By Coyote Duran, DoghouseBoxing.com (Dec 17, 2008)
Read on, Howlers, for responses to my recent Manny Pacquiao article. It's a short mailbag but still fun!
KICKING NOSTALGIA WITH ED...
Good article and right on point!
I first saw Pacquiao on his first fight on HBO. Watching with me was a gal I just started dating and her immediate comment, after watching Pacquiao fight a couple of rounds (she knew nothing about boxing at that time; since then, she has become pretty good at evaluating fighters; me, I've followed boxing since middle 1950s and vividly remember the Gillette "Friday Night Fights (my dad always had it on!)) was "Who is that mean little sh*t? He is the meanest fighter I've seen" My only answer was "Hell, I don't know" (and I didn't at the time!) Same thing basically with Calzaghe; although I had 'heard' of him, knew nothing about him until he was 'supposed' to loose to Lacy.
What really impresses me about Pacquiao is his learning curve; he gets better with each fight and to me has gone from a left handed fighter to a two handed fighter as evidenced by his rights; he also listens to Roach. He definitely has that Philippino mind-set dating back to WW 2 when the Philippinos had to engage in all out guerilla warfare--at all costs-- against the occupying Imperial Army of Japan.
In any event, you hit the nail right on the head with your article in my opinion; keep up the good work! Incidentally, my girlfriend loves Hatton as well but doesn't want to see him fight Pacquiao as she thinks Pacquiao will slaughter him. . .We'll see (I hope!).
Final thought: Mayweather, the trainer, should keep his self-serving mouth shut! No wonder his son can't stand him. Ed Sedwick
Ed, I have to say that yours was one of the most entertaining and nicest e-mails I've ever had the privilege of receiving and reading. Having someone to compare fight eras with is priceless and many of today's fans could benefit from even the slightest reference to yesteryear.
Your lady certainly got in on the ground floor on something good by catching the 'beginning' of Manny Pacquiao's career, TV-wise. It that kind of visual experience that hooks the fan that knew nothing about boxing the day before (I guess that's why the concept of sports on radio eludes me; but that's also relative to era, as well). I'm glad you got the comparison of Pacquiao to World Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Calzaghe since his 12-round beatdown of Jeff Lacy was really what turned him on to the masses in The States. The first time I saw Calzaghe fight was way back in April of 2001 against then-undefeated Mario Veit. Simply put, he was someone I wanted to watch again when most hardcore fans I knew (and believe me, there were very few) didn't. I'm not saying I was on the ground floor of something good. I just liked watching the guy fight.
One reason Pac's learning curve is impressive is because of the relationship he has with trainer Freddie Roach. Their relationship is the thing Hollywood movies are made of. Their respective battles make them so complimentary to each other and that's something most fighter-trainer tandems have no sense of. As for Pacquiao's 'guerilla spirit', his willingness to learn and improve his arsenal is testament to his desire for domination. His choices from here on out are the most important, ostensibly. Pacquiao's Hall of Fame spot's set in stone but the selection of his next opponents will detail the tail end of his legacy. I hope he's really got World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton in his crosshairs because now is the time; especially since Hatton has your favorite trainer, Floyd Sr., in his corner. LOL!!
I'm not gonna say that Floyd Sr. is some sort of national treasure or that I'm a fan; but he does add an element of emotion to the game. And when I say 'emotion', I mean that some fans have got hate for the cat. He may not be familiar with humility but he's a good trainer. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have been courted by Hatton, Joan Guzman or Oscar De La Hoya. The problem is he knows he's good and we suffer from, at the least, pretty crappy poetry. I'm pretty sure 'Money's' got quite a few reasons of his own to dislike his dad but they're his to have and his family's to suffer from.
Woof...about Hatton getting slaughtered by Pacquiao, I'm not sure it'll be the walk-over your girl fears. 'The Hitman' won't make it as easy for Pacquiao to win the 140-pound World Championship as it was a job for Pac to deep-six 'The Golden Boy' and both men know Floyd Jr. ain't stepping up too quickly to face Pac. Hatton's gonna make this fight something to remember because he knows how it felt to win the championship from Kostya Tszyu and he doesn't want to wear the former champ's shoes anytime soon. With as solid as Hatton's win over the gutsy Paul Malignaggi was, you can bet his confidence is at an all-time high. He'll need it.
It's funny you mentioned Gillette's 'Friday Night Fights', Ed. I was thinking about how silly HBO's rendering of the opening of Gatti-Ward II was. It's not like a brutal back-and-forth ass kicking was a new thing in Our Sport. LOL!
Thank you again, Ed.
IS LEV GIVING UP HOPE? LET'S HOPE NOT...
I agree with you mate, for some seems boxing is dying for me for two or more years to come coz to much politics on it too many champions in any weight classes
ODLH is yes one of the boxings keepin it alive these days even Pacman cant do it alone coz we know he's under the Welters, public eyes we know in history most fame division are from middle to heaviyweights. thou we know ODLH did under middlewieght class.
American fighters like Lacey, RJJr, Mosley even Wright seems they are on downhill of their careers Hopkins, ODLH maybe the next, dont know if Jarmain Taylor does, seems nobody to match their charisma and talent the ring, especially the Heavywieght division, like Mike Tyson, Holyfield does in the 90's.
For me, massive exiting from boxing like the current talk about fighters these days on the peak of their careers like PBFJr also Calzaghe, Hatton and Pacman next year(2009) both seems hangin their gloves, these could really affect boxing community as a whole. Lev
Too many weight classes have not only affected the mainstream understanding of boxing, Lev, but the fighters, their performances and longevity; over the years. If you read my recent interview with Ryu of hip-hop group 'Styles Of Beyond', you could certainly see the former. He's a fight fan; but not hardcore and that's understandable. Hell, if we dropped to 10 or 12, I'd be happy.
Too many 'champions'? Doghouse Boxing readers and message boarders are probably sick to death of me rattling off about it but I simply defer to 'The Ring' Magazine's Championship Policy. The only concern I have is how the magazine and its policy are and have been perceived since Oscar De La Hoya became principal shareholder. It's tough to offer your reasoning to a fan who's so jaded by that many belts floating around. With some fans, 'The Ring' has no right to deem anyone champion. I think they do because they pioneered the idea of a ratings system and have awarded championship belts longer than almost every alphabet group in existence today. Yes, they have their crap era that no one needs me to explain about but that was then. And, yes, not all 'Ring' Champions are easily accepted. Ask Boxing Scene.com's Cliff Rold. He will not bulls**t you. I've even had minor issues too; but I also understand the all-too human quality of not being on the same page. And if I don't like something, I'm gonna speak up. Incidentally, I wasn't too hot about Pacquiao's installment in the welterweight ratings, post-De La Hoya, but, to be fair, I also failed to get my two cents in on time; as a 'Ring' ratings panel member. Hey, you've gotta vote to make change. That being said, I go with 'The Ring's' championship system. You have to decide who's most credible for you.
Charisma? That's part of the recipe for the perfect fighter, Lev. I know times change but there's a fluid link between fighters like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and De La Hoya. Good looks, amateur pedigree, talent, a confident spirit and a hunger to not look back make a crossover fighter. Mike Tyson had youth, need, anger and Cus D'Amato. There's another Hollywood story that needs to be done right. It's almost Shakespearian, really. No offenses to MMA and/or UFC, but those often captivating traits tend to blur when compared to the brutality and widespread appeal of mixed martial arts. That's why I think HBO's '24/7' shows are so amazing. Sure, their stories are kickass but the availability to anyone with HBO makes these shows 'must sees; for anyone (especially a sports nut) to just take in on a whim. You know, stoned and bored one night, thinking, "What's good on TV tonight?" and finding nothing. Well, there you go.
It's still strange to think of Jeff Lacy or Jermain Taylor being 'on their way out' getting too late to prove oneself. In beating Lacy at super middleweight, Taylor showed he's still got something to offer at a higher weight. Facing Anthony Mundine, Sam Soliman or Jaidon Codrington would help. Taylor's got a better-than-average shot at beating any of them because they'll make him work.
Yeah, it sucks to see your favorite fighters bounce but think about the overlapping fighters who'll keep us busy. Antonio Margarito, Juan Diaz, Edwin Valero, David Haye and Chad Dawson aren't going anywhere soon. Let's enjoy them while we can too.
Keep the faith, Lev. If you couldn't, you wouldn't be here e-mailing me, right?
SELLERS IS SOLD...
Well said. As a friend of the Philippines (not a Filipino), I've followed and admired Pacquiao for years. I'm always struck by his tremendous talent on the one hand; his unique Filipino charisma on a second hand; and on a third hand (if I had one), is the sense that this "unique Filipino charisma" may not translate to the global audience. I know that's not exactly what your point was....but I think it's part of it. Can this guy really capture the imagination, not of just the Filipinos, but the whole world? I don' t know, but I know he's got my imagination.......
And he's got mine as well, Michael. I think if the world had better exposure to Pacquiao, they would appreciate him more. Think of how loved one of my heroes, Steve 'The Crocodile Hunter' Irwin was. Why? People around the world had access to him because he had something that interested us most of us: the love of animals. Pacquiao's appeal doesn't extend far enough because of what he does for a living. He's a prizefighter. Wouldn't the world rather be watching soccer (or to be fairer, football; as it's sensibly called)? I'll bet if Manny went the Bono (from ‘U2’; not Cher’s ex, Sonny) route, he'd capture millions more because he cares so much about his people. He's a kind man who's seen as a leader and example that, every once in a while, goes off to war. He gives hope and positivism and the promise that if he can do it, so can anyone else. The world should love a guy like that.
I had a third hand once, but the holy water made it (and the voices) go away.
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