'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's mailbag feat. Malignaggi, Mayweather, Marquez, Khan, and more!
Sebastian L. (Chicago, IL): I thought Malignaggi fought well, but I wasn't quite sure that he won the fight either (in my opinion). What were your thoughts on the outcome of the Malignaggi/Diaz showdown?
Article posted on 24.08.2009
Vivek W. (ESB): In the beginning of this year I can remember telling a fight fan that "despite a few minor wrinkles, 2007 and 2008 were such great years for boxing that I expect the sport to ride that wave, and the only thing I see that could steal that momentum would be a harsh string of robberies and integrity lacking results". Less than three weeks later, I quickly learned the power of words as the very first marquee televised card of the new year (Berto/Collazo) kicked that 'string' off, and unfortunately, it hasn't stopped yet. When you look at recent months in the sport...(Cotto/Clottey, Campbell/Bradley, Malignaggi/Diaz, and the list goes on)...it's just a very painful thing to see.. What boggles my mind even more is the fact that these judges apparently think that only the guys they favor need to eat, because they continue to deny various hard working contenders the right to better feed their families. It's fundamentally ciminal. I try not to belittle judges because it's hard to say a man didn't see what he thinks he saw, but in cases like this where it's obvious, I think those judges should be taught the valuable lesson of not being able to feed their families by stripping them of their duties and permanently taking their licenses in all states. I'm in the process of starting a movement because something needs to be done. Any fight fans reading this that wants to call out a specific referee or judge, email his name to me and sit back as this unfolds. It's time to start holding people accountable and since few others have taken this initiative, I guess it'll take a rebel like me with no political afffiliations to blow the whistle and make a few enemies - which I've never done in my life.
Hector V. (Miami Lakes, FL): What are your thoughts on this newly created WBC Diamond Belt?
Vivek W. (ESB): I've been very vocal about this Diamond belt and my thoughts haven't changed. I think it's a makeshift belt with a very intriguing philosophy behind it, and when you consider the trend of the world today - (bling bling) - it only makes sense. Who wouldn't want a belt today that blings harder than any other, and it's supposedly ONLY for the fighters who stand at the absolute top echelon in the sport? Yeah, in appearance and philosophy the WBC created a helluva way to build buzz about the strap and you can believe that when Pacquiao or Cotto win it, everyone else will want it. I think it's just another example of how badly this sport needs to shed all the alphabet straps and created self-fulfilling titles like 'pound for pound', and organize one governing body, with one set of rules and one real commission. By the way, I agree with the pound-for-pound philosophy, but I have no faith in the way it's used now days. It's a celebrity contest, and rather than using skills as the major focal point, ability to put cheeks-in-seats is the main agenda because it's all about star power. How Kelly Pavlik makes some list, yet Ivan Calderon or even Nonaito Donaire doesn't is far beyond me. Hell, they just starting adding Marquez, and we still don't see Chris John, so please, spare me!
Mario S. (Boca Raton, FL): I have been watching some of Marquez's fights lately, particularly the one against Diaz. I wanted to know how do you rate his chances against Floyd?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think he has a very good chance. Better than many think. Don't get me wrong, if the Mayweather that left the sport is the one that returns, it could be a long night for Marquez, but all things remaining equal, this will be a very good fight. Mayweather will have to shed rust rather quickly because he's in against a man who is a very good boxer. Pacquiao is considered the best in the sport, and we all saw Marquez get up off the ground 3x and overcome that deficit to get a draw in a fight many saw him winning. So, let that be your gauge. Mayweather not only has to get beyond ring rust, but a certain level of additional pressure is on him as well because he knows everyone is not only watching his return, but they're also watching to see if he can soundly defeat a man that Pacquiao still hasn't totally proven that he could defeat without lingering questions. Many are talking this fight down, but I'll be perfectly honest in saying that after watching the preview clips for the pending HBO 24/7 series with Mayweather, it was good to see that the sport once again has that one figure to collectively talk about because that's what we need, be it good, bad, or indifferent. There wasn't always great news to report on "Iron" Mike Tyson, but it kept people around the world (fans and non-fans) watching. Same with Mayweather. Mosley - (a good example of the opposite) - is nearly as talented and certainly a better style to watch (for some), but he never had that buzz surrounding his name and has since learned that a closed mouth stays hungry because it cant be fed. So, I think the fight will be great and I look forward to it with more anticipation than any fight this year - with Pacquiao/Cotto being the lone exception. To answer your question, Marquez does have a chance, but Mayweather's effetiveness will dictate it.
Antonio R. (Queens, NY): Rumors are circulating about a potential Malignaggi/Khan fight. Do you think Malignaggi has something for him after seeing the Diaz fight?
Vivek W. (ESB): Absolutely. Malignaggi gets ripped for not having power, but his talent is unquestionable. The guy is one helluva fighter and looks like the change in corner help did him some good. I don't get caught up into mainstream talks - where people think a guy is washed up because he underperforms in a few fights or flat out loses. How many of us have performed to perfection everyday at work? It's a weak proposition. Malignaggi is an amazing fighter and although Khan is evolving quite well, I've never seen him face a slick fighter with an outstanding jab like this, so I think it could go either way. Malignaggi has a chin, so if it goes the distance, a side of me actually likes him to outpoint Khan, but that's only one possibility. Khan could execute well and get a "W" too. Like any other fight, it just depends on who executes best that night and who won't be denied.
Robert S. (West Covina, CA): Wladimir Klitschko is hurt now and apparently the Chambers fight is off. Who would you like to see Chambers fight in his absense?
Vivek W. (ESB): Honestly, I don't think it matters who I'd like to see Chambers fight because the one guy who would be best for his career is the one guy who is no longer on the table. I think Chambers' style would have made a very interesting fight for Wladi-K, and I think Chambers - based on recent improvement - has enough skills to win on points. I think he has sufficient defense to avoid flush shots, and enough speed and accuracy to land some powershots that aren't exactly unexpected as well. I really wanted to see this fight. The only other fight that I truly want to see him in is against a guy like Haye. That would have been a great guage for both men. With both Haye and Klitshcko off the radar, I could care less who Chambers fights because as much as I like him, I hate the fact that it won't be a career enhancing victory like Wladi-K would have been had Chambers defeated him.
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, 954-292-7394, Youtube (Vivek1251), Twitter (Vivek747), Facebook, Myspace, and www.vivekwallace.com)
previous article: Israel Vazquez To Return October 10th, "Magnifico" Likely To Face Al Seeger
next article: Night of Thunder: A Tribute to Arturo Gatti