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T.K. Goes Postal

INGLEWOOD, CA - MAY 17: Juan Manuel Marquez throws a right hand at Mike Alvarado at The Forum on May 17, 2014 in Inglewood, California.
INGLEWOOD, CA - MAY 17: Juan Manuel Marquez throws a right hand at Mike Alvarado at The Forum on May 17, 2014 in Inglewood, California.
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

B-WARE

Yo T.K.!

Greetings from the land of Mayweather! Just curious what you think about Bermane Stiverne? I was pretty shocked that he knocked out Arreola like he did. I picked Arreola to win that. What do you think the future holds for Stiverne and do you think he can beat Wilder and Klitschko? Keep it real – Best to you my friend, Dan in Michigan

Yo Dan in Michigan!

I was mildly impressed with Stiverne. The reason why is because I thought Arreola was winning that fight – until he got nailed. Stiverne was laying on the ropes and taking some shots. I figured if that was Wilder or Klitschko then some overzealous referee would have stopped it once one of those dudes started raining in punches in bunches. When Wilder unleashes a bunch of shots referees seem to lose their minds and stop fights very quickly when he’s in the ring. So, to lay on the ropes against him is dangerous for that reason, among others. As far as Klitschko goes, I would say the same thing. Wlad is heavy handed and he’s a master of distance. But the bottom line is the man can punch and if you lay on the ropes against him you’re going to get hit and probably hurt. Having said that, Stiverne is the best heavyweight counter puncher to come along since Evander Holyfield. In my estimation Stiverne is the best heavyweight counter puncher that can fight off the ropes since Jerry Quarry! Jerry was deadly if you backed him against the ropes and Stiverne also shows quite a bit of that quality. He is also quick handed and possesses some real power. I like him against Wilder because I am totally not sold on that dude’s ability to take a shot or fight past four rounds. I think he’ll come undone like a ball of yarn dropped off the Empire State Building once he meets a heavyweight that doesn’t crumble or crap in his trunks once the first bell rings. Klitschko is a different story, but I think if Stiverne can reach his chin it would be lights out. The problem is that’s much easier said than done. So I like him against Wilder but not so much against Klitschko.

JMM

Hi Tom,
I always enjoy reading your stuff and was wondering what you think about a few things. Number one, what did you think about the Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado fight? What do you think happens in Marquez vs. Pacquiao 5? Do you think JMM takes drugs?It’s crazy that he can still fight like he does at age 40. Dylan, Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Dylan,

I thought the Marquez vs. Alvarado fight was a pretty decent fight. It wasn’t "great" by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a solid fight and I especially liked it when they traded knockdowns in the 8th and 9th rounds. It was your basic “A” level fighter (Marquez, Mayweather, Pacquiao) versus your basic “B” level fighter (Alvarado, Maidana, Rios) type of fight. The “B” level guy had his moments, made it lively at times and hung in there pretty good in the face of overwhelming odds. I mean, unless the “A” level guys are going to fight each other this is as good as it’s going to get when these guys are in the ring. I thought Alvarado did all that he could do, put forth the best effort he was capable of and kept his career alive. I thought Marquez won big and I liked the scoring. In my opinion, Julie Lederman is one of the best judges in the entire fight racket. In terms of Marquez-Pacquiao 5 let me first say I don’t care to see it. These guys have already fought four times and I’ve seen enough to be quite honest. But having said that, I have no idea who wins. To me, Pacquiao is still shaky and I think Marquez will always trouble him, so if you held a gun to my head I’d lean toward Marquez, but who knows? In terms of drugs and JMM that’s an interesting question. People were raving over his performance and the fact that he can still do what he has always done and then some at 40-years-old and after nearly 20 years in the fight racket.His body has changed and he looks great from an aesthetic standpoint. His deltoids and arms are enormous. His younger brother (with the same DNA mind you) began to falter at a younger age and is now out of the game because Father Time caught up with him. PED guru Victor Conte is convinced that JMM is a user and I’ll tell you this: Conte has forgotten more about PEDs than most people will ever know. Some say if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, blah, blah, blah – then it’s a duck!

FROCH/GROVES

Dear Mr. Stewart,

I know you are a believer in Carl Froch because I have read your book and I put 2+2 together. So tell me, what’s going to happen when he and George Groves meet again? Loved your book and please keep doing what you are doing. I always enjoy reading what you write. George, East Grinstead, England.

Dear George,

Thanks so much for the kind words. I appreciate it, I really do. Thanks for buying my book! Yes, you’re right, I do like Carl Froch. The guy is old school with his attitude and approach to the fight racket and he’s just the type of throwback guy that I really like. Froch is so damn tough and he just never gives up. I was ringside when he came back from certain defeat and knocked out Jermain Taylor and I have to tell you it was one of the most incredible fights that I have ever had the privilege to witness. Froch is the type of guy that you can never count out and with the mentality that he has it is really just a testament to him. He never gave up against Groves in a fight he was losing and ultimately won. The guy is just amazing as far as I’m concerned and in my book you know that I have an entire chapter devoted to him. I rank him as a pound-for-pound best and I wrote a story that’s in the book entitled “A True Brit with True Grit” and that’s the best description about him I can come up with. As far as he and Groves again I am going all in for Froch to win it. Groves had his chance the first time around when I think Froch took him lightly. At 36-years-old I don’t think Froch is what he was when he was younger but he more than makes up for it with always being in shape along with confidence and mental fortitude. I think Froch is extremely underrated here in the USA and I look for him to stop Groves, this time legitimately and sooner than the nine rounds it took him last time.

Hey Tom,

Since you're from Canada originally and I know that you love to come up to Quebec to cover the fights. So, with that being said, what’s your take on Adonis Stevenson meeting the aging master Bernard Hopkins? It’s a fight I think will fill the Bell Centre and would be a great night of action and fun. Whaddya’ think? Emile, Montreal, Quebec.

Hey Emile,

Yep, you’re right. I grew up right next to you in New Brunswick and I gotta’ say that I miss Canada an awful lot. Boxing in Canada has come so far since when I was a kid and all we had was the likes of Ken Lakusta and Conroy Nelson. The Hilton family made it fun, though! I do love coming up to Quebec and I will say the best atmosphere for watching fights in person happens right up there with you guys and the Coors Light dancing girls! The best atmosphere I experienced was when Lucian Bute knocked out Librado Andrade in four rounds at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City. That was the best night I’ve ever had when it comes to experiencing a live boxing event and that includes Madison Square Garden, the MGM Grand, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun and Boardwalk Hall. Here’s the thing, it’s not as though there is any mystery to defeating Bernard Hopkins. He can be beaten relatively easily. Yes, I said easily. Joe Calzaghe, Chad Dawson and Jermain Taylor have already showed everybody how it’s done. Bottom line is you’ve gotta’ make the old man fight three minutes of every round and show him no respect. I don’t think Stevenson is going to be afraid of Hopkins or be intimidated as he’s as street tough as Hopkins is. Physically, he’s the bigger stronger guy and he’s nearly 15 years younger. Stevenson is brimming with confidence and he does have skills, so the only way I see he can lose is if he lets Hopkins be Hopkins. What I mean by that is that if Stevenson allows Hopkins to slow the bout down, fight at a snail’s pace and avoid prolonged exchanges then it makes the fight much more difficult than it has to be. Stevenson needs to have an attitude like the “pimp” that he once was - show no respect, go right at Hopkins and pound the old man. I see no reason why he can’t or won’t do that so I lean big toward Stevenson. You shouldn’t be able to continue fighting at a world class level at Hopkins’ age (49) and that says as much about the talent level in this day and age as it does about Hopkins. Stevenson is big enough, strong enough and good enough that I believe he can be the first to knockout Hopkins. If they make this fight in Montreal, I’ll make the drive up through the northern Maine mountains and head across the border to see it! Take care my Canadian brother! We'll have to have a Molson Canadian together!