'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Haye/ Vitali K., Khan/Pacquaio, & Cotto/Margarito

Nerrin H. (London, UK): If David Haye holds to his word, this week he'll be retiring from the sport. Do you really think that he'll go through with his word or do you think he'll stick around for a Vitali fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): When Haye stated that he'd be retiring from the sport on his 31st birthday, my gut feeling at the time was that it was more ploy than probable. If you remember, when he began to say this, he was in the midst of heated negotiations with the K-Bros, and similar to Bob Arum's "official countdown clock" that he tried to use unsuccessfully with Mayweather at one point in the Pacquaio negotiations, it was probably just a tool used as leverage to get the other side to dance to his cadence. Fortunately for Haye, his plan found some level of success, as he finally got his a chance to dance with Wladimir.

To answer your question directly, I don't see Haye walking away any time soon. There aren't many fighters in the sport with the chance to make the type of money he can make with Vitali, and there's definitely not many who would walk away from it. Despite his not-so-spectacular performance against Wladimir, there's still a wide contingent who would like to see him face Vitali, simply for the novelty factor of things and at the end of the day, there's still a ton of people who would pay to see the two fight. In my opinion, for Haye, I personally think it's a great idea to stick around a little longer for the simple fact that it allows him to reshape opinions of him, formed from that lackluster performance he put up against Wladimir. Trouble is, he'll have to do it against the K-Brother whom I've always felt was the biggest stylistic nightmare for him.

Wladimir has a tendency to fight with a little nervous energy and get a little antsy, but Vitali, even in his older age operates in what I call the S.A.D. disposition: Seek And Destroy! There's very little filling out, very little feinting, and very little questioning. He comes straight at you and takes matters into his own hand. I don't know how well that's gonna work for Haye. Ideally, he will have learned from the encounter (with Wladimir) and will come out with something to prove and more to gain than a paycheck; but at the end of the day, none of us truly know until the fight happens.....and trust me, the fight will happen. So, don't look for Haye to hang the gloves up any time soon. Then again, a devastating loss to Vitali and he may not have much of a choice.

Carlitos B. (Miami Lakes, FL): What do you think about Miguel Cotto changing trainers and how do you think it will affect the outcome of the fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think there's a lot to consider in this, the latest episode in the career of Miguel Cotto. How it all ends for him in this fight will probably be the biggest question surrounding this latest move, but far beyond that, I think it's the steps leading up to that point which will be the most telling. Ego has been an issue for man from the beginning of time, and some of the most powerful men to stand atop the planet have fallen beneath it as a result of having one (an ego) that they simply can't tame. In the case of Cotto, this may be a bit unfair to say, but there have been many underground rumors concerning his ego and the way that it subtracts from the final product we see in the ring come fight night, and the ego scenario may very well be his total undoing on the night of December 3rd in NYC's Madison Square Garden.

My sentiment pretty much boils down to the fact that in the absence of his uncle Evangelista, Cotto has brought in a couple trainers, and the reason that none have worked out thus far has come down to two things: Either they were men he liked on a very comfortable level (Santiago/Pacquiao fight) that were too close as friends to really push him the way they needed; or they were too firm in certain respects, (Evangelista and according to rumors, Steward), to give him the freedom he seems to need and desire. In the case of Steward, the chemistry one-on-one seemed solid, but according to sources close to the two, it always seemed that Cotto was the one pulling certain strings when it came to little things like duration of training, intensity in training, etc.

The two seemed to split in an amicable fashion, but if this is a case of Cotto being pushed by someone a little harder than he feels he should, or not having the freedoms with someone in a way that he thinks he should, honestly, it could completely backfire. I'd be the first to say that I don't have any true knowledge of his new trainer, Diaz, but on this level, experience is everything, and this will be the second major fight in a row that he changes corners when the stakes are simply too high to experiment.

What do I think about him changing trainers? Very bad move when considering that it's coming before a fight of this magnitude and it involves him leaving someone he has a background with for someone he knows, yet has never had a work relationship with. How will it affect the outcome of the fight? We'll find out on the night of December 3rd, but the real problem here lies in the fact that it should have never come down to this question. Stay tuned.

Jerry U. (Charlotte, NC): Freddie Roach seems to think that Khan and Pacquiao could very well square off at some point. What are your thoughts on this possibility?

Vivek W. (ESB): Seems every week Khan is being tied to a P4P great, and as good of a talent as he is, truthfully, I just don't really find him to be on that level just yet. I find it funny that we're even here talking about the odds of him facing a Mayweather or Pacquiao when Tim Bradley, Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, and a few other young guns who could test him dearly are on the loose. For starters, Khan wants no part of Pacquiao. Let that truth be told, first and foremost. Secondly, I respect Roach's honesty on the matter, but he knows like I do that there's not much stock in such a fight. I wouldn't spend so much time trying to narrow this scenario down, because truthfully, this is a fight that we'll never see happen.

(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at, Youtube (Vivek1251), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing), and Facebook).

Article posted on 10.10.2011

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