Been out of the boxing loop lately? Don’t fear because Large and I seemingly covered it all this week.
First, we talked a little Mayweather-WWE. Large watched this week’s episode of RAW so I was curious as to what he thought about the product considering this was the first time he watched wrestling in something like ten years.
We then transitioned into Pacquiao-Marquez II and whether they should fight for a third time. Large brought up some minor controversy brewing following the affair as well.
Later, we spoke about David Haye’s entrance into the Heavyweight division, Andy Lee on Friday Night Fights, Ricky Hatton’s future, Casamayor-Katsidis, Cotto-Gomez and, finally, a little Hopkins-Calzaghe.
Consider this the cliff notes version of the last few weeks in boxing.
No disrespect to Las Vegas but there really isn’t anything like a big fight at Madison Square Garden. Throw two heavyweight title holders in the mix and things get really interesting. So, while I have no doubt that Wladimir Klitschko will defeat Sultan Ibragimov tomorrow night at the Mecca, I’m still all jazzed up about the bout (that might have something to do with the fact that New York City subways have been plastered with posters for this fight – that always does the trick for me). For the record, the IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight crowns will be on the line.
And, as you know by now, whenever there is a big fight to be previewed we always call upon our trusty Sweet Scientist Large from No Mas and The Sporting Blog to break it all down.
However, this time around our discussion was not limited to the Heavyweight title scene. Oh no, we also spoke about:
* What the future holds for Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor
* Would John Duddy have a shot at defeating Pavlik?
* What does Ibragimov have to do to knock off Klitschko
* In their prime, who’s the better fighter: Vitali or Wladi?
* The Heavyweight scene
Oh yeah, I also had to ask Large about Money May’s involvement at Wrestlemania. Always interesting to hear a boxing writer’s point-of-view on a wrestling angle.
One of the most anticipated boxing rematches of the last few years is just over 24 hours away and I, for one, can’t wait. Of course, it’s Pavlik vs. Taylor II. The last time we saw these gents they were engaging in arguably the 2007 fight of the year which saw the pride of Youngstown, OH, Kelly Pavlik, beat up on Jermain Taylor and, as a result, snatch away his Middleweight title.
Sadly, Taylor exercised a clause in his contract so tomorrow’s rematch will be fought at 166 lbs instead of 160 meaning the belt won’t be on the line. Weird, I know. And while I also know boxing titles are pretty much useless these days this fact still kind of bugs me. Just doesn’t seem right but, oh well, we are getting the rematch while the first epic is still very fresh in our minds so I can’t complain too much.
As always, Mr. Large (not to be confused with Mr. Big of Sex And The City fame) from No Mas and The Sporting Blog took a stroll with me in The Park to break down tomorrow’s mega-fight. We also discussed:
* Alexander Povetkin’s victory over Eddie Chambers a couple of weeks ago
* Should Chambers move to Cruiserweight?
* What’s next for Povetkin?
* Carlos Quintana’s shocking Welterweight title victory over Paul Williams
* Williams’ extreme weight gain before the bout
* Is it smart for Quintana to fight Shane Mosley next?
* Will lightning strike twice for Pavlik
* What does Taylor have to do to win this time around
* Will Taylor regret not having Manny Steward in his corner
All that and we even discuss a little Bute vs. Joppy! You had to know that I would somehow find a way to talk about my countryman.
Yeah, yeah I know what you’re thinking. Ricky Hatton has no chance against Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night. Pretty Boy Floyd is faster, stronger and more experienced than his Mancurian counterpart. But you know what? Who cares.
The build for this fight has been fantastic (thanks in large part to HBO’s 24/7). As I’ve said before, I look at the world through pro wrestling goggles (shhhh) and this feud appears to be straight out of the mind of Vince McMahon. The ultra cocky heel (bad guy) against the pure and charming babyface (good guy). It might as well be Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant in there. Or David and the Goliath.
And, really, David vs. Goliath is the best “fight” to compare this one to. Sure, Hatton is undefeated and popular but he has never faced a fighter quite like Mayweather. As Larz from No Mas Online mentioned in our interview, a simple look at ESPN.com’s Top 5 Hatton fights compared to Floyd’s Top 5 is enough to show how the latter’s 38-0 record is that much more impressive than the former’s 43-0 record.
Nevertheless, I still can’t wait.
Check out my interview below with Larz as he breaks down all things Hatton-Mayweather. We also discuss some other news from around the boxing world (attention Manny Pacquiao lovers) as well as which two fighters he would like to see featured on the next 24/7.
(On a side note, any other combat sports fans out there find it completely idiotic that the UFC scheduled the TUF Finale on the same night as this fight. It’s not like Hatton-Mayweather was announced last week or anything. I know the Finale will probably end at 11 p.m EST and that should be well before the boxing main event starts but, still, chances are if you are buying this PPV or going somewhere to watch it that you will miss the TUF Finale. There are so many free Saturday Nights out there, would it have killed them to schedule their show on a different night than the second most anticipated boxing bout of the year? I guess what I’m trying to say is: Thank the good lord for DVRs.)
A few weeks ago, we presented our first-ever MMA awards show. And, boy, was it a hit. The MMA world is still buzzing over our decisions. Seriously, they are.
So, the next logical step was to come out with…The 2007 Jarry Park Boxing Awards.
And who better than the Sweet Scientist himself, Larz from No Mas Online, to hand out those awards. We actually invited some of the biggest boxing writers out there to challenge Larz but, alas, no takers. I can’t say I’m surprised, really. The guy is ruthless.
For the record, here are our categories: *Fight of the Year
*Round of the year
*Fighter of the Year
*Knockout of the year
*Most Improved Fighter
*Most Disappointing fighter
*Upset of the Year
*Comeback of the year
*Weight class of the year
*Trainer of the year
*Fight you are most looking forward to in ‘08
Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can you close the book on ’07 when there is still one mega-fight left in Mayweather vs. Hatton? Well, Larz has assured me that it won’t live up to the hype and will be fairly one-sided in Mayweather’s favor so we decided to beat everyone to the punch (pardon the pun) and present our awards.
Apologies for the lame title but that really is the best way to describe my conversation with Dave Larzelere aka Larz aka Large from No Mas. If you are a boxing enthusiast and haven’t checked his site out you’re truly missing out. For my money, he’s the best boxing writer on the world-wide-web (he’s also a tremendous musician, too). His sparring mate and the head of the No Mas empire, Chris Isenberg, designs the greatest sports t-shirts I have ever seen. Be sure to check those out as well (ahem, hopefully all that love will grant me some free shirts).
The last few months have produced some tremendous fights inside the squared circle and here’s hoping some more fireworks are produced in the next few weeks with Calzaghe-Kessler, Cotto-Mosley and Mayweather-Hatton on the horizon. Rest assured, Larz will be stepping into the Park to break down the sweet science every week but for his first appearance around these parts we wanted to briefly look at it, well, the state of boxing.
Oh, and when I say “briefly” I mean 45 minutes long so sit back and enjoy.