Everybody asks me and I tell them that Freddie Roach has a big decision to make. Roach made comments after Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in which he saw things in the fight that troubled him in terms of Pacquiao’s performance. Others in the industry have commented that Pacquiao has slipped and I share that sentiment. Roach has promised that he would be the first to tell Pacquiao when he should retire if he saw signs of slippage so it should be interesting to see if Freddie holds that promise.
Everybody asks me and I tell them I was extremely impressed with the performance of IBF welterweight titlist Shawn Porter on Saturday. Porter totally dismantled and just plain beat up challenger Paulie Malignaggi and stopped him in the fourth round. It was the type of statement that Porter had to make in a welterweight division crowded with names such as Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley and Marcos Maidana. Porter has indicated he wishes to stay at 147 pounds and at only 26-years-old he could very well clean out the division in the years to come.
Everybody asks me and I tell them that Peter Quillin’s reign as the WBO middleweight belt-holder is likely to be a short one. While no challenger can be summarily dismissed and no writer knows how tough it is inside the ropes, Quillin was bland in his win Saturday over Czech Republic challenger Lukas Konecny. While he dominated virtually all twelve rounds, Quillin’s punches lacked crispness and he committed defensive mistakes and spent too much time on the ropes. Contender Danny Jacobs commentated from ringside and he will likely be Quillin’s next title defense - and he was salivating.
Everybody asks me and I tell them that 49-year-old IBF light heavyweight titlist Bernard Hopkins put on a masterful performance in adding the WBA title to his collection in defeating Beibut Shumenov on Saturday. But, I’ll be surprised if Hopkins is able to effectively handle WBC champion Adonis Stevenson if that fight ever comes to fruition. Hopkins is able to win against sub-par opposition in Shumenov, Karo Murat and Tavoris Cloud - but Stevenson is another box of chocolates entirely. In order to beat Hopkins you have to make him fight and pressure him which Stevenson is capable of doing.
Everybody asks me and I them them that Wladimir Klitschko should knockout challenger Alex Leapai this upcoming weekend when they meet for the heavyweight championship in Germany. Klitschko is as dominant as any champion in any division and Leapai’s style is tailor-made for Klitschko in which he fights tall behind a stiff left jab with occasional right hands. Leapai is experienced and resilient but this fight is basically a mismatch. If Leapai makes it to round eight it will be a miracle.
Everybody asks me and I tell them that the unstated goal of Al Haymon and Richard Schaefer is to destroy HBO and Top Rank. Haymon and Schaefer are ruthless businessmen and are as intelligent in a conniving way as anyone that has ever played the game of promoting, managing and advising. It seems as though they have a bottomless pit of money to sign fighters and carte blanche to televise bouts on Showtime. They have outflanked Bob Arum and Ken Hershman in every play by signing away fighters while subtly demonizing Bob Arum and Hershman. It is difficult to see how long the duo can sustain their current business practices and hope to keep all the fighters under their umbrella active on television. At some point, it would seem the fighters they have signed will cannibalize one another and they will run out of TV dates.