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Vivek Wallace

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: Featuring Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, & Rigondeaux/Lomachenko!

Marc N. (Raleigh, NC): When Mayweather walks away, I think Keith Thurman has a very good chance at carrying to torch for the new era. Would you agree based on what we’ve seen from him so far?

Vivek W. (ESB): Not to be taken personally, as this comment isn’t directed towards you personally, but I’ve grown tired of the endless search by media and fans looking for “the next”. Time and time again, we continue to see young fighters put in situations far earlier than they’re actually ready. We saw it with Broner, I think we’ve seen it with “Swift” Garcia (although he hasn’t taken an “L” yet), and a countless amount of others. As it relates to Keith Thurman, I really think he has pretty good talent, and he has shown a certain amount of evolution; but anyone ready to say – at this early stage – that he is the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather is not looking at things the way they should. Continue reading

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: GBP/Top Rank’s “PBC” Lawsuit, Mayweather WBO Title Strip, & More!

Gerald N. (Delray Beach, FL): Both Top Rank and Goldenboy Promotions have initiated lawsuits against Al Haymon and the “Premier Boxing Champions” movement. What are your thoughts and what light can you shed on whether or not these lawsuits hold any weight?

Vivek W. (ESB): At this stage, I think it’s far too early to really know or accurately say “how much weight” the separate lawsuits hold. There’s been a ton of information released, but with respect and integrity for the lawsuits independently, there’s still a ton of things we as fans and media simply don’t know. From the outside looking in, my position all along has been that it’s an uphill battle for the parties pursuing matters, for the simple fact that the man being pursued (Al Haymon) has the absolute allegiance of every fighter on his roster, and each and every last one of them has his back with total support. Continue reading

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: Timothy Bradley, Thurman/Collazo, & Best American Fight Trainers in the Game!

Preston B. (San Francisco, CA): Timothy Bradley has proven time and time again that he’s the best welterweight in the world. I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves and I never understood that. He knows how to win. How did you rate his performance and his talent in general?

Vivek W. (ESB): Timothy Bradley is tough topic to tackle for me at times. I often think back to his fight across the pond against Junior Witter. I had seen him before and studied a few notes on him, but after that performance I became a very big fan. The heart he displayed that night in an effort thousands of miles away in another man’s land was as good as it gets. Where my personal trouble comes with Bradley is his inability to be consistent with those type of performances. We saw him look great against arguably the best Mexican warrior and future Hall of Famer of this era (Marquez); we’ve seen him look awful against the likes of Provodnikov. Continue reading

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: Broner/Porter, Malignaggi/Garcia, & Andre Ward!

Kevin H. (Atlanta, GA): As an Adrien Broner fan, I think his loss to Porter was more of what he didn’t do than what Porter did. How did you rate his performance and where do you think he goes next?

Vivek W. (ESB): I would have to totally disagree. To the contrary, I think what we witnessed last Saturday night had everything to do with what Porter did, more so than what Broner “didn’t do”. Going into the fight, Porter had the entire deck of cards stacked against him. Everything from the catchweight clause, to the pulse of the promotion itself. It just seemed that all elements involved tilted towards Broner. Few places in life breed absolute truth like a boxing ring. In dialog, any man can speak big and paint a scripted picture. But in the ring, there’s no way to avoid the evolution of reality. Continue reading

Mayweather v Pacquiao: Keys to Victory, Four to Explore, Official Prediction!

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Today’s the day! Greater than 5 years in the making, hundreds of thousands of articles dedicated to this one topic during the length of that time, and millions of social media comments posted to critique each one of them. At long last, the day of reckoning is finally upon us!​ With only a few hours before the bell sounds, we take a look at keys to victory, a few critical elements which will inevitably tilt the scales one way or the other, and an official prediction: Continue reading

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Scoping the Narratives

(In this piece, East Side Boxing/Boxing247’s resident scribe, Vivek “Vito” Wallace takes a glimpse at the media coverage of this historical bout, and why it could do without the very noticeable biases. Tomorrow, fans will get a glimpse of the legacies built by these two great warriors, and on Saturday, we take a look at “Keys to Victory”, “Four to Explore”, and a “Final Prediction”).

The world of Boxing has long been viewed as a sport on life support. Tyson, Holyfield, Oscar, and a few others maintained a status most thought would last forever. One by one those shining stars faded into the night, shifting the focus of most casual fans to the the NFL, NBA, and even MMA.

In a great parallel to life itself, any time a sun sets, another rising ‘son’ will soon follow. This particular era would produce two. One in America, and one in the poverty stricken streets of the Philippines. Continue reading

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: Garcia/Peterson, Quillin/Lee/GGG, & Gary Russell Jr!

Markus H. (Orlando, FL): You were pretty down on Gary Russell Jr. in the past. I wanted to know what were your thoughts about his recent performance and what do you see next for him?

Vivek W. (ESB): There was a point in which I just felt that Russell simply wasn’t showing any evolution. We knew he possessed great speed and a certain level of skill, but we never really saw it translate against the level of opposition good enough to bring all of it out. After seeing him coast to easy victories over guys who had no business in the ring with him, it simply got old. All that being said, just as he once warranted criticism, I think at this stage he clearly deserves praise! And a lot of it! Continue reading

“Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag”: Would GGG Face Kovalev?, Mayweather Crossing Lines?, Rigondeaux in Pacquiao Camp?

Ensei L. (Ontario, CA): I’m a huge GGG fan and looking at Kovalev, I couldn’t help but think about how great a matchup would be between the two. Do you ever see that fight happening down the line?

Vivek W. (ESB): As much as I would love to see that fight, I have very little hope that we will ever see it. It’s one of those topics that really challenges me, personally. You never want to take a negative or harsh disposition towards an emerging talent in the sport, but when you look at the negative narratives that follow proven commodities in the sport, contrasted by images drawn up to illustrate perceptions of those who aren’t, it’s just not proper. When I think of a Danny Garcia, or an Andre Ward, there’s a consistent rhetoric that almost mandates that they take on a certain level of competition or be banished to hell for not “proving themselves”. Continue reading

Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: The Magnitude of Mayweather v Pacquiao, A Glimpse at Premier Boxing Championships, and Thoughts on Thurman v Bradley!!!

​Selan B. (Phoenix, AZ): You made a point on FaceBook the other day about the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight that I’d like you to revisit. Could you elaborate on your thoughts regarding the magnitude of this fight and the legacy of the fighters?

Vivek W. (ESB): In a nutshell, when we look at this fight, this is an event on the scale of nothing we’ve ever seen before, and arguably, nothing we will ever see again in this lifetime. Some have noted that the fight is “a few years too late”. My response is that the fight has reached this apex as a result of the fact that it did come this late. When this bout was initially proposed, the fighters were looking at proposed purses in the $30M dollar range. Floyd Mayweather found a way to land a deal that nets that every night out. When he said he wanted $100M for this bout, we said he was “talking stupid”. He now stands in place to earn a hair below that mark ($180M approx). Continue reading

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