411 Boxing Fact or Fiction 06.09.09: Mosley vs. Pacquiao, Chagaev, Berto and More
Posted by Ramon Aranda on 06.09.2009
Is Andre Berto ready for a fight against a top tier welterweight? Were you impressed by Kermit Cintron's win over Alfredo Angulo? Do you think Shane Mosley would be a better fit opponent for Manny Pacquiao than Floyd Mayweather? Matt Knowles and Jonathan Yaghoubi tackles these questions and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Boxing!
Original image by Rafael Rivera
Alright fight fans here we go with this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. In the red corner we have Matt Knowles who you all know from the Prizefight Preview while Jonathan Yaghoubi stands tall in the blue corner ready to rumble. I'll be your third man in the ring so let's get it on!
Round 1: Andre Berto is ready to take on the division's best at welter?
Matt Knowles: FICTION - In just about any other era, a guy with Andre Berto's skill-set would be an even-$ favorite against the welterweight elite. What we have right now, however, is a "golden age" of combatants residing in or around the 147-pound weight class.
In no particular order, we've got the PacMan, Sugar Shane, Paul the Punisher, Cotto, Clottey, Bradley (residing at 140), etc etc. Andre Berto may in fact be ready to compete with this group of boxers, but I can't really say that he could throw-down on even-terms-or-better with any of these guys just yet. Let's give him another year against the B-level cats before we send him in with the lions.
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FACT - You can't deny the fact that this is the golden era of boxing in the welterweight division. There has not been a more dominant division in boxing since the 1980's middleweight division with Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, and Duran.
The question is if Andre Berto is ready to take on the guys that Matt mentioned in his statement and I think he is. There is no denying that boxers such as Mayweather, Mosley, Pacman, Marquez, Paul Williams, Cotto, and Clottey would all be the toughest opponents in Berto's career. However, there has been so much hype surrounding this guy for the last five years and thrown in the fact that he has beaten every guy put in front of him. He had to will himself to a win against Luis Collazo in a fight that he said he was not a 100 percent. He proved to everyone that he does have the heart to comeback in a fight that might not be going his way. And this past Saturday, he totally dominated a world class fighter in Urango. The undefeated Berto's quickness frustrated Urango throughout their fight. Urango continued to pursue Berto, but only found quick lefts and rights to the head for his strategy. The fight was a thrill for the eyes but to me, it just showed the higher skill lever Berto has compared to Urango.
People that say that Berto's performance was not impressive because of the hit and run style he put on a fighter who got outboxed by Ricky Hatton. But I really do believe that Berto was bored in the ring and toyed around with Urango. If needed be, Berto can turn right on as he did against Collazo. I am not saying he can beat any of those welterweights but I think it's time to for him to pop his cherry because the more less talented fighters he faces, the harder it's going to be for Berto to stand up to these guys. But I see no reason that Berto can't stand a chance against a Clottey or even a Sugar Shane. Did Clottey look so awesome against a fading Zab Judah? Berto has looked way impressive his last two fights that Clottey did against Judah. The man is ready to take on those guys but I am not sure if he could win but he certainly has a chance.
Score: 0 for 1 - I say we find out in his next bout!
Round 2: Kermit Cintron didn't impress you against Angulo.
Matt Knowles: FICTION - OK, so the guy just completely out-boxed one the sport's most highly regarded rising stars...and he...wasn't impressive. Sorry, it just doesn't add up to me. I guess the haters may say that Angulo was sick/drained/too green, but any way you slice it, Angulo already had a couple of quality wins on HBO programming, so Kermit Cintron was a pretty logical next step in his career progression.
I've been a hater of Cintron's for years, but as of today I'm finally ready to give the man his credit: he's a 2-time former welterweight title holder, and just scored a hard fought victory at 154 over twelve exhausting rounds against a very tough opponent. This being said, let's get him back in the ring ASAP against another top foe (Martinez sequel?) and see how things work out. Maybe then, the critics shall sulk in silence (doubtful). Either
way...consider me impressed!
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FICTION - There has not been a more fiction statement in since I have been writing for this website. Kermit Cintron revived his once promising career with his best performance to date by totally outboxing and outclassing the talented undefeated prospect, Alfredo Angulo. Cintron totally controlled the pace of the fight and was the dictator in the ring. He made Angulo chase him around the ring giving so many different angles that frustrated Angulo for all twelve rounds. He showed a lot of heart and determination in the fight because you can tell that Kermit wanted this fight very badly, more than Angulo did. He had a game plan. That was clear from the get, but it went suspect at times and he still fought his way back into control and got it back on track. Even though Cintron seemed to tire out badly late in the fight, he showed a ton of new tools, gassed, held, and bullied it across the finish line with assertion of control in the eleventh. Even when he tired, Cintron use that to help him as he used his upper body to push Angulo around the ring. I can't say it enough but Cintron totally bullied Angulo for twelve rounds.
And just like Matt, I was no big Cintron fan either. After watching him get destroyed by Margarito last year, I
just felt this guy was good but not good enough. However, with this performance and the Margarito fiasco, Cintron has earned my respect as well. He has earned the right to fight top opponent and I am also for a rematch with Martinez.
Score: 1 for 2 - Agreed, Cintron proved that he still has something left but let's see if he can follow that up.
Round 3: Ruslan Chagaev should retire.
[This question was asked after the cancellation of his bout with valuev and before his signing to fight Klitschko.]
Matt Knowles: FACT - I'll put this as mildly as possible: Ruslan Chagaev makes Bruce Seldon (former WBA champ for the kids out there) look like a prime version of Muhammad Ali. The award for Worst Heavyweight Title-Holder in History is now chiseled in granite; Sorry Bruce, you have officially given up the throne. I don't care about medical reports, WBA poli-tricks, or any other details outside of the ring: if you don't fight, or won't fight, you CAN'T FIGHT.
Ruslan Chagaev should retire, move to the deepest part of the wilderness, build a shack out of twigs and sap, and never, ever, ever, ever, show his face in a civilized community ever again. On the way there, hopefully Nicolai Valuev will follow him. They'd make great room-mates.
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FACT - Do I really need to give anymore reason than Matt just provided? There have been so many guys lately that can be given the distinction as the worst heavyweight champion of all time. Bruce "The Atlantic City Express" Seldon?!?! I haven't stopped laughing since reading that. The whole heavyweight division is a joke and I feel they should all retire. I refuse to watch any of these bums fight because I know they are not the best of the best. Now John Ruiz is going to get ANOTHER damn title shot because of this? The fact that this fight got cancelled twice shows how awful heavyweight boxing. Why do we even bother covering the heavyweight division anymore? I forgot we are talking about Chagaev. Yes he should retire and so should all the other bum heavyweights. Let's get on to Haye-Klitchsko and I will get serious about heavyweights again. I will even throw that Valuev should retire.
They all should retire!!
Score: 2 for 3 - Ouch; talk about no love for Chagaev, eh.
AND NOW FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS!!
Round 4: Ruslan Chagaev deserves a shot at Klitschko, more so than David Haye
No love for Ruslan but does he get more love than Haye?
Matt Knowles: FICTION - Personally I don't believe Ruslan Chagaev deserves much of anything. His presence in the heavyweight title picture, whether it's his fault or not, has created mass confusion and frustration for a number of other fighters and promoters. I don't put much value into his wins over Valuev and Ruiz, since they are both B-level fighters at best, so those credentials don't carry much merit in my eyes. David Haye may have been a cruiserweight king with a suspect chin, but his championship wins over Mormeck and Maccarenelli, combined with an action-packed KO victory over Monte Barrett, are better credentials (to me) than anything Chagaev has accomplished thus far in his career. Plus, we all knew that Klitschko-Haye would be exciting if nothing else, whereas Klitschko-Chagaev could get very boring very quickly. I can't really blame HBO for pulling the plug on this bout; it just doesn't seem like a very entertaining contest.
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FACT - As much as I don't share other people's enthusiasm for Ruslan Chagaev, he at least has better credentials than David Haye at heavyweight. That being said I would've loved to see Haye get that shot instead as he has a more exciting style but he hasn't yet proven himself at heavy so I guess technically it's a "FACT" - but I'm not thrilled about it either.
Score: 2 for 4
Round 5: Pacquiao fighting Mosley would be more exciting than a bout against Mayweather.
Matt Knowles: FACT - In regards to pure excitement and entertainment for the fans, Pacquiao-Mosley is one of the best match-ups (on paper of course) that can be made in today's boxing landscape. They both have great offensive arsenals, good defense, and solid chins. This bout would be twelve of the funnest rounds we could ever ask for!
As far as the boxing business, however, Pacquiao-Mayweather would produce monster PPV numbers, a huge gate, and big-time interest from the general sports public. PacMan vs. the SugarMan would be a better fight, but would do about 1/2 the business of Manny vs. Floyd. Money talks in this game, so we're much more likely to see Pacquiao in the ring against Mayweather or Cotto in the near future, rather than Sugar Shane.
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FACT - I base this off of the fight itself probably being much more action packed than one against a defensive minded Mayweather. Both have plenty of handspeed, like to come forward and don't seem to tire late into a fight. The buildup itself however would be much bigger for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight so I guess it depends which way you look at it.
Score: 3 for 5
Round 6: You'd like to see a new season of The Contender this year.
Matt Knowles: FACT - I'd absolutely love to see a new season of The Contender this year...as long as it's better than the past two! The show, as a whole, needs an overhaul in regards to its production level and talent level. In comparison to The Ultimate Fighter, which to a degree has put the UFC on the national map, The Contender has done very little in the past two years in regards to adding anything credible or exciting to the sport.
For season 1, Watching Sly Stallone and Sugar Ray give advice to up-and-comers such as Mora and Gomez was awesome TV, and great for boxing. For this past season, Watching Tony Danza give advice to cruiserweight no-names was sleep-inducing and horrificly boring. If the show can get a more credible host, and if the scouts can really hunt down the next generation of top talent, then we may be in for a Contender reniassance.
Jonathan Yaghoubi: FACT - Anything that keeps boxing on television is a good thing. The series is pretty entertaining even if it can be a tad on the over dramatic but I like it nonetheless and it gives fighters who would have otherwise been kept in the dark a little bit of light to shine on.
Final Score: 4 for 6
Now we turn it over to you. What's RUslan Chagaev's worth at heavyweight? Did you enjoy The Contender and want to see more? Give us your thoughts on this week's topics. Fact or Fiction? You decide!