‘Left-Hook Lounge’: Vivek Wallace’s Mailbag feat. Pacquiao/VisionQwest, Abner Mares, Marquez, & Angulo!!

Ivan H. (Corpus Christi, TX): Juan Manuel Marquez recently stated that he will need to “knock Pacquiao out to win”. With all of the crazy things happening in the sport lately with bad officiating and bad judging, do you think another group of judges and officials will risk their livelihood and attempt to do something unfair if the fight is close?.

Vivek W. (ESB): I’ll start by saying that I know what you mean in principle, but to answer your question directly as stated, if it’s a “close” fight, I think without doubt we know who will get the nod. The rule of thumb has always been that you have to beat the champ, star, or hometown guy decisively (unless his name is Bernard Hopkins) to get the nod over him. This will be no different. There’s a huge mega fight pending that the world wants to see and unfortunately, Marquez doesn’t factor into the plans for that mega fight. Under no circumstances do I see him getting the nod to prevent that mega fight, even if it does appear “close”. What it seems you’re getting at is the question relative to whether or not we will see borderline criminal acts like we have lately, where you have people clearly violating rules, willing to take the fight from him, even if it’s decisive.

Personally, I don’t agree that Marquez has to actually knock Pacquiao out to win. I think he can get the nod in a fight where it’s clean and decisive and he outright beats Pacquiao on cleaner shots landed, effective aggression, etc. The problem with this scenario is that Marquez isn’t known for stellar defense and when Pacquiao throws his punches in bunches, he’ll land a heavy dosage, which nullifies the odds of Marquez pitching a clean sweep.

At the end of the day, if Marquez goes out there and somehow has the fight of his life and vindicates himself by actually taking it to Pacquiao and CONVINCINGLY (highlight and underline that word twice) beats Pacquiao, I think the judges at hand will have no choice but to render the proper decision, particularly in light of what has happened recently.

But, if it’s a “close” fight, cut from the fabric of what we’ve seen twice before between them, without question Pacquiao gets the nod and the rite of passage to Mayweather if he decides he’s ready to move forward with the parameters set in place for that fight to happen. I think your choice of word (“close”) is very key, because none of us can doubt that each of the past two fights were exactly that…..close….meaning an argument can be made for either man. Marquez will have to remove all doubt. Anything “close” about this fight and he will lose again, but it won’t be criminal like you seem to feel. It’ll be the way it is in Boxing. Just another one of those things some of us hate about the sport we love!

Salvatore A. (Seattle, WA): What is going on with Pacquiao and the VisionQwest group that he hired to look into his contractual agreements with Bob Arum? It was reported that he has fired them and there seems to be big problems. What is happening in Team Pacquiao?

Vivek W. (ESB): A Pacquiao fight camp isn’t a Pacquiao fight camp without some drama brewing. Unfortunately, there’s no ongoing fight camp right now, but there is in fact a major battle underway that will probably get a lot uglier before it gets better. Over the weekend, Ben Thompson at FightHype.com penned an article from direct sources that touched on the latest developments in this matter. Without being appraised of them in totality myself, all I can do is reiterate his given facts:

Pacquiao hired VisionQwest to look into all financial/contractual agreements between he and Top Rank dating back to 2005. VisionQwest had completed that process and were lining up a meeting to actually discuss all findings with Congressman Pacquiao. In the eleventh hour, the pertinent members of VisionQwest received a faxed document from Pacquiao’s attorney (who also represents Top Rank – O’Melvany & Myers) stating that their services had been terminated.

As Ben Thompson of FightHype pointed out, VisionQwest is now in pursuit of their own legal action, as it was made clear that the dismissal stemmed from internal (Top Rank) interference; which probably had a lot to do with the fact that VisionQwest was going to appraise Congressman Pacquiao of some not-so-positive news that perhaps they didn’t want him to know. According to the report, the basis of VisionQwest’s dismissal was allegedly due to the fact that they “tricked Pacquiao” into giving them a power of attorney granting full access to handle this affair.

There are a ton of things going on here, but at the center of it all, there’s clearly an issue going on about missing money, and that could in fact validate not only recent claims of Kelly Pavlik and a few past Top Rank fighters’ accounts of business dealings, but also the underground rumors that Pacquiao needed to request advances on his pending fight because indeed the pockets are starting to look a little thinner than perhaps they were. It should be duly noted that most of this info was given from sources and the vetting process is still underway, but without doubt, it’s time to shake the tree……and we know when we shake the tree hard enough, all those bad apples and low hangin’ fruits fall first! Stay tuned to see who gets plucked next (for lack of better words)!

Jackson N. (Orlando, FL): I saw the video you posted on your FaceBook page with Abner Mares demonstrating low-blows from Youtube. That was eery to see, and it really makes me question a lot about him as a fighter considering this has happened a few fights in a row. I have a hard time believing what I saw, but do you really think he would intentionally do this?

Vivek W. (ESB): I would stop short of ever stating someone would intentionally do something that I’m not sure they did intentionally. At the end of the day, only Abner and God know what he intended. That being said, there are a few things that lead me to believe there’s no question more could have been done to prevent the followups after the first couple low shots, and neither Abner, or the man put in place to control it (Referee Russell Mora) stopped it, so I think clearly there was some intent. People continue to ask “was it intentional”? And I continue to ask: “Why haven’t we heard any of his sparring partners talk about the tendency”? You mean to tell me he doesn’t work the body in camp?

And if he’s working the body in camp and it’s happening, why hasn’t his corner fixed this flaw that could ultimately cost him a victory? I’m sure they fix other flaws……why not this one? If it’s only happening in the fights, but not in sparring….uhhh, yeah, I’d have to say that’s probably intentional. I’m speaking in a comical tone, but this is no laughing matter. The reason I posted that video on my page was to give those fight fans out there who haven’t been appraised of this shocking reality a heavy dose of it. For those who haven’t seen that footage, here’s the link…..fast forward to the 2:00 mark: ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_FT_kc0wyY ).

As seen in the video, even a borderline belt line shot can do monstrous damage, and as a man, we all know that anything remotely close to that region can make even the toughest man to the east of the Mississippi scream like a chick! It’s real, and although I won’t say his intent to do it was without question present, I think my analysis earlier cleared the path on why it could be. I always tell people there’s a reason the same words spoken to an amateur who enters the ring for the first time are the same words spoken to that same fighter years later as a pro when he reaches mega status: “PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES”. Those are very critical words, and they’re given as a period of instruction because it’s clear, the ref, the judges, and even in this case, the sport itself will rarely protect you the way you can protect yourself.

This is the very reason why I have withheld any criticism of Floyd Mayweather jr. in his quest for the test! I’m just sitting in media row being entertained, but he’s the entertainer and he’s risking his life to do so. I can’t tell a man he doesn’t have the right to protect himself if he feels he’s subject to unconfirmed harm. Mares and Mora acted in pure ignorance with zero integrity, and Agbeko was the unlucky recipient. Again…..do I think he acted with intent? I can’t say for sure, but he sure as hell gave me reason to believe so….and that’s coming from a former fan.

Marco M. (Cutler Ridge, FL): Alfredo Angulo looked very good in his return bout this past weekend. Do you think he has a true place in the 154lb jr. middleweight division when you consider some of the talent there?

Vivek W. (ESB): As many out there already know, I’m probably not a very good source to come to when it comes down to the proverbial “pendulum” awards! Many times in the past I’ve given my thoughts on not being part of that pendulum crowd who swings from one fighter to the next, every time a fighter has a solid outing. I like to keep things in perspective and to be quite frank, it wasn’t like we saw Angulo face a stud! I’m happy for his progress and want to see it continue, but lets keep it real, ladies and gents, that was basically paid sparring session. With only a three day training camp I could have been more competitive than Joseph Gomez. And that’s real talk!

Angulo needs to stay active, stay in shape, and stay ready, as he has a few attributes that could keep him in contention. The good thing for him is that the division isn’t really that loaded. Cotto and Margarito probably align somewhere near the top, solely, then you have a number of other contenders vying for space in the backdrop. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Vanes Martirosyan, Wolak, Bundrage, and a few others round that list out. I think Angulo can fit right in the thick of things, but how well he does will be similar to any other fighter out there in the sense that it will all come down to personal evolution. How he evolves, and how he responds to that evolution will be the end all be all. Stay tuned.

(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, 954.292.7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing) & Facebook).

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Boxing News ‘Left-Hook Lounge’: Vivek Wallace’s Mailbag feat. Pacquiao/VisionQwest, Abner Mares, Marquez, & Angulo!!