Many readers have questioned my decision to include Floyd Mayweather inside my list of top-10 boxers of all time.
Others have queried my omissions of Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson.
Thanks for all your comments. I’d like to explain myself, and while I don’t expect you to agree with me, hopefully you can understand my thinking. Read More…
Antonio Margarito, the only other man to have beaten Miguel Cotto, may have packed hard pads in his hand wraps – but Manny Pacquiao carries iron in his fists! Read More…
Kaka is a colleague of mine, and I must admit he’s one of the more knowledgeable boxing fans I know.
And when he makes a prediction, you should listen. Kaka is tipping Miguel Cotto to beat Manny Pacquiao. His reasoning is simple: Pacquiao is going a bridge too far against a good, strong boxer like Cotto.
Whether you agree with Kaka or not, you’ve got to admire his conviction – he’s already bet my other colleague, Archie, to a lunch. The last time they bet – when Floyd Mayweather fought Ricky Hatton – poor Archie had to cough up.
Archie’s worried that he’ll be buying lunch for Kaka next week.
South African boxing, which is partly government-funded, is technically insolvent.
The auditor-general, in the latest annual report of Boxing South Africa (BSA), highlights that the organisation’s debts exceed their assets by nearly R6-million ($757,000 or 511,000 Euro).
Their operating loss for the year ended March 31 2009 was more than R4-million – about three times what it was for the previous 12-month period.
In South Africa this weekend we saw some great one-punch KOs. Mlungisi Dlamini knocked out Zolani Marali with a straight right, “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen decked Tshepang Mohale with a left cross and Mikey Schultz clocked Samuel Mathebula with a right uppercut.
They were all amazing spectacles, but it got me thinking about one-punch knockouts. There have been some spectacular ones in boxing history, and Manny Pacquiao’s left-hook stoppage of Ricky Hatton must rank right up there.
I believe Rocky Marciano’s KO of Jersey Joe Walcott was once considered the best one-punch KO ever, but is it still rated so highly in modern-day boxing?
What do you think?
Here in South Africa – seemingly miles off the beaten boxing track that is leading Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto to their destiny in Las Vegas on November 14 – two local boxers who have fought these great warriors are offering different views on who will emerge victorious.
Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, who lost on a sixth-round TKO to Manny Pacquiao in 2001, and Lovemore Ndou, a points loser to Cotto in 2004, were present at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of a big tournament in Johannesburg this weekend.
Ledwaba, who has picked up some weight since hanging up his gloves after suffering a detached retina, is now working as a trainer in Bloemfontein – which means many weekend trips to visit his family at home in Johannesburg.
“Hands of Stone” Ledwaba, one of South Africa’s finest boxers of the past decade or so, is tipping Pacquiao to win, although he reckons it will be a tough encounter that is likely to go the distance.
“Manny’s in his prime, but he’s fighting a really tough guy. Manny doesn’t like fighting a boxer who likes attacking the body, and Cotto is good at that. I’d still say Manny will win, but he must stay on the outside. He can’t afford Cotto to get inside.”
But Ndou, who fought out of Australia for years although he’s now training in east Johannesburg with Harold Volbrecht (a welterweight contender in the 1980s), reckons Cotto will have the advantage. “I fought Cotto – he’s a strong, smart fighter. I don’t think it will be easy, but if I had to bet, I’d put my money on Cotto.”
Ndou, also a former sparring partner of Floyd Mayweather, said he had no doubt who would win if Pacman and “Money” ever got it on. “Mayweather will win with one hand behind his back.”
Ndou, the IBO welterweight champion, is scheduled to defend against Matthew Hatton, Ricky’s brother, on November 13, and he’s confident of keeping his belt. “He’s living off his brother’s name. He’s like a donkey in a horse race. You can feed him carrots and make him think he’s a race horse, but I’ll show that he’s just a donkey.”
Let’s face it, the biggest match-up to be made in boxing today would be Manny Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather – the reigning pound-for-pound king against his unbeaten predecessor, back from retirement!
Ricky Hatton, who fought them both, was in Johannesburg last month and I got a chance to interview him.
Hatton, stopped in 10 rounds by Mayweather and two rounds by Pacman, had this to say when I asked him who would win if Pacquiao and Mayweather were to ever get it on:
“I’d like to think Manny would win. I’d hope he’d win because he’s a gentleman, really nice guy, family man. Everything about him I really admire. But as much as I don’t like Mayweather, he’s one hell of a fighter. Mayweather would probably pip him.”
Of course, Pacquiao must first get past Miguel Cotto.
Click here to read the full interview with Hatton.
When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring against Miguel Cotto in what could be the biggest fight of the year on November 14, few may recall that his rise to stardom started eight years ago against a South African fighter.
Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, who grew up in Johannesburg’s famous sprawling township of Soweto, was the IBF junior-featherweight champion who, according to promoter Rodney Berman, was on the verge of securing an HBO fight contract.
All he had to do was win the sixth defence of a belt that had seemingly become the property of South Africa. It was first owned by East London-based Welcome Ncita (1990-1992), who lost it to American Kennedy McKinney (1992-1994) before being reclaimed by Ncita’s stablemate, Vuyani Bungu (1994-1999), who defended it a record 13 times before vacating it to step up a division to take on Naseem Hamed.
Ledwaba – one of the finest South African fighters of that era (the other stand-outs included Mzukisi Sikali and Corrie Sanders) – won the vacant IBF junior-featherweight crown.
His sixth defence, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 6 2001, appeared to be mere routine – he faced a late replacement, an unknown who once held the WBC flyweight title before losing that belt on a third-round KO. Ledwaba was heavy handed and it seemed unthinkable that a boxer who had stepped up from flyweight would give him a problem.
But that’s exactly what happened. Pacquiao dropped Ledwaba in the opening round and eventually stopped the champion in the sixth. Ledwaba’s performance seemed so ineffectual that Berman effectively dumped him!
It turns out that his loss to Pacquiao was no disgrace. Two years later the Filipino entered superstardom after stepping up to featherweight to score a sensational stoppage victory over the legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera. Wars against Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales followed before moving up to lightweight (David Diaz – wTKO9), welterweight (Oscar De La Hoya – wTKO8) and junior-welterweight (Ricky Hatton – wKO2).
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that more than 80% of people who have voted on this blog’s poll are tipping Pacman to beat welterweight champion Cotto inside the distance. To vote, click here.
Support for Manny Pacquiao, who takes on Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas on November 14, has grown substantially over the past 24 hours – at least on this blog!
On Thursday night 51% of respondents on my poll had picked Pacman to beat Cotto inside the distance (if you haven’t yet voted, click here to do so).
But just 24 hours later that percentage had rocketed to a staggering 81%. A further 8% are tipping the Filipino to win on points.
By contrast, 9% reckon Cotto will beat Pacquiao inside the distance, and a mere 1% believe he will be declared the victor after the final bell.
Another 1% think this fight will end in a draw.
Wow – that means 89% of fans are going for a Pacquiao victory and 90% think the fight will not go the distance.