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22 Jan 2012 03:15

Prospects for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight suddenly look much better, though it’s typical of this fiasco that there are now new obstacles. For the first time, it appears both fighters are on the same page and really want to meet. FM called out Manny, then called him, literally, and told him he wanted to fight. And Manny has told Bob Arum that he wants the fight to be made.

You would think that would settle it. Floyd got his entry into jail delayed till June 1 so that he could fight the first Saturday in May, always a prime time on the calendar, and have enough time to recover before going to jail. But Bob Arum wants the fight to occur at the end of May, because a) he claims Manny needs the extra time to recover from a gash over one eye; and b) they are building a new, larger venue in Vegas that, according to Arum, will mean an extra $30 million in spectator revenue.

I think Arum, big surprise, is the problem here. Earlier he said Manny would fight May 5. This was when it was thought Floyd would go to jail on Jan. 1, not giving him enough time after coming out to prepare for a fight that date. Now that Floyd is available after all in early May, suddenly that date won’t work for Arum. Seems a little too convenient.

In any case, the first reason sounds suspicious. Manny’s last fight took place last November, it usually doesn’t take that long for a cut to heal. For comparison, Andre Ward delayed his fight with Carl Froch about two months because he had a very nasty gash that had to heal before he could continue sparring. Manny would have twice that length of time before beginning to spar in preparation for a fight in early May (and only three more weeks for a fight at the end of May).

Wrt the new venue, why didn’t Arum mention this when he originally said Manny would fight in early May? It may mean more money, but if it’s a choice between no fight and one worth $30 million less, so what? In the old venue, these two fighters will bring in far more revenue with PPV than any two other fighters—or Manny vs. any other fighter—would bring in in the new venue. And a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would almost certainly include a rematch clause, so they could go at it again in the new venue. You’re going to pass up a fight worth maybe more than $200 million in revenue because it isn’t $200 + $30 million? Of course, Arum gets more money if Manny doesn’t fight Floyd, since his opponent would be another guy Arum represents. So even in the new venue, a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is not as lucrative for Arum personally as any other fight.

Some are saying the fight can be delayed till November, when FM’s legal troubles are behind him. Hopefully. But given all the problems preventing this fight from happening so far, I think it would be unwise to assume that. Maybe Floyd will find that he isn’t ready to fight any time soon after coming out of jail. He has always stayed in excellent condition, even in the very long periods that often occur between his fights. He won’t be able to follow his usual routine in jail, and that could throw him off.

Or Manny could lose his next fight against someone else—not likely, but given the closeness of his last fight, more likely than would have been thought before. He barely got past Marquez, and that fact alone has probably reduced fan interest slightly already in a match with Mayweather. Even assuming Manny wins his next fight, if he’s less impressive than before—particularly if it’s against Cotto, whom he dominated the first time—it will only confirm in the minds of many that Pacquiao is no longer quite the fighter he was a year or two ago. That has to make anticipation of a fight with Mayweather a little less suspenseful.

And both fighters are at the age where their skills are probably declining; the longer it takes to get them in the ring together, the less spectacular the fight may be. Arguably, right now neither is quite as fast as he used to be.

Time is definitely running out. I think Manny plans to run for Pres of the Phils, in the spring of 2013 or 2014, whenever his current term in Congress is up. At that point he will definitely retire. He gets away with being a Congressman (though there are many complaints, even from the adoring Filipinos). No way he can be President and continue boxing. (Interesting scenario: would Secret Service equivalents be required to be at ringside, ready to step in and stop the fight if Manny were getting battered? Who would run the country if he were down for a long count?)

If the fight is made in May, I would bet heavily on Mayweather. Not just because MP looked so vulnerable against Marquez. Floyd does not make a fight if he has any doubts about winning. He really treasures his unbeaten record. Manny, on the other hand, will go into the ring with someone he probably isn’t certain he can beat, so I don’t see his willingness to fight Floyd a sign that he regards this as a sure thing. It wasn’t until he dominated Cotto that he became a heavy favorite in every match.


Update from Yahoo sports:

RingTV.com has learned that WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto has agreed to the terms, other than resolving a few minor details, that will allow him to face Manny Pacquiao in a return bout on June 9 in Las Vegas at either the Thomas & Mack Center or the MGM Grand.


Somewhat disappointed—I think Bradley would have been a better opponent, given no Mayweather--but this fight, along with a reported match between Marquez and Lamont Peterson should cast light on the close Pac-JMM fight last November. If it was close because Marquez has a counter-punching style that Pac has trouble with, then Manny should pick up where he left off and beat Cotto easily, as he did when they fought a couple of years ago. Same if the fight was close because Manny didn’t take the fight seriously enough, didn’t train hard enough for it, or was seriously hindered by his foot problems. OTOH, if the Marquez decision was a sign that Manny is starting to decline, we could see a closer fight with Cotto. Maybe. Cotto must believe something is different, because at the end of the last fight he was running for his life. Money is money, of course, but he can't be looking forward to a repeat of that.

Likewise, we will see if JMM just has Manny’s number, or if he is a legitimate player at welter. Given his age, though, and the fact that he isn’t a natural welterweight, I have to think that JMM is over his head on this one. If he does win, or even if it's close, he will establish himself as a player at this weight--and it will also make Floyd look even better, as he totally demolished JMM at this weight a couple of years ago.
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22 Jan 2012 07:01

Agree with all you wrote, except maybe this:

Merckx index wrote:Of course, Arum gets more money if Manny doesn’t fight Floyd, since his opponent would be another guy Arum represents. So even in the new venue, a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is not as lucrative for Arum personally as any other fight.

Arum turns 81 this year, he has said more than once he'd like to pull off a Pacquio-Mayweather fight, and then retire. He's still pretty spry if you listen to him talk, but he has also said he's definitely ready to call it a career.

I do think he's playing games with the dates and trying to maximize his payoff, and give "his guy" (MP) a little edge, but I don't think he willing to let this fight slip away, because there are other fights to promote in the years to come. He's just too old for that.

As to the fight, I agree both guys are slipping a little, more so Manny, maybe. I think the whole unbeaten record thing Floyd is obsessed with proves nothing. It's better to seek out and fight the best guys out there and maybe lose a couple, than walk away unbeaten, which won't make you immune from criticism. Take a look at Ali, Leonard, Hagler, Hopkins, etc.

As to the fight, I will predict that Floyd wins a decision about 7 rounds to 5, maybe 8-4 in a relatively boring fight with two guys trying to outbox and counter each other. No one will get seriously hurt or beat up. I just think Floyd's naturally a little bigger, and quicker. But also because of styles. Manny is used to (mostly, of late) fighters that slug it out with him or come at him and he counters them and picks them apart. Floyd isn't like that. He likes to find the perfect range, test opponents and either exploit their flaws or trick them into making mistakes. Not that Manny would fall for this, but I think in a fight with the two of them moving in and out of range not a great deal would happen, except Floyd would land more punches over time and walk away with a win.

I think Manny's best bet would to become a pressure fighter and try to get Floyd to brawl with him from the opening bell (think: Roberto Duran). Manny is capable of fighting this way, but I don't know that he will, or will enough to win the fight. I think both guys believe they can outbox the other guy and pick the right shots or counter punches to win, and will fight that way.
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02 Feb 2012 23:35

RIP Angelo Dundee. Arguably the best trainer ever. Nice NYT article, talking about his family, his desire to attend Ali's 70's birthday. I figured once Gil Clancy passed away last year, Angie wouldn't be much further. Sad, but what a life he lived.

Image


Meanwhile, the whole Mayweather-Pacquiao charade is now off. I liked what the head of HBO said about it. That the match-up has a shelf life and eventually he won't be that interested. I think he's right. If they don't fight in 2012, it may turn into a fight of two guys too past their prime, with better potential match-ups out there that are also more lucrative.
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03 Feb 2012 06:33

Alpe d'Huez wrote:RIP Angelo Dundee. Arguably the best trainer ever. Nice NYT article, talking about his family, his desire to attend Ali's 70's birthday. I figured once Gil Clancy passed away last year, Angie wouldn't be much further. Sad, but what a life he lived.


I'm not so sure Dundee was considered a great trainer—good certainly but not one of the best—but a great cornerman. In British legal terms, a decent solicitor, but a hell of a barrister. He was able to motivate his fighters to the max, and devise the best strategies to use as the fight developed.

I find it sad, though, that he may be most remembered for the Ali-Cooper fight. Ali was really staggered by one of Cooper’s shots, and finished the round groggy. Dundee, realizing that Ali might well be finished off if he went back into the ring when the bell sounded, managed to delay the intermission about a minute to give his charge more time to recover. He did this by pointing out there was a rip in Ali’s glove. Why this was considered such a great move was that Dundee noticed the rip before the fight but didn’t mention it, saving it just in case a delay during the fight might be advantageous.

IOW, he bent the rules, and gave Ali a long count, so to speak. It may not be the worst form of cheating, I guess you could compare it to an NFL player faking an injury to give his team a free team out, or a soccer player flopping to give an opposing player a foul, but it was not just a little thing that gave one fighter a slight edge, but very likely was decisive in the outcome. So it doesn’t seem to me a very attractive act to be remembered for, any more than Bellichik will enjoy being remembered as the coach who stole information to help himself win titles. I’m sure Dundee did many remarkable and totally legal things in the corner, so it’s too bad that people are bringing this up, and discussing it in a favorable light. Cheating may be very cleverly performed, but it’s still cheating.

Meanwhile, the whole Mayweather-Pacquiao charade is now off. I liked what the head of HBO said about it. That the match-up has a shelf life and eventually he won't be that interested. I think he's right. If they don't fight in 2012, it may turn into a fight of two guys too past their prime, with better potential match-ups out there that are also more lucrative.


HBO may have even been polite or optimistic. I think their value has already declined a little. Witness Pacquiao’s last fight, and that Mayweather, now 35, has to spend several months in jail. The best time would have probably been two years ago, when Pacquiao was coming off his demolition of Cotto, but there was still some question about how good he really was, or a year ago, when he looked unstoppable.

It looks as though Mayweather will fight Cotto in May, and Pacquiao Bradley in June. I think the first fight is way overhyped. A few years ago it might have been a very interesting match, but I don’t think Cotto is the fighter he was then, and after he was destroyed by Pacquiao, it’s hard to see him giving Mayweather much trouble.

The Pacquiao-Bradley fight might be very competitive if Pacquiao’s close decision over Marquez was a sign of his decline. If it was, we could see a real slugfest. OTOH, if as some people think, Marquez just has a counter-punching style that gives Pac a lot of trouble, this could be as one-sided as all of Pac’s recent fights prior to Marquez were. Bradley likes to mix it up, and that is the kind of opponent Pacquiao gobbles up.

Mayweather and Pacquiao might still meet in November, in theory, all the supposed obstacles to a fight this spring would be gone, but Arum seems to be shooting that down by suggesting the winner of Pac-Bradley will fight the winner of Marquez-Peterson. If Bradley did beat Pacquiao, the latter would be available, but of course a fight with Floyd would lose a lot of its luster. I can’t see Marquez beating Peterson, regardless of how competitive he was with Pac. I can't forget how lost he looked against Floyd. I just don't think he can handle someone Peterson's size.

But there is one match out there that might happen and might be better than Mayweather-Pacquiao. That is Mayweather vs. Sergio Martinez, if they can agree on a suitable catch weight. Mayweather has suggested he might be willing to make that fight. Martinez is like a larger version of Pacquiao, very fast and hits very hard. He’s getting a little long in the tooth, but his size advantage would make this fight very interesting. I frankly think Mayweather would have a lot more trouble with him than with Pacquiao.
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04 Feb 2012 05:53

I would agree with pretty much all you said, with two exceptions.

First, I think on a financial level, Floyd-Pac would still bring in huge money, at least through this year. That's what HBO was saying. But you are right, they should have fought in 2010.

As far as Dundee, he's likely most remembered for being in the corners of Ali and SRL, and the various fights in their careers. I think in England, or the British Commonwealth, the Cooper fight comes up a lot. But in the US, hardly ever.
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18 Feb 2012 16:48

big bad mad vitali v del boy chisora tonight..... Chisora slapped Klitschko at the weighin, quite hard and I dont think it was set up so now I am hoping Doctor Iron fist gives him a painful lesson... Not sure how it will go if vitali is as good as he was v adamek then he will win easily but he is getting older and older and more more grey hairs are visible.. Chisora could be dangerous too but I am not sure of his mental state he looked really edgy when he slapped him he was wearing a bandana over his mouth and was bouncing from side to side this is the biggest fight by far he's ever been in and it might be a bit much for a part time used car salesman... Not going to predict who's going to win though..


What do people think about these antics before boxing matchs it undeniably gets a lot more intrest in them( I am certainly more interested now) but is it really something you want going on the sport, same with david hayes(and mohammed alis(not a fan) antics, I think it's just a bit stupid but quite funny..
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18 Feb 2012 21:20

klitschko apparently winding up chisora about wrapping his hands before the fight, seems the fight may be delayed by a few minutes
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18 Feb 2012 22:00

On RTL they are now playing a littel drama, and speculate about cancelling the fight. It's all about "British boxers are completle unable to stick to the rules and are are all about playing ideotic games". Whats life without a decent Feindbild?
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18 Feb 2012 22:03

Rechtschreibfehler wrote:On RTL they are now playing a littel drama, and speculate about cancelling the fight. It's all about "British boxers are completle unable to stick to the rules and are are all about playing ideotic games". Whats life without a decent Feindbild?

well I think it is just the klitschkos being awkward, which is fair enough... some singing in the ring now... a piano in a boxing ring?? only in germany...


Hope vitali destroy hims :cool:
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18 Feb 2012 22:15

oooohhh here they come... booos for chisora..
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18 Feb 2012 22:18

Christina perry was awesome..other than that it's been drama.:p
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18 Feb 2012 23:20

I had the score 117-112 for vitali, he's looking old now.. shame...

chisora on the other hand is a disgrace, spitting water on wlad before the fight and trying to start a fight afterwards... a proper clown..
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18 Feb 2012 23:28

palmerq wrote:I had the score 117-112 for vitali, he's looking old now.. shame...

chisora on the other hand is a disgrace, spitting water on wlad before the fight and trying to start a fight afterwards... a proper clown..


yea but he gave him a good fight.
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18 Feb 2012 23:50

Zam_Olyas wrote:yea but he gave him a good fight.


yes he did it was a good one, both guys hurt each other.. but chisora?? is it people like him everyone wants to get boxing in the public eye, it's more like the wwf than actual sport...
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19 Feb 2012 10:54

Amazing haye turned up at the press conference to do his usual of saying he wants to fight vitali and chisora talks back to him and calls him out to fight him... Haye does his usual dodging so chisora gets off the stage and goes up to haye :S and haye punches him whilst holding a bottle and chisora goes mad resulting in a big brawl where haye hit his own trainer over the head with a camera stand :S good for boxing though all this.....chisora then keeps shouting he will shoot david haye and burn him :S

Image

video

transcript of the nonsense :S
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20 Feb 2012 02:47

And I thought Chisora was disgraceful. Haye is just a pathetic individual and an embarrassment to the sport. And what happened to Haye's supposed retirement and acting career? Looks to me like Valuev will have a better career at acting anyway.

As bland as the Klitschkos are, at least they show class.
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20 Feb 2012 21:23

gooner wrote:Haye and Chisora are as bad as each other. Hopefully the British Boxing Board of Control takes Chisora`s licence of him to fight and refuses Haye if he even asks for one. Pathetic and an embarassment is what they are. In fairness the Klitschkos are classy people and behave in an appropriate manner but this isnt the first time Chisora has done something wrong. I remember watching him fight live on Sky where he bit the other fighter in the ear. Look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3My1Lb0kA


Haye is an amazing talker... have to say hats off to chisora for calling him out and showing him up for what he is, a salesman just looking to make money of the klitschkos... I think chisora is a proper crazy guy though and if they take his licence away he could go off the rails but some harsh punishment is required for these two, chisora especially(for his antics since friday)..



anyway it seems like vitali has injured his shoulder again, cant remember which shoulder he injured v byrd maybe it is the same one.... http://www.secondsout.com/news/main-news/vitali-klitschko-injury-update .. could be time for him to retire ..
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23 Feb 2012 01:51

Wow, Dana White of the UFC really called out Floyd Mayweather big time. First calling him a racist for stupid comments on Jeremy Lin, then calling him a dummy for comments on Pacquaio, then told Floyd to shut up and make the flight with Manny. White can be a loud mouth (duh) but it was good to hear someone of his stature step up like this and say what a lot of people wanted to say. Article and video here.
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24 Feb 2012 17:25

Povetkin v huck tomorrow... I think over these 3 weeks(last week this week and next), the top 3 heavyweights will be fighting(not with each other as usual)... Don't think povetkin is that good, he seems to be quite skilled but not especially fast or strong, short arms too and he is not the fittest but Kap'n huck is a bit small and not that great either.. The winner must surely fight Wladimir(or mormeck) for the wba title, povetkin and atlas have split up so maybe he will stop dodging him now
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26 Feb 2012 21:19

palmerq wrote:Povetkin v huck tomorrow... I think over these 3 weeks(last week this week and next), the top 3 heavyweights will be fighting(not with each other as usual)... Don't think povetkin is that good, he seems to be quite skilled but not especially fast or strong, short arms too and he is not the fittest but Kap'n huck is a bit small and not that great either.. The winner must surely fight Wladimir(or mormeck) for the wba title, povetkin and atlas have split up so maybe he will stop dodging him now


That was one of the best fights I remember.
Close and ugly.

Hope for refight, but doesn't look so.
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