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Knockout Nation: Sugar Ray…Mayweather?

lilfloyd1

Pray for Steve Forbes!

               

There’s

only one man standing against the useless rematch between Floyd

Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya. That man is former Contender star and

natural 140 pounder Steve Forbes. He’ll try to play the role of spoiler

this Saturday against the Golden Boy.

               

Forbes

possesses moderate speed and a strong heart, but De La Hoya represents

a different class and will be the bigger man. Unless Oscar has slipped

considerably since last May (which is possible), Forbes will likely

taste the canvas from a nasty left hook by the middle rounds. Forbes’

strategy is to be an elusive target by moving away from De La Hoya’s

left hook, and counterpunching in combination to rack up points. Oscar

will be looking to win impressively to drum up anticipation for the

Mayweather rematch.

               

If

Oscar looks bad, the rematch will likely still go on. At this stage De

La Hoya has nothing for Mayweather, so let’s all hope Forbes can pull

off the monumental upset so the Pretty Boy will have to choose a better

dance partner in September.

               

What am I saying; Mayweather will probably just fight Forbes if that happened.

David Hayes Unifies Crusierweight CrownAmerican fight fans don’t know who David Haye is, but that will change very soon.

                The

brash UK fighter became the first unified cruiserweight champ since

Evander Holyfield when he railroaded rugged Enzo Maccarinelli last

month.  Haye made it clear after the fight that

he has been “struggling” to make the cruiserweight limit, and has only

been fighting at “70 to 80 percent.” The translation is that he’s been

struggling to deal with cruiserweight purses, and is now ready to risk

his impressive record against men that will outweigh him and be able to

stand up to his punching power. Haye has his sights set on heavyweight

glory as he formally called out Wladimir Klitchsko this past weekend.

          For

those who have never seen Haye fight, witness his two round demolition

of Enzo Maccarinelli to unify the cruiserweight division.

Haye

will have a clear speed and movement advantage over most heavyweights

he faces, but there are important questions about how his chin will

hold up the heavy bangers of the division (Hayes was stopped by Carl

Thompson in 2004, and dropped by Jean Marc Mormeck last year).

                One

thing is for sure, David Haye represents renewed excitement for the

heavyweight class. Someone get Joe Mesi on the phone; he’d be the

perfect opponent for Haye’s heavyweight debut.

                Cotto and Mayweather Following History?

                How

big is the hype for a Cotto-Mayweather bout? There’s no doubt among

hardcore fans that this is the fight to be made in boxing. Both men are

undefeated, at or close to their physical primes, and two of the most

talented fighters in the sport. This should be a no brainer, right?

                It

would be until the history emerges on why this fight still has not been

pushed for by either side. After humiliating Gatti in 2005, Mayweather

was turned down for title bout with Ricky Hatton, who flatly stated he

wasn’t ready. Floyd then turned his focus into making his dream bout

with De La Hoya, but ran into a road block with his then promoter Bob

Arum. Due to a bitter split years earlier with Oscar, Arum wanted

nothing to do with a potential Mayweather-De La Hoya bout.

                By

2006, Mayweather had voiced his displeasure over Arum’s reluctance and

planned to buy out of his contract. Arum offered overhyped but

dangerous Anotonio Margarito as an option to get Mayweather to stay.

Arum boasted that he would attach a cool 8 million to the bout without

options on later fights. Knowing that he could make a bigger fight with

Oscar, Floyd made a shrewd counteroffer; he would take on Margarito

only if Arum guaranteed 10 million apiece for successive fights against

Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. Arum refused. Floyd brought out his

contract for over $700, 000 and fought Carlos Baldomir for the

welterweight title. This set up the De La Hoya bout in May 2007.The

results actually worked out well for both camps. Arum was able to tout

Margarito as the most feared man in the welterweight division, and

Mayweather was able to win the fight that’s made him a mainstream star.

                Now

two years later, Cotto no longer looks like the vulnerable but talented

fighter he was in 2005 and 2006. He now looks like a welterweight

destroyer, with tools like a devastating body attack and a ramrod jab

at his disposal. But Arum has only given lip service against

Mayweather, and not made any offers to make boxing’s biggest fight.

Mayweather, who is now suing Arum for royalties from the Judah fight,

claimed on ESPN a few weeks back he would fight Cotto if he left Arum

and/or built his name up to make the fight as big as possible.

                Mayweather’s

“build your name up first” taunts echo the antics Sugar Ray Leonard

pulled on a rising contender named Tommy Hearns back in 1980. As the

Hitman was ruining solid fighters like Pipino Cuevas, Leonard

repeatedly went on record as saying Hearns needed to make himself a

bigger name before facing him. Finally, the hype got so huge the fight

just had to be made, which resulted in one of the biggest showdowns in

welterweight history.

                Listen to Leonard sounding just like a 2008 Mayweather in regards to Tommy Hearns.

                There

is some merit to Mayweather’s words, as I received confirmation that

Cotto’s recent bout against Alfonso Gomez was the lowest rated card in

World Championship Boxing history at 1.1 (beating out previous holder

Calzaghe-Kessler at 1.6). Thankfully, that can be changed in Cotto’s

next bout against Margarito, which is why Arum is pushing for this war

to happen in Vegas.

               I

fully expect both camps to stop the talking and begin actual

negotiations by the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009. Provided both

guys keep winning, there’s just too much money to be made for the fight

not to happen.

                Trinidad Turns Down Taylor

                Felix

Trinidad has turned down a potential fight with Jermain Taylor. After

Trinidad was also turned down by Hopkins and De La Hoya, Trinidad Sr

explained to Primera Hora his son’s future endeavors:

                “At

this time, Jermain Taylor does not represent an option that motivates

Trinidad to continue in boxing. Tito needs to feel motivated at this

time and Taylor does no give him that. The reason Tito returned to

boxing was boxing King brought him, Roy Jones Jr, a legend. That was

motivation for Tito. We are not looking to restart his career, we are

looking for the big fights. Because of the weight difference, we can’t

do a fight with (Kelly) Pavlik. Tito has no interest in fighting at

160-pounds.

 I

know how Tito feels and I have no doubt that Puerto Rico will support a

rematch with Hopkins. He needs fights that motivate him. Against Roy

Jones, Tito was motivated to return to the gym. It wasn’t easy since he

was coming back from a near three-year layoff. At the same time, the

money he was getting was adequate for someone like Tito. If Oscar De La

Hoya is willing to move up to 165-pounds, I have no doubt that Tito

would return. That is the type of fight that would motivate Tito.”The Prince Teases Another Comeback

Prince

Naseem Hamed recently hinted at another possible comeback six years

after his last fight. I don’t believe him but it’s worth noting.  It’s

a shame the Prince didn’t take his career seriously in the later years.

He was the hardest hitting featherweight since Sandy Saddler.

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