Well it’s been a few weeks since Evander Holyfield lost his bid for yet another Heavyweight Championship when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sultan Ibragimov. Evander was 44 years old then, he has since turned 45, but apparently getting another year older has not made him another year wiser, at least outside of the squared circle. Evander say’s he will fight on, unbelievable, don’t you think? You know what’s so amazing about this is Holyfield is so smart inside the ring, has so much wisdom inside the ring, yet he is the opposite outside of it.
How can he be so blind to the fact that he is way over the hill, way past his prime. He has been for way over a decade, a decade that’s right. I am beyond worrying about him quitting the ring for his health and safety as a person. I, and all of boxing, have been preaching to him about that forever and a day. No, what I’m concerned about now is the affect on our sport that Holyfield continuing could have.
First off if he does get hurt it will be yet another black eye on a sport that specializes in that fine art. It will also continue to diminish how people look at the heavyweight division, which is watered down like a very weak cocktail these days. Most important, the paramount issue is how it makes the sport of boxing look overall. Evander was a great champion, a true warrior. He at age 45 should be enjoying the fruits of his pugilistic labor by simply raising his hands and being cheered every time he enters the ring to be introduced at other fighter’s world championship fights. He should be being interviewed on radio and TV all over the country and the world as a true ambassador of what this sport is supposed to be all about. In a time where boxing is being challenged by all the mixed martial arts organizations, the thing we need is for true champions like Holyfield to help make our sport shine the way it should shine, as the greatest combat sport the world has ever known.
Big fights coming:
It certainly should be a fantastic fistic winter wonderland beginning November 3 when the two best, and two unbeaten Super Middleweight Champions climb inside the ring before over 60,000 zealous boxing fans in Cardiff Wales as long time champ Joe Calzaghe 43-0 (32 KO’S) of Wales takes on Mikkle Kessler 39-0 (29 KO’S) of Denmark. This one is about as even as it gets, on paper and otherwise. The following week it’s former multiple weight champion Sugar Shane Mosley 44-4 (37 KO’S), the master boxer, against the young unbeaten Puerto Rican master slugger Miguel Cotto 30-0 (25 KO’S) at Madison Square Garden. Less than a month later on December 8, it’s two more unbeatens as Boxing’s best pound for pound fighter in the world Floyd Mayweather 38-0 (24 KO’S) fresh off “Dancing with the Stars”, will do a different type of Tango with another unbeaten, the buzz saw from the U.K., Ricky Hatton 43-0 (31 KO’S) before a beyond sold out crowd, many of them raucous Brits no doubt, at the MGM Grand here in Las Vegas. With the exception of the mega bout between Calzaghe and Kessler, where it truly is for supremacy at 168 pounds, forget about any big time belts, these are about big time bouts. I will break down Calzaghe and Kessler in just a few days.
What’s next for Pac Man and The Ghost:
For Manny Pacquiao, after easily defeating Marco Antonio Barrera in their rematch, there are tons of attractive options. What would be his best path to take, I believe, would be a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez who boxed him to a draw in 2004 and who also recently defeated Barrera. Then it’s probably time for Pac Man to step up in weight and take on a Diaz, Juan Diaz that is. As for newly crowned Middleweight Champion of the World Kelly Pavlik, there was talk of him fighting unbeaten Irish John Duddy who has become very popular on the east coast. I have called a few of Duddy’s fights in New York. It would be a fun fight. Don’t expect it until after Kelly has a rematch with Jermain Taylor who apparently has enacted the return fight clause in the contract. The two will meet at the catch weight of 166 pounds. Which should help the bigger Pavlik even more so than former Middleweight Champion Taylor. After that, if Pavlik could take on Duddy and then, if he is still unbeaten, I would expect him to step up even a few more pounds and take on the winner of the Calzaghe vs. Kessler fight. Taylor could also fight the winner or loser of that fight. I would love to see Pavlik in there against either one of those guys wouldn’t you?