Boxingtalk's Friday Mailbag

By G. Leon


Boxingtalk's Friday Mailbag

What up G? Just writing in on a couple of things. First tell Bernard that was not a dominating performance he put on Saturday night! It was a close fight and the only round he won clearly was the 12th and I thought Winky was up going into the 12th. I read your interview with Bernard and  I think it's good that he can still compete at his age, but I don't agree with him getting "props" like he beat the brakes off someone. Everyone you asked him about fighting he had an excuse. Tell him that he is only 2-2 in his last four fights and since I'm sure he will say he thought he won the Taylor fights, let him know they were close just like his fight with Winky. When you asked him about Roy, he said why when he beat both guys that beat Roy. Tell him because he still did not beat Roy. He made three million for his fight with Winky and that ten million dollar payday was with De la Hoya in which any fighter considered to be elite would get fighting him. Now to the De la Hoya interview: he said the only way he would fight Floyd was in a phone booth. I did not see Floyd running in his fight with De la Hoya and De la hoya's knees were the the only one's I saw buckle in that fight(20 seconds to go in the 5th). He had every advantage possible and he still CLEARLY lost. Now he is trying to find an "elite" opponent to beat to end his career. He can keep losing on May 5th from now on and collect his thirty million so I ain't mad at him, but tell him to stop crying from May 6th on about how he thought he won and he came to fight and his opponent did not. I think he and Cotto would do a record number of buys if they were to fight especially on cinco de mayo, but he is doing what he has always, waiting to see a real flaw in Cotto before he fights him. He is going to let Shane fight him first and gauge from that if he is willing to fight Cotto after that. Tiger- Quintette, Fl

Leon's Response: I don't have to tell Bernard anything, like most top fighters he reads BT's mailbag so he certainly knows how you feel. Hopkins clearly won all of the championship rounds in my opinion. I don't think beat the brakes off of Winky at all and the fight could have gone either way, but at 42 years old he did his thing considering he was fighting somebody ranked higher than he was on EVERY pound for pound list and seven years younger than him. I don't think either of their purses are common knowledge. Until the PPV numbers are tallied nobody knows what both fighters made. De La Hoya-Cotto doesn't do anywhere near De La Hoya-Mayweather. Cotto is a superstar in the sport, but he's still not a household name. Based on the fact that Bernard and Roy have been unable to make their rematch for nearly seven years now, it's safe to say that they don't like each other much. Hopkins made some mean, but true remarks and Roy has told me that he has no reason to fight Bernard again because he beat him so easily the first time around. That and "Bernard don't really want to fight him."

Looking at your recent mailbags, I found that nobody had a comment about Quartey's move to Welterweight.  I believe his decision to move down to 147 makes that division a lot more interesting and all the possible matchups in that division are mouthwatering.  I believe Quartey was getting stronger in the Super Welterweight division.  He beat key gatekeepers of that division (Verno Phillips and Carlos Bojorquez) and (in my eyes) beat a formidable opponent by the name of Vernon Forrest.  I thought Ike was successful in nullifying one of Vernon's best weapons, which is his jab.  In addition, I also believe Ike landed the harder and cleaner shots, which evidently showed in Vernon's face after the fight.  I've just come to accept the fact that judges aren't really appreciative of the peek-a-boo style defense.  They think Quartey is always getting hit when in fact he's blocking most of those shots with his glove. I did not agree with Ike moving up to the Middleweight division to fight the (then) P4P #2 Winky Wright.  Although Quartey did lose the fight, (1) the knockdowns were bogus and if you take those points away, the fight would have been that much closer and (2) he showed he was very much in the game, managed to win some rounds and fluster Winky a bit.....not easy
to do with Winky's enigmatic boxing style. Now, Ike is bringing that speed and power WAY DOWN to the Welterweight division.  Even though he inflicted damage to his opponents in the Super Welterweight division, it wasn't enough to truly rattle them and bring them to the canvas.  I truly believe that at 147 lbs, Quartey's power is going to be a MAJOR factor and his jab will have more of a head snapping impact.Have you spoken with Dibella about Quartey's return?
Do you know of any possible opponents?  Will he be fighting in the US or Ghana?  Will his next fight be televised?  Will he more likely be returning in
September or October?   Carlo J.

Leon's Response: Welterweight is so stacked that the news of his return has gone a bit overlooked. Quartey is promoted by DiBella and HBO or Showtime should want to match him against Paul Williams, Joshua Clottey or Zab Judah. I'll be speaking with DiBella after Berto's fight tonight to get updates on all of his talent. I recall Quartey putting up a game effort for the first few rounds, but Winky clearly won the fight going away.

Whats up Greg, I can't wait for the next update, I'm anticipating your next pound for pound list to see where you'd be placing Bernard at this stage of his career (which in my opinion with big wins over Tarver and Winky at the age of 41/42, is starting to overshadow his middleweight accomplishments). I'd have to put him up there at #1 again, to tell you the truth on my list he never left the number 1 spot because I don't think he lost to Jermain Taylor in either fight. Floyd Mayweather accomplished a major feat by besting Oscar in his weight climb but looking at what Floyd did to Oscar and what Bernard did to Tarver, well I think the edge goes to Hopkins. Tarver was an old fighter but more prime than Oscar, and Tarver was recognised as the best in his division when Hopkins executed him (Oscar was a guy with a belt who didn't have to fight mandatories like everyone else). Both Bernard and Floyd have dominated in their last two bouts (I've watched it again, and for the life of me I can not see how people think Winky came close to Bernard, a close round in a Bernard Hopkins fight will always go to the more legendary fighter and at a ripe old age of 42, having laid claim to the undisputed middleweight and undisputed light heavyweight title without ever ducking a challenger (all you needed to be was his mandatory and you got a title shot at 3 championship belts), Bernard Hopkins deserves the close rounds. If your in the ring with him and you dont feel that way, well don't let the rounds be close! It isn't rocket science, the judges are appreciating what Bernard does especially at his age and looking at him favourably in a close round, if you deserve that win show me how good you are and don't let the rounds be so close. In my opinion Pacman deserves the second spot on the list, followed by Floyd Mayweather (3), Rafael Marquez (4) and Joel Casamayor (5). I'll reserve the 6th spot potentially for the Calzaghe-Kessler winner. After that I think it gets a little difficult, of course Winky would remain in the top 10, but just like Bernard and Roy learnt, you get that loss and your almost out the 10!
Brad, Australia

Leon's Response: As I told Bernard during our last exclusive interview, he will be placed at #2 on the pound for pound list. I respect your opinion and I'm not here to argue over his pound for pound placement, but if Hopkins says Mayweather deserves the top spot and nobody should argue that, it's good enough for me to know I'm making the right decision. While watching the fight live I had Hopkins winning by a round, when I finally had the chance to review it on tape I scored the fight a draw, only because Bernard swept the championship rounds. At the end of the day, as Matthew Aguilar wrote, Bernard Hopkins is a one of a kind. There's a very good chance we will never again see a 42 year old fighter challenging for the pound for pound throne of boxing.

Greg,I appreciate the work you put into your site. I do, however, often question your methods.  You often come off as a friend or fan rather than a journalist.  Out of curiousity, are you boys with Vernon Forrest?  You didn't ask him one difficult question.  For example, what would he say to those who know this fight is going to be a boring, grapling affair.  And more importantly, you forgot to ask him how a win over Baldomir should make anyone recognize him as a champ... in otherwords why did the WBC allow this as a title eliminator?  I guess you are okay with Baldomir's body of work at 154, right? Thanks again for all the work, - Sean
Leon's Response: Thanks for the email Sean. Honestly, I came into boxing as a knowledgeable fan, who became fortunate enough to build a couple of solid bridges and friendships here and there. Yes Vernon Forrest is someone I'd consider a friend, so why would I ask him what he has to say about those who know what hasn't happened yet? Over the last five years, when the time calls for it I've asked Vernon the questions that needed to be ask. Vernon hasn't lost a fight since the second Mayorga fight and he beat Quartey, Baldomir lost the WBC welterweight title in his last fight. Champions are often allowed title shots at higher weight classes when they're moving up in weight even if they lost their last fight. Cory Spinks against Karmazin, Oscar De La Hoya against Felix Sturm, Erik Morales against David Diaz any of those fights ring a bell?


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