'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Pacquiao/Mosley Fight Camp 360, Donaire, & Mayweather IRS Issues!

Alan N. (Chicago, IL): I saw a post on your Facebook page where you spoke about a video interview with Arum talking pretty harshly on Donaire and his wife, Rachel. What do you think will be the final conclusion in this scenario and what do you make of Arum saying he has "probably four guys who can probably beat Donaire"?

Vivek W. (ESB): That video clip was very interesting to both see and hear. Despite the near 15minute time frame, it was very intriguing and answered many questions in a way that let everyone know Arum's legacy is and will forever remain that of a businessman, not exactly a gentle man. Many will take his statements and find reason to dislike him, but I think no matter what the statement is or who makes it, we have to first try to locate the truth contained within, and in this case, I know his words were inflammatory, but even as a fan of Donaire, I think many were right on point.

I think it was totally ill-advised of Donaire to let whoever influenced him do so, because in the end analysis, there's no silver-lining for this wanna-be GoldenBoy. (Pun intended). If he's ever to become a Goldenboy employee, it won't be until his contract is officially complete. This is no different from Mayorga trying to split with King, and in that case, Mayorga was actually sued, so this could get VERY interesting.

To answer your questions, I didn't see the complete relevance of Arum bringing up Rachel's comments about Jinkee, but we all know that Pacqiuao is at the top of the food chain, and Arum will continue to let the world know this......Donaire and Rachel included. Arum responded to Rachel's claims, and to be quite honest, I would have to support Arum in the sense that I think both women do a great job to keep themselves looking great, but if Jinkee wants to go for the more mature look, who's right is it to question that? It's a personal each his own.

Regarding the commentary about Top Rank containing four men who could "probably beat Donaire", I think that statement also has to be viewed with a hint of honesty as well. Few have trumped Donaire's horn as much as I have, but I couldn't truthfully sit here and tell readers that he would definitely defeat Rigondeaux, Vasquez jr., Lopez and Gamboa. I simply can't! And you can't either! Those are all very tough fights, a few which I'd actually love to see. But to prematurely say Donaire will definitely defeat these men.....I can't do that. So, again, I think people need to stop looking at the source of certain words and look for the truth contained within them.

Rarely do I support Arum, but if he's right, he's right! What many fight fans don't know is that there have been underground rumblings about several comments from the Donaire camp about Pacquiao and his camp, but in front of the camera, this often changes. It sets a tone of hypocrisy and leads some to believe that the couple is jealous. I don't think they're necessarily jealous....I just think they would like some of the same opportunities, but Arum is in a tough spot. At welterweight he has a ton of guys that are proven, so he doesn't have to build them up to pin them against one another.

All of his guys at the lower weights are young and on the rise, so he has to build them up before he can try to cross their paths. This gives someone like Donaire less opportunity. He's in the middle market, so to speak. He isn't big enough to head his own pay-per-view card with any true success, as evidenced by the numbers of the past "Pinoy Power" cards he was on. And he isn't small enough to put on an undercard of Pacquiao and still be able to get the money he desires. So, it'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds, but for the record, he's better served staying put and taking some of these potential Top Rank fights later, because under Goldenboy Promotions, you guys know the history......HE WILL NOT GET A CRACK AT ANY OF THEM! Then what?

H. Lewis (Atlanta, GA): I see Floyd Mayweather jr. is in trouble with the IRS again. Do you think this is why we're seeing a sudden interest on his part to get back into the ring? And do you think it could lead to a showdown with Pacquiao?

Vivek W. (ESB): For starters, as I've stated in the past, I will only go in-depth on those things the men and women of this sport do IN THE RING, not outside of it. I think we all encounter certain issues in life, some in which we bring upon ourselves like I'm inclined to believe that Mayweather did here; but the difference is that we have rights to privacy that keep those things from being broadcast and dissected amongst our co-workers and the general public unless they become a matter of law that's reported as such.

In the case of Mayweather, the tax issue is a personal one. Period. The litigation challenges with the home security gate crew and the Mother of his children are private matters that were publicly reported, which gives room for some to create opinions, but I won't fall under that influence because like them, my personal would be coming without direct knowledge of the pertinent details that surround the case, which would essentially be misleading. At the end of the day, what I think doesn't matter.

The man who put himself in this situation has the money for everything else, so I'd imagine he has the money to also employ the proper legal staff necessary to resolve them. In his own words, "you get what you pay for, so you have to pay for the best"! For his sake I'd hope so, because the challenges continue to mount and the reputation has started to precede him.

Relative to whether or not it has anything to do with him wanting to return to the ring, I think it should be noted that Mayweather only came back to the sport a few years ago for one thing, and that was to face Manny Pacquiao. Many said he came back because he needed money, but when asked, none of those people seem to remember the fact that he walked away from a guaranteed $50M plus in a proposed rematch with Oscar De la Hoya, all because he won the initial encounter and refused to give up leverage he earned. You don't walk away from that kind of money when you truly need it.

So, let that be confirmation that as he stated several times before, his heart hasn't truly been in the sport for quite some time, but a desire to take a certain mega fight was the motivating factor. Unfortunately, that mega fight would not come to fruition. I don't think for a second the IRS matter has anything to do with his desire to fight. His desire to fight has everything to do with a certain fight and a certain man's willingness to comply to a certain test request. After that fight happens, I don't care who he owes or how much he owes them, a victory against Pacquiao and you will never see Mayweather in the ring again, which is why it's important to see how all of this unfolds. Stay tuned.

Rafael G. (Reseda, CA): What were your thoughts on the Fight Camp 360 that CBS/Showtime aired, as opposed to the typical HBO 24/7?

Vivek W. (ESB): Like all things in life, I saw pro's, con's, and a few elements that remain somewhere in the middle. On the 'pro' side, I thought it was a very intriguing perspective behind the way the CBS/Showtime crew integrated the training and personal lives of the two men on a level that we haven't always seen on the HBO 24/7 series. Synonymous with HBO, yet apparently not quite part of the plot with CBS/Showtime was the often overdone drama. There was no extended segments on disgruntled relationships or inner-camp spats, which typically become the norm on the HBO series. Such a thing should be viewed as a positive, but there's a fine distinction between created hype and necessary hype. That's where the 'con' side comes into effect.

As several fans emailed me to point out, the fact that there's no one playing the villain role in this fight made the segment in some respects a little dull. Absent was that type of havoc raising influence who knows how to mix humor with a few below-the-belt insults, creating that necessary image that even the staunchest critic can appreciate from a marketing standpoint, which could ultimately impact bottom line numbers when the final PPV tally is counted.

All in all, the presentation was a very good one, but I couldn't help but notice the absence of one presence normally in front of the camera at all time. The only time I remembered seeing conditioning guru Alex Ariza was when he put a water bottle in Pacquiao's mouth! Aside from that one clip, I didn't see Ariza much (if at all), causing some to speculate about the relationship behind the scenes in wake of recent questions about him possibly being axed from the team at some point soon. While I can attest that rumors continue to buzz in the bowels of the sport where few men roam, I'd also say that we're all better served waiting to see what happens next.

Closing thoughts.....I can't wait to see the Showtime version of Fight Camp 360. This made-for-regular-television broadcast was cool for the Saturday morning kiddy crew, but I'm curious to see what the pay television broadcast containing the unedited clips, curse words, raw emotions, and 'fireworks' will be like. Perhaps that will appease those who feel the absence of a bad guy or Hollywood-esque reality show vibe. Stay tuned.

Vivek Wallac can be reached at, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), and FaceBook).

Article posted on 04.04.2011

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