Tonight’s fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas pits the former best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the world, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, against the current best, pound-for-pound, pugilist in Manny Pacquiao. At least that is how well known boxing historian and writer Bert Sugar, who I interviewed some years ago, sees it (see interview here).
Listen to the entire CYInterview with Bert Sugar:
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Bert Sugar and featured columnist Jay Bildstein talk about this boxing match-up, which some might look as a page holder fight, until a possible face off between Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. Boxing fans will enjoy listening to this 15 minute conversation about tonight’s fight along with a discussion of other topics concerning the sweet science, including the state of boxing in America today.
This is Bert Sugar’s breakdown of tonight’s Mosley/Pacquiao fight:
“In many ways people are looking at this as a page holder for a potential, if it ever comes to pass, Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, which may or may not happen depending on Floyd…Mosley still has a powerful right hand, an excellent left jab and Pacquiao has the energy of an energizer bunny. He is a nonstop fighter who just keeps coming. Put them together for three or four rounds is going to be one hell of a fight, then if as I see it, and look, I had Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, but I had 7.5 points.
So I’ve not always been right, but I for see that fourth or fifth round, Mosley sort of, function of age, function of Pacquiao’s constant and continual onslaught, sort of going down like a hose that goes flaccid when you turn off the water. I think that then it will be Pacquiao, Pacquaio, Pacquiao and more Pacquiao…He [Mosley] can land a punch, particularly a good solid right hand, but this is not the Sugar Shane Mosley of yesteryear.”
Looking into the future, beyond tonight’s fight, Bert Sugar gives us the reasons he believes the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. hasn’t happened yet:
“Floyd is not afraid of Pacquiao, let it be known. He’s afraid of losing. If you ask Floyd what he thinks his legacy is, within one second he’ll tell you he’s the greatest fighter ever because he’s never lost, 42-0…So he doesn’t want to lose, which is not a great ambition anyway. So looking for, if you will, advantages, edges, call it what you may, he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao without that edge…Until he gains an edge, he aint gonna fight Pacquiao. A lot depends on how the fight tonight goes because if there’s a flaw in Pacquiao, he’ll come out of hiding, Floyd Mayweather will, to fight him. If he [Pacquiao] looks better in his fight against Mosley than Floyd looked against Mosley, then he won’t come out.”
In discussing the future of boxing, Mr. Sugar believes that given the fact there are 46 different sports in America people can focus on, boxing has lost its place and following among the country’s sports-minded public. The lack of bigger than life boxers in the heavyweight division, he believes, also factors in.
“The future of boxing around the world is excellent, in the United States, a little less so. You have to understand that the United States has a sports public if you will, that as opposed to when boxing was one of the three major sports for the first 50 years of the last century along with baseball and horse racing, there are now 46 different sports on the American landscape or platter…So it’s lost it’s place. It’s lost its following and Americans have always liked big things, they like big cars, big bank accounts, big chested women and big boxers. We’ve been a heavyweight oriented sports constituency or sports group. The lighter weights have not interested us as much as they have around the world.”
Finally, this year both Bob Arum and Don King turn 80 years old. Jay posed the question to Bert about individuals who, in the future, might fill a void left by those mega-promoters.
“Well, both of them are doing very well thank you, but as you say, 80 is not exactly spring-chickenville. So you’ve got Golden Boy, that’s Oscar De La Hoya’s group, Lou Dibella on the East Coast or the right coast. There are promoters out there. I don’t know if they’ll pick up the baton, but they’re poised and ready, maybe, to come forward. All things considered, boxing has cycles.”
We thank Bert Sugar for visiting with us again, this time direct from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where he is staying for tonight’s fight. Tonight’s fight is put on by Showtime and Bert is with HBO, but he told us he was there, along with Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran to see what might be a historic match-up.
Bert Sugar wants everyone to know he’s got a new book out, published this year, titled The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists. You can find more information and purchase a copy of the book by Clicking Here
And by the way, the book lists Shavers ahead of Foreman on the heavy hitter list.