Boxingtalk's Mailbag Returns

By G. Leon


Boxingtalk's Mailbag Returns

What's up to the hardest working man in Boxing web hosting? If this makes a mailbag or even a personal reply. I wonder your take on HBO analyst. I think they have been spoiled to watch Floyd in the front row for over 10-years and taking boxing skills at there best for granted. They have seen PBF do wonderful combinations, KO body punches and never ever look frustrated they try to make them up during the fights. Hatton did push Mayweahter, and applied good pressure. Floyd stood in the pocket and picked Hatton apart. It is amazing the Judges had a landslide and Harold Lederman had Hatton winning? Floyd shows why he is still undefeated and how they keep questioning him and he proves them wrong. He will not be able to take De La Hoya's punch or Hatton's pressure or he does not throw hard enough. Or they say Hatton has a good chin, well then Floyd has a great punch, because It was one punch that dropped him. 2008 I see Floyd taking care of Cotto and then they will say he needs to fight Paul Williams. Boxing is not dead when you have a true champion. Thanks G! Boxingtalk is the best. Samuel D.

Leon's Response: Thanks for the kind words Samuel. Floyd says that he's not going to fight again in 2008. I believe that about as much as his claim to be retired after the De La Hoya fight. I think Harold Lederman had an off night and his scorecard was way off, but the HBO commentators are among the best in boxing. Sometimes you don't agree with their opinions and sometimes they cheerlead, but all in all they're professionals. Mayweather did what he was supposed to do against Ricky Hatton. He systematically broke him down and put him to bed late, like I knew he would. Mayweather will never fight Paul Williams. I wonder if De La Hoya wanting to move forward with the rematch on May 3 would unretire PBF.

Vernon Forrest vs. Oscar De la Hoya is one of the most interesting possibilities on the horizon. Vernon is in the top 5 of the PFP list and Oscar is the ‘golden boy’ need I say more.  Vernon is the reigning 154 lb. king and 154 lbs. is Oscar’s most competitive weight (not to mention he is the mandatory).   Two seasoned boxer/punchers who know how to give the fans their money’s worth. It would be a huge draw.  Don’t sleep. Vernon is the man in the South and Oscar is a marketing phenomenon. Give boxing more of what it needs…a competitive fight that we can argue over in barbershops and analyze around the water cooler. Am I just delusional?  Why won’t this fight work? doc

Leon's Response: Vernon is one of my closest friends in boxing, but he's not in my top ten pound for pound let alone the top five. I agree that De La Hoya-Forrest would be an interesting fight. Vernon is the WBC junior middleweight champion of the world, but I think he and Cory Spinks would need to fight in order to determine who the real champion was. You see Spinks beat Karmazin, who beat Ouma, who was the the #1 guy at 154 when Winky Wright moved up to middleweight. I'm not going to say your delusional, but I will say Vernon Forrest wasn't one of the three names Richard Schaeffer told me while disussing Oscar's options.

Floyd is seriously considering MMA and Ishe Smith mentioned it earlier this year.  Both are boxers and both would need to learn MMA, so they would be starting on an even playing field.  They could fight between 147 and a catchweight of 150.  Instead of fighting a MMA "bum" as Floyd
would most likely do in his debut, he would be fighting a good boxer that's pretty well known to boxing fans and both MMA & boxing fans would watch to see how the world's best boxer would fare in MMA anyway.  It's a given that a MMA bum could be handpicked for Floyd to beat, ala when
the WWE's Brock Lesnar made his MMA debut, but a match against Ishe would be both risky and interesting.  Floyd would have more to lose if he were to lose against Ishe in a MMA fight than he would by losing to an unknown MMA fighter, since there would be no excuses due to lack of
experience.  It would be great to hear the thoughts of one of the world's great boxing minds, G. Leon on this one.  Thanks, J.

Leon's Response: I wouldn't take Floyd entering the MMA too seriously. Ishe won't be entering the Octagon anytime soon either and Mayweather and Ishe won't ever face either. Did somebody spike their eggnog?

I never realized i was a Jermain Taylor fan till he was ready to fight Kelly, and then it came out- I was a Jermain Taylor fan. I loved his jab that was never the same after Hopkins 1, his chemistry with his original team under the care of Pat Burns that was running along smoothly, and of course his confidence, that well...isn't the same now. I haven't seen any footage of him since the night he lost his title to Pavlik, and his rematch is two months away. Does that worry anybody? How is he mentally? Physically? Emotionally, just having a baby girl? Losing for his first time, Is Jermain Taylor the same man, and is he ready for part two? Does he know respect Kelly Pavlik? Does he know understand that the jab and lack of respect for it was the reason he lost? Does he understand the dangers of backing up straight with either of his hands down? Does he understand the importance of watching footage of old greats and your opponents past fights? And does he understand what was meant and expected of him by labeling him a champion? All these questions run through my mind, because it seems to me that no one else is. The high from Mayweather-Hatton is still fresh in everyone's spirits but of course the junkies are already looking forward to Taylor-Pavlik 2, and me, i am looking at it in concern. I was glad to hear that Jermain decided to split with Manny Steward because they did not work. Whatever the circumstance might be, Taylor and Steward did not produce good fights. Instead Jermain seemed content to back up, and rely on his natural capabilities like a Roy Jones or Mayweather and stopped boxing, like the finessed fighter he once was. Somewhere along the line he forgot about the sport and focused on the business. He took the Pavlik fight because the public demanded it, not because he demanded it. He talked about Pavlik like he had never seen one of his fights, and had not respect or regard for his ability. The mixing of this shift from champion to businessman and Pat Burns to Emanuel Steward, ended in him losing his title. Maybe that loss is the best thing that happens to Jermain or maybe the end of his career. HIm and Ozell are alone now, like they were in the beginning. No distratctions anymore, something to be hungry about, and a great foe in Kelly Pavlik; all should fuel Taylor to correct his wrongs in his style and come out hungry to take back what was once his. Or at least lets all hope, because the fight would be more thrililng and more competitive than the first one. In the coming weeks to the fight, every interview and press conference featuring Jermain will be important because it will be his time to answer all my questions. The questions should tell us the outcome of the fight. ZZH, los angeles

Leon's Response: All of the meaningful questions you've asked of Taylor will be answered when he steps through those ropes on February 16. You're absolutely correct, Jermain and Manny did not work well together. Jermain took the Pavlik fight because the public demanded it and because Kelly Pavlik was his mandatory challenger. I'm expecting Pavlik to win the rematch as well, but JT taking the immediate rematch was without question the right decision. I look at it like this, Jermain almost had him out in round two, couldn't finish and then Pavlik came back took control and finished him in the seventh. From a business standpoint, the Pavlik fight makes him the most money and it's a fight you know he's going to get up for. If JT would have fought anyone else he wouldn't be as motivated and if he would havelooked less than stellar the demand and purse for the Pavlik rematch would have gone down. Even if JT loses to Pavlik again, HBO will give him a comeback fight so why not go for the gusto while the fight is hot? Fighting Pavlik again is the right decision as a champion and as a businessman. Ozell has never been the primary voice in Jermain's corner, but he's definitely the primary male voice in Jermain's life. It should be interesting to see what results their "alone time" produces on February 16.

Greg,Edison Miranda and Jean Pascal are fighting on the same card on FNF on Jan. 11.  Have you heard anything about this being a setup for a potential fight between these two sometime in mid-2008?  Because the winnner of Pascal-Miranda would obviously have some serious options at 168.

Leon's Response: I'll be speaking with my main man Leon Margules soon and I'll ask him. Warriors will position Miranda into another title fight whether he fighs Pascal or not, but I wouldn't be shocked if the Miranda-Pascal fight found its way to a Boxing After Dark show.

Hi G, I'm glad to see you'll be back on the mailbag.  What is your fight of the year?  I'd have to give it to Taylor/Pavlik over Marquez/Vazquez II because it was for the middleweight championship of the world.  However, my personal favorite big, big, fight of the year was definitely Cotto/Mosley. What was your personal favorite fight this year?  What a year for boxing!!!  G, please check out my new art website that I've been telling you about for a long time now -

Leon's Response: Vazquez-Marquez II gets my vote. Pavlik-Taylor gets honorable mention, as does Cotto-Mosley. Fighter of the year: Floyd Mayweather Jr. I'll be checking the site when I'm done with the bag and plug it when I drop this bad boy.

2007 Was a great year in boxing. The only beef I have with the sport is with Pretty Boy Floyd. I think along with many others that he needs to step up to the plate and face Miguel Cotto. I keep hearing the excuses that there is no money on the table with that fight. We all know that isnt true. If Floyd is the best pound for pound fighter in the world today don't you think he should be at least fighting the best guys in his division? I mean lets keep it real. He fought De la Hoya who is a washed up junior middleweight and Ricky Hatton who is a true junior welterweight with no jab and little boxing fundamentals. Ricky Hatton is a pressure fighter that likes to hit,grab,hold, and push you around. If he started his boxing career here in the U.S. there is no way that he has an undefeated record. Miguel Cotto has a rock solid jab that would prevent Floyd from dictating the fight. Floyd's lead rights and left hooks wouldn't land as frequent because Cotto doesn't walk straight in. Now I hear talks of Floyd going to MMA. Just another excuse to not have to fight the best opposition in the 147 pound weight class. I am not a Floyd Hater. I think he is the best boxer in the world today. I just think that Paul William's height and reach would give him problems and Miguel Cotto could honestly wear him down and finish the fight. Floyd vs Shane Mosely would be fun to watch but it should've happened 4 years ago. We the boxing world need to put the pressure on Floyd to make these fights happen or stop calling Floyd Mayweather the Pound for Pound King. True Champions never duck the best opponents out there. Patrick - Las Vegas

Leon's Response: At this point Floyd can fight anybody he wants and make big money. Obviously the fight that most boxing fans want to see is Mayweather and Cotto, but I doubt it ever happens. Cotto wouldn't get that much money for the fight and Mayweather isn't in a rush to do business with Arum ever again. Mayweather's sticking to his I'm not fighting in 2008 of now. The De La Hoya rematch is his primary option. Floyd feels that the split decision was BS and he'd love nothing more than to take the rematch out of the judges hands. Other than 'Ricky Hattoning' De La Hoya I doubt much else interests him at this point.

Keep up the great work in the best boxing site in the world!!!  I got a bit of a beef with all that's going on with the Pacquiao-Marquez fight.  All I'm hearing out of the Marquez camp is that Juan has wanted this fight since the first match.  He's saying publicly that if Pacquiao didn't sign to fight him that he was scared.  If memory serves, and I have a very good one at that, it was Pacquiao and his camp that was protesting for a second fight back in '04.  Many sites, insiders and reporters were reporting that there was an offer of 750k on the table (the biggest pay day of his career), and he didn't take it.  Why didn't he take the biggest purse of his career?  If he wanted the fight so bad who cares about the money which is what he's claiming now?  Perhaps those three bombs that laid him out three times had something to do with it?  He stayed with it and did well for himself but on my card lost the fight by a point and didn't even have a mainstream name after the fight.  In my opinion, Marquez is a great fighter, a future hall of famer and the style to give Manny problems.  But let's be truthful.  It's Marquez who was and is scared.  Because he's in the twilight of his career and all the STUPID moves made by Beristain, he's looking to cash out.  I understand about trash talking but if you don't have the history to back it up, then shut the hell up! JT

Leon's Response: Thanks for the kind words. You're absolutely correct about Marquez turning the fight down for a career high payday of $750,000. He's probably getting more than that to fight him now, but that's besides the point. Not sure if it was Juan Manuel or Nacho Beristain who turned the fight down, but either way the fight was on the table and they turned it down to end up in the jungles of Indonesia for ESPN money. Marquez UD12 Pacquiao on March 15.


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