mancini/Kim fight and always thought I would someday get a chance to see a replay of that fight, but never did because of the sad circumstances that followed. I wanted to see it not because of the results, but for the courage I heard both fighters showed. I always appreciated the styles of Mancini and Hagler, not only because of their success, but how they left everything in the ring. It's true, Mancini was never the same fighter after that tragedy, and I hope some day he can find peace with what happened.

Jack Marinilli
Norton, Mass.

One of the reasons Mancini was so popular was because he was such an emotional guy. He showed it in the way he fought and he showed it in the aftermath of the Kim tragedy.

He's proof that a fighter need not be the most gifted to be a ticket seller, but he was the kind of guy who gave fans their money's worth each time, even when he lost.


Who do you consider the greatest boxer of all-time?

Angus Williams

Without question, it's Sugar Ray Robinson. After that, there can be a lot of debate, but I'd put Henry Armstrong, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Willie Pep and Benny Leonard behind him, in whatever order you choose.


Am I the only one who thinks a Calzaghe-Hopkins bout would be a bust? Both fighters are too smart to let themselves get hurt and neither punches hard enough to get past the other's defense. I think a Kelly Pavlik-Calzaghe fight would be more exciting, but Pavlik's not seasoned enough to go into the later rounds and keep up with Calzaghe's pace.


You're a smart man, Dan. I can't say I disagree with anything you said, other than that Calzaghe doesn't punch hard. When his hands are healthy, he's a good puncher.


How come you don't rank Daniel Ponce De Leon?

Santa Ana, Calif.

Our new rankings are coming out later this week, so keep an eye out to see if Ponce de Leon cracks our Top 10. But I didn't vote for him, even though I consider him a good and exciting fighter. He doesn't have much defense nor does have enough marquee wins. But he's young and has time.


I have nothing against Mancini, who had a lot of heart, a pretty good career and was a brawler. However, I am always amazed at how popular he was and still is. The best fighter he ever beat was a washed-up Bobby Chacon. He got beaten down twice by Livingstone Bramble, knocked out by Alexis Arguello, embarrassed by Hector Camacho and dismantled by Greg Haugen. He just was not that good.

Reye Diaz

He wasn't a top 10 pound-for-pound guy, I'll give you that. But he was fun to watch, which is the reason for his popularity. It's no shame to have been knocked out by Alexis Arguello, who is one of the all-timers in that division. The losses to Camacho and Haugen were in aborted comeback fights, long after his prime.


Given Vernon Forrest's spectacular performance against Carlos Baldormir in July, what do you see on the horizon for the Viper? Vernon says his shoulder is now fully healed. What potential fights are out there for him?

Minneapolis, Minn.

Forrest is fighting Michele Piccirillo on Dec. 1 in what is actually an abomination of a show. Forrest's manager and the fight's de facto promoter is Al Haymon, who abhors anything close to a challenge for his fighters. He was irate at Lou DiBella, Jermain Taylor's promoter, after Kelly Pavlik knocked out Taylor, because he felt DiBella should have given Taylor an easier match.

Piccirillo, a former welterweight champion, won a six-round decision in his last outing against a guy named Sylvain Touzet, who entered the fight with a 9-15 record. Showtime ought to be embarrassed to broadcast this dreck.


Why rate the two fighters in the different categories, then pick Cotto to win by the slimmest of margins, when on your point system you have Mosley with an 83-81 advantage? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless you want to be in a no-lose situation. If Cotto wins, then you can say, 'Well, I picked Cotto to win.' But if Cotto loses, then you can say, 'Well, I did have Mosley at an 83-81 advantage in the categories.' Then you still look like you know what you are saying.


I picked Cotto because I had a feeling that he was catching Mosley at the right time. The 83-81 advantage for Mosley in my fight breakdown came out to four categories for Mosley, three for Cotto and three even. And in one category, I gave Mosley a three-point edge. To me, the two-point difference was statistically insignificant and I just felt Cotto would find a way to pull it out.


Do you think Cotto will fight the Mayweather-Hatton winner or Antonio Margarito? Margarito said he wanted the winner of Cotto-Mosley, so I don't know. What is your prediction for Tito Trinidad's fight with Roy Jones Jr. on Jan. 19?

Luis Feliciano
Milwaukee, Wis.

Cotto would love to fight Mayweather, but I doubt that fight will happen. I don't think Mayweather is interested in the bout. He'll make some excuse that Cotto isn't well known or isn't a draw. Cotto would also like to face Oscar De La Hoya, but De La Hoya is eyeing Hatton and I can't see him willingly signing to take the punishment that Cotto would dole out. My guess, even though it's not going to make Cotto too happy, is that Margarito would be his next opponent.

I think Roy Jones will win, but have zero interest in this bout. It's two washed up guys chasing a payday.


Kevin, it seems like you like to over-hype every fight. Sugar Shane was past his prime at age 36. Cotto is 27 and in his prime. If Cotto is as amazing as you claim, he would have beaten Mosley in convincing fashion. Although he pulled off a unanimous decision, the fight was still close. A KO from Cotto would have been impressive. That seems to be one of the major problems in boxing these days: fighters and fights are way over-hyped. Bob Arum claimed that this undercard was one of the best ever, but it was not. Golden Johnson has a shoddy record and there was no chance of him winning. If boxing is to succeed, promoters need to stop overhyping lame fights

. Mazen Sarwar

I don't think I overhyped the bout, as evidenced by the huge media turnout in Madison Square Garden. Mosley was coming off a few good wins (two over Fernando Vargas and one over Luis Collazo) and showed no signs of decline.

I never hyped the undercard, though. I didn't like the undercard and I completely agree with your opinion on the Margarito-Johnson fight.

Golden Boy ought to be embarrassed with the undercard it is putting on the Dec. 8 Mayweather-Hatton show. No way should Wes Ferguson ever be near pay-per-view.


You are out of your mind. Mosley beat Cotto. Mayweather would kill Cotto.


I totally disagree, Marc. I think if anything, you could have given Cotto one more round and made it 8-4 in rounds instead of 7-5. I would favor Mayweather to beat Cotto, but it would be no rout.


How was Mayweather's early KO prediction for Mosley ridiculous? Mosley was by far the best fighter Cotto had fought and Cotto had been hurt early against other lesser fighters. Cotto fought a great fight and needed to.


If we consider an early round one of the first three, the last time Mosley had an early knockout was on July 21, 2001, when he knocked out Adrian Stone in the third round. Before that, his last early knockout was on Jan. 22, 2000, when he stopped Willy Wise. So there was little evidence he would stop anyone early. And though Cotto had been down, he'd always gotten up and won. He was undefeated going into the bout. Mayweather's prediction, to me, seemed a way to demean Cotto so he could avoid fighting him.

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