Would anybody argue with the assertion that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather jnr are the two best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet right now?
You can add further spice to that by making Manny Pacquiao the world’s best active offensive fighter, and Mayweather the best active defensive boxer. You’ve got the irresistable force against the untouchable target (one can’t call Mayweather the unmovable object).
Fans should be relishing the prospect of a match-up between these two men. Until Mayweather retired, after hammering Ricky Hatton, he was the pound-for-pound king. In his absence, that title has been usurped by Pacquiao. Read More…
Miguel Cotto has been slapped with the tag of underdog for his bout against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
A poll on this blog shows that 85% of fans are tipping Pacman to win by stoppage, while a further 7% reckon the Filipino superstar will win on points. By contrast, just 7% are tipping Cotto to win – points or stoppage – and 1% think it will be a draw.
The bookmakers agree that Pacquiao is the favourite, but not to the same degree. Ladbrokes have Pacquiao the favourite at 4/11 while Cotto is an ungenerous 2/1 (not exactly odds that are associated with the world’s biggest underdog). Read More…
A couple of years ago George Foreman wrote in his autobiography that, at the Rumble in the Jungle bout against Muhammad Ali, his water had been spiked.
But now, days before the 35th anniversary of that classic showdown in Zaire in 1974, Foreman admits he lost fair and square.
His admission is contained in a brilliant piece of journalism by Associated Press sports columnist Tim Dahlberg. Enjoy it!
Talk about David against Goliath – in terms of size, that is.
But when it comes to attitude, English fighter David Haye is the one picking on Russian Nikolay Valuev, who stands 7’2″, for the WBA heavyweight crown in Germany on November 7 (click here to read here).
Valuev is one of three “recognised” heavyweight world champions at the moment, along with the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir.
Valuev briefly trained with Brian Mitchell – South Africa’s former junior-lightweight star – in Johannesburg in the mid-1990s, and while there he apparently sparred with Corrie Sanders. The word is that he was taken to school by Sanders.
Corrie, of course, shot to fame when he blew Wladimir away in two rounds in 2003, although he himself was beaten by Vitali a year later.
I say this with the greatest respect to Sanders, but the fact that two-thirds of the reigning world heavyweight crown is shared by two men he previously mastered shows how the standard of that division has dropped (there can simply be no comparisons to the eras of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson and even Evander Holyfield).
Of course this serves the smaller pugilists, like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, who are the focus of world boxing at the moment.
Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse is reportedly dating the son of heavyweight legend, George Foreman, who famously knocked fighters like Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Michael Moorer off their feet.
According to ANI, George Edward Foreman III is sweeping the British star off her feet (click here to read the story).
Like his dad, George jnr, 26, is also a heavyweight boxer and at 6’5″ (1.956m) he’s an inch-and-a-half taller than “Big George”. George jnr is unbeaten in three professional bouts, all by stoppage.
There are doubts about how steamy this relationship will get – George jnr’s ring name is “Monk”.
According to Peter McAllister in his book “Manthropolgy”, any Neanderthal woman would have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger at arm-wrestling. Click here to read the full story.
Fascinating stuff. Imagine seeing boxers, at their peaks, like George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano – let alone Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather – getting blown away by your average caveman!!!
Presumably our physical decline has coincided with an intellectual growth, although I know some people, especially politicians and sports administrators, who make me think otherwise.
Call me sexist, label me old-fashioned, but I have no desire to watch women hitting each other at the Olympics in 2012.
With a little bit of luck I will be in London to cover the Games, and I can almost certainly guarantee you that I will not go near the boxing venue for one good reason – the sport lacks the lustre it once did.
I was in Beijing last year, and I had not a single reason to go watch the men’s boxing. Well, I did consider going to watch South Africa’s only entrant, Jackson Chauke, but he was fighting at the same time as Ryk Neethling was swimming in the 100m freestyle heats.
Chauke v Neethling … who’s likely to make the headlines? It wasn’t much of a contest, I’m afraid. The irony is that if I thought Neethling would qualify, I probably would have gone to the boxing, where Chauke was convincingly beaten, having landed one scoring punch the whole fight.
However, I had suspected that Neethling wouldn’t qualify, in which case that would be his last race and his incredible Games career would be over – and his failure in 2008 would be a much bigger story. And as it happened, Neethling didn’t qualify.
But my point is that there was not a single boxer – not an American, Cuban nor East European – who could attract me to go to the boxing simply as a boxing fan. There was no Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Teofilo Stevenson or Felix Savon. At the 2000 Sydney Games I went to the boxing just to watch Savon; at the 2008 Games I made an effort to watch Usain Bolt run the 100m, 200m and 4x100m finals.
Part of the problem is that officials have taken the blood and guts out of amateur boxing, and another is that unpaid pugilism is not attracting the great sportsmen it once did, because they know they can earn more money playing gridiron, rugby, baseball, etc than they probably will when they turn professional.
Olympic boxing has lost its glitter, and I doubt female fighters will bring it back.
Sitting next to me in The Times office is seasoned sports editor Archie Henderson. Balding, greying and wrinkling, he would be the last person to discriminate against someone on the basis of age.
But Archie quickly took a bet today against Michael Schumacher winning a single race in his comeback bid. Sure, Schumi’s decision to return to the track has sparked plenty of interest – even for me, not the planet’s biggest Formula 1 fan. After all, every sports fan loves a comeback – a la George Foreman!
Lance Armstrong’s return made the 2009 Tour de France far more interesting for me, and I’m sure many other fans. Armstrong did well, I thought. He may not have won, but coming third overall wasn’t too bad.
There’s always something intriguing when a great sportsman returns to the battle field, although I must admit I’ve heard a rumour of Corrie Sanders coming back to take on Fransie Botha. That would have been a great fight 10 years ago, probably even five years ago, but not now. Muhammad Ali’s return to take on Larry Holmes in 1980 was a sad tale too.
But it’s not only boxers who feel the urge to return to the limelight – swimmer Mark Spitz did it too (unsuccessfully).
In the case of Schumi, I agree with my colleague Archie – he won’t relive his glory years. Brian Mitchell made a two-fight comeback in the mid-1990s and afterwards admitted it was a mistake (even though he won both bouts). As Mitchell likes to say: “You can’t buy experience, but you can’t buy youth either.”
Good luck, Schumi. I’ll be watching, but not hoping.