Guess who’s back boxing fans. As we move about the time changes and fantastic football Sundays I am back to keep everyone on track mentally as it pertains to the most amazing sport on earth. About a year ago I made some bold predictions. I made some bold statements. I was refuted. Attacked,Lamblasted. BAMBOZZLED haha ok I am getting carried away but you must smell my drift. It has been so awesome to watch so many people eat crow. I am reveling in it. Boxing is on a tear right now and my dream of a return to the mainstream is taking shape. Don’t look now but it is looking like the early eighties.When small man ruled the ring and the box office. Forget Cusp. This is a new golden age of pugilism. An era with truly great fighters and explosive yet sometimes urine laced storylines. As always fans. Please bring knowledge. Educate me. I am all for it but the people who don’t know boxing and get there news from ESPN will stand out in a negative way. And here we………. GO
5."Sugar" Shane mosley WBA/Lineal Welterweight champion
I am sure that based on whats to follow that should say that I am a huge fan of shane mosley. This not just because I had the pleasure of interviewing him. Its more admiration for how he has preserved through what most would call an under appreciated campaign as a top level fighter. He is a true professional, A gentleman, Class act you get the point. However his behavior on September 19th was nothing but a fat deuce on his glittering resume. Who the F$&k is shane mosley? What gives him the right to make another mans shining moment his own. What gives him the right to go on national TV and attempt to sell a fight when he it is well known that Berto and dibella(Berto actually used his promoter as oppose to meeting with HBO behind Lou’s back) accepted Golden Boy and HBO’S counter offer? The berto/Mosley fight is just a matter of the US postal service so I can not BELIEVE this dudes behavior on the PPV. Berto is someone that shane can sneeze at a little bit. But to THAT degree? HBO as every boxing fan knows fu@@ked up BIG time when handling SSM and B-hops respective pugilistic schedules. They promised shane Dec 5th and the reneged on that offer due to the staph infection that was eating away at Britney Pavlik’s hand. So then they wanted to give SSM the day after Christmas which is Taboo going back 20 years at HBO but due to the mounting pressure of BHOP wanting a fight in first quarter (and getting it the other day) HBO was at a true impasse with shane. This impasse has put shane under the gun. Not only can he not secure a fight against any of the big box office attractions. But he is even having trouble getting a FIGHT on the network that cultivated his career. Mabye these factors contributed to his outlandish behavior in the ring . Mabye Shane should smack his home boy Bhop in the back of the head. Why? Because in large measure Bhop is to blame for this. Bhop only fights once a year right? So if the Old poop had upped his offer to TA in July Then this Impasse would not exist . Say what you want about BHOP now having a fight. His behavior is causing problems all over boxing most notably in front of a million people the 19th. Shane has a tough little fight in Berto on the 30th. The WBC and their frugal scumbag of leader Jose Salimin will no doubt strip Berto of his WBC title robbing us all of a real welterweight unification. I believe that Shane better get his behind to Big Bear and prepare for Berto. This is a potential water shed moment for the younger man. And the older man. Shane. Is not even focused on him. Could be a disaster….or it could be an infomercial for why SSM is a bad son of a bi55th. We will see but Shane….fight someone already!!
4. Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio Ring/IBO Jr welterweight Champion
Manny sliding down my rankings despite being inactive since the last time out will be sure to draw some ire. Manny sliding is not something this writer came to lightly. It has more to do with the performances of some of the men on this list. Manny has the world at his feet right now. If Forbes were ranking the most powerful men in boxing. Not the wealthiest. But men with the most influence on us the fans and the networks and so on. Manny would have to be number one based on the fact that FMJ has already stepped out and in reality the fate of the boxing world rest on Manny’s fist. Manny has the chance to become something we have not seen before. In sports that’s the most impressive feat an athlete can accomplish. To do something that no other man before you in 120 years has done. 7 titles is simply profound. Now yes there is some window dressing on that statement. He really has won 4 lineal titles and 3 alphabet titles. Either way though no one else has done it. And I don’t think anyone else will do it for awhile. FMJ has already won a title at 154 pounds and it is doubtful given his reach and height that he will take on 160 pounds SO FMJ wont be reaching that milestone and FMJ is the only person that comes to mind with the resume to hit that mark. Now for the misses. Manny. I love you dude. Like real man love. You are awesome for our sport. So if I happen to meet you remember that I am just stating facts. Manny as a lot will disagree is not even in the top three. FMJ brutal decimation of JMM put a lot of things in perspective. The first thing that is that it is Disney movie unrealistic to with a straight face say Manny is the top fighter in boxing. It is also safe to say that manny is headed for an L. That could be on the 14th. Or in the second Quarter of 2010 god willing. Manny does not have JMM toughness. He does not have that mental 5th gear that allows a fighter to with stand punishment. He has given up twice and been stopped once. It is hard to believe with how soft Manny is to the body that he could last 6 rounds with a FMJ or a Paul Will(should he move to welterweight which is a sure fire possibility if the money is right). I am so sick and tired of people getting ripped for who they fight. Can anyone out there call Manny’s last three fights truly DANGEROUS in retrospect? No way dude. If you are sitting there disagreeing with me then you have a personal bias and have disqualified yourself from this discussion. Manny has beyond a litmus test in Cotto. I can’t stop thinking of the Judah/Cotto fight. A speedy left handed fireball with some pop who gave cotto early trouble but finally wilted in the face of straight body torture. One could argue that since Manny is moving so far up that Judah(who has pop because of his speed) has power that is comparable. I wonder how manny will react to that left hook to the body. However there are something’s working in favor of the HBO best fighter in the world
1. The catch weight
No matter what Cotto says he is going to drain himself more then usual for this fight while Manny is going to simply eat a little more and run a little less. The strain, the burden of hard work, is on Cotto
2. Glass Joe
Cotto has a grand reputation for having a weak chin. If you hit him on the button it is almost a forgone conclusion that he will do the chicken dance. Torres,corley, these names are so pedestrian yet they had Cotto doing the moonwalk after punches that came from strange angles, now take next level speed and maintain the concept of punches from funny angles you have Manny
3. South paws r us
Manny seems to surprise his men with speed and fluidity. But I think what makes him so hard to fight is the tricky and slicky angles his punches ride in on. The men just can’t see or get out of the way of his punches. He also has begun using that right hook with reckless abandon so Cotto at least for a little while is going to have huge problems. The question is can he adjust?
Manny should win. I believe his power will shock Cotto who is a smurf mentally. I am hoping as anyone with sense that Manny blows Cotto away and puts some pressure on Robert Arum to at least give Al haymon a phone call and break the very explosive ice. Here is Hoping
3.Vitali Klitschko WBC Heavyweight Champion
I have been super reluctant to rank the Big man because of his inactivity and the fact that ranking him and his brother on the same list seems redundant and I simply refuse to do it. When ranking the brothers the sensible thing to do is to rank the better brother. Just because Boring Wald is not in these particular projections any boxing fan with a TV knows that while bland he remains a formidable world class professional prize fighter. V. does not have as much pure boxing talent as brother. He does not have his youth, or looks, or hair, none of the attributes that beget glamour. Even with all of that V is the BETTER fighter. He handles adversity with an almost arrogant aggression. He takes a punch and often returns fire unless he truly gets caught( Corrie sanders). He fights so tall. He does not hunch in the least and uses every inch or centimeter of his seemingly infinite reach. He has the full offensive kitchen throwing so many kinds of punches and throwing them with brute force and dastardly accuracy. He is a built fighter. I would argue that physically he is the most intimidating man in the sport. Like Andre the Giant, I will smack everybody, Debo type of dude. He tried to fight Sasha B. Cohen because of things depicted in Borat at a restraunt in La. I have heard it was a chaotic scene as body Guards and staff panicked in the face of this monsterous man who also is a skilled prize fighter.Really skilled. Both hands flow depending on the needed angle. He dances around the ring shockingly elegant given his physical disposition. He laid waste to a very tough and determined man and there was never a moment in the fight, never a part of the ring, in which he was not comfortable and at ease. Super duper performance. One thing sets this man apart. There is no one in the world that can beat him. No one. Think about that. No boxer in the world could beat him because he is the biggest by far(valuev does not count in that particular comment because he is not a threat to anyone period), and very skilled, and very smart, and at the top of game. Wow what a f%%kin Monster. The question is what now. I believe he should retire. You know I wonder about his finances. I know he makes big money but 4 fights inside of a year at 38 years old? Three of those fights as a title holder. He is so very active when he has every right to chill. I bet in retirement he feel behind the monetary curve(by his families standards certainly not by ours (= ) a little bit. Since he is Ovb fighting for money I just hope that someone comes along that can challenge him because right now there is no answer this man.
2.Paul Williams WBO 154 pound interim Champion
It draws enough ire when I de rank an in active combatant once. But to do it twice is unheard of in my feeble typing career. However in light of the boxing earth quake that shook the boxing worlds last week we as sensible and knowledgeable boxing fans must adjust. Did you hear that Jermain Taylor?adjust!!! In adjusting I had to move Pretty Paul to Number 2 and I hope that is not misconstrued as some type of indictment on the southerner. He is so good. So nasty. So dominant. That Kelly is doing everything to delay the fight short of deporting himself from the country. I am happy however with Paul’s(and his teams) decision to wait out the Pavlik situation. It’s the no brainer. The slam dunk what have you. Very exciting fight. I think that Pavlik could really hurt Paul Willams. But the smart money, the big money, will point to Pavliks basic technical disposition compared to Paul’s Skill and swamping style of fighting. Paul could blow Pavlik away because Kelly does not have world class defense. He does not move his head, he does not move his feet, He does not improvise. He is not a robot but he is close to it. Pavlik, not being a man of letters when it comes to boxing skill set will run into massive trouble in the early rounds. Paul if he fights his fight stands little danger of NOT winning the middle weight title. And lets put on our be-real pants for a second. Kelly’s reign has not come close to what was expected. You pay 200 million to produce water world then it tanks at the box office. We invested so much into the potential this guy had to sweep the sport, and he fell flat. Paul could take a title, that is a glamour title, and inject some energy into that dead a@@ divison. 160 pounds is a boxng grave yard,witness protection, an undisclosed location. It needs life, youth,talent, Paul is that and if everything stays true to form then the division will get just that. Kelly has a rematch clause if I am not mistaken so we will see the same fight twice and that’s ok. Its good for boxing. What will be better for boxing is a versatile, hot as fire champion that wants the big names and the big fights. Not the mandatory, feel good about your self again peach cans. Good luck to both men cant wait
1. FMJ Pound for pound the best fighter in the world
I told you so. I was attacked with out interruption on all my rankings for ranking fmj NUMBER 1. For pointing out that while he was not fighting on HBO he was still in the gym honing his craft. I was killed for telling everyone that there is no one with his skill set, defense, grace, and accuracy in the sport. I also said that Manny would not stand a chance if they were to fight. I also caught heat from fans that pointed to his lack of drawing power despite his extraordinary gifts. I heard for a year that it was Manny not FMJ who is the best fighter in the world. I sat back and watched. I watched the media go into a little bit of a frenzy in the lead up to the fight. I don’t mean the boxing scribes either. I mean CNN,telemundo,ESPN. The mainstream. The source we have to tap. It was happening. I watched the amazing physical demonstration of pure once in a lifetime boxing talent. My dad has been watching this sport since the 50’s and he told me that we were watching an all time great. A guy that comes along once a generation. Sometimes my dad says guys like this SKIP a generation. I ranked him in my all time top ten much to the dismay of many of you. Let me ask you a question. Who at 140 in the history of boxing would you bet a million dollars to beat Floyd? No one, no way, not unless you’re a billionare and can. afford to be stupid with your money. Radar like senses, I mean defensive telepathy. He is simply on the same wave length as the man in front of him non stop. I never get tired of watching it. The sharpness of his punches are like nothing in the sport. It is the cleanest right hand that I have ever seen. And yes FMJ does have a better right hand lead the RJJ. No doubt about it dude. According to my degenerent gambler buddy FMJ would open up as a 4 to 1 favorite in vegas over MP if the fight was inked tom. He has that information from someone who is deep in Vegas. DEEP. Those odds should give you an idea for how the people who really know the deal are viewing this recent progression. After a comprehensive display of his skill set the ovb question is whats next. Its not a question. For the first time in a long time FMJ’s next fight is something that will appeal to everyone while appeasing all the critics and negative thinking people out there. It’s a no brainer. Let is tap the micro. Bob Arum absolutely sh##t himself when the news was announced that Mayweather/marquez had surpassed a million buys. He had preached for months that “FMJ can not sell, Manny is the attraction, he will have to take at least a 60/40” Well Robert what thinks you now bro? For top rank this unexpected development is a disaster. Manny is now on the wrong side of the table. He will be facing a fighter who is undefeated, a proven mega star, and a fighter that has sold just under 4 million buys in his last three fights. Someone tell me..in what position is manny to ask for anything more then 45 percent? Manny has NEVER with out Oscar cracked million buys.. Before Oscar he didn’t even crack 500,000. You have got to be kidding me dude. Manny with the very same fighter JMM did not even bring in 75 percent of Sat’s viewership in a combined TWO fights. Its not even close. So F##k that. Don’t bullsh8t yourselves fans. No doubt about it dude. FMJ is the king. IN the ring, on the screen, and definitely at the settlement table. Stay tuned
I will first say that Max a million at some point, maybe when HBO anointed him the “future” that somehow a pulpit materialized around his feet and in appearing around his feet gave him the right, the credentials, and the longevity to hop into a ring with hall of famers and run his yap when fans are actually tuning in after the fight to do the exact opposite. I noticed over the last year he was getting more and more egotistical with his pre fight demeanor, post fight comments, and outlandish notions over the course of a particular contest. I believe Russ Greenburg f$ked up when he did not assign Larry merchant to the fight. I know Larry is old but he is a trooper. I mean how long is the flight from Vegas to LAX. Not a strech by any means. Its like a 3 day turnaround to the next fight AND I have read Larry has a home in the area(LA) so why risk giving an enormous stage(by the numbers (= ) to a man that is clearly personally invested in the situation. I am going to just go with what I saw. Max would ask FMJ a question. A very subdued FMJ would try and answer as humble as he knows how and before he could even complete his thought he would be interrupted. Instead of going through the fight with FMJ, asking about marquez, asking about the adjustments, the gameplan( FMJ claims he does not go in with a game plan that is def bullsh##t) None of that. He acted like he was on his couch at home and happened to have a victorious FMJ on the love seat. It was all about what Max wanted to know and what Max wanted to see. Then he bellows SSM’s name as loud as he possibly can. SSM who was doing everything but piggy backing max Jumps in. Max then made the interview about the fight he thinks should be taking place. He completely by passed us the fans and instead pursed his own agenda. When SSM realized that he was losing street credit he went off camera. Right then MAX could have taken control and given FMJ his moment and what not. Max did not care about that. He did not care about all the people that made the event possible that FMJ attempted to thank, he did not care about the biggest fight in the sport which finally came within seeing distance in wake of the fight, he did not care about HBO, the platform he represents, the amazing programming that stands behind that name. He did not care about any of those things. He wanted FMJ to know that he was in control of the MiC. Was that interview any better then Rose/grey? No it was not. Then when Jim tried to change the subject 5 min later ( Who knows what was going on in that ear piece) Max REVISITED the gosh darn interview. Jim clearly and smartly asked max to expand on what this fight means for boxing, Manny and what that fight will mean, no Instead with breaking us off with an informational monlogue Max Instead chose to continue his personal mourning talk show. I cannot believe that HBO would give such an important poisiton to an unprofessional want to be shock Jock that did Boxing a huge disservice by injecting his personal politics into a moment that belonged to FMJ and us the fans, what a jerk
Boxing fans I tried to keep it shorter this time. It was fun while it lasted. You guys were great. I hope my piece sparks some nice debate and I will have you guys know that I am going to add a comment that will feature the names of all the people that hopped on my message board in the last year and made comments that were in direct contravention with reality. If you take it personally that’s your choice but I need to illustrate how many people need a boxing knowledge tune up, best (=